Gas and wood fireplaces both operate in the same manner, by burning fuel to provide your home with heat. However, because wood and natural gas are greatly different, each type of fireplace provides a different set of benefits. Understanding the differences between the two types of fireplaces can help you decide which one is best suited for your home.
Wood fireplaces provide a traditional, rustic atmosphere to your home. The smell of burning wood is seen by many as a sort of incense that can leave your home smelling like nature for hours. Additionally, wood is extremely cheap as a fuel source in most areas, and is also usually sustainably harvested, which means that the impact on the environment is minimized.
However, wood takes up a lot of space, and must be stored in an area where it cannot get wet or infested with bugs. This can be very hard for homeowners living in urban areas. Furthermore, wood fires are less safe when compared to gas fires, as they cannot be put out as easily. Additionally, wood burning fireplaces are not very efficient since most of the heat will escape out of the chimney. It should also be noted that wood burning fireplaces still release a great deal of greenhouse gases.
Gas fireplaces are much more convenient than wood fireplaces. Many models come with a remote that controls the flow of natural gas into your home, which greatly reduces the likelihood of a fire because you can simply turn the fireplace off when you don't want to use it anymore. Additionally, gas fireplaces won't spark like wood fireplaces will. Gas fireplaces are also extremely efficient at producing heat, and can actually be used to heat up your home, which wood fireplaces are unable to do.
Gas fireplaces require the burning of natural gas, which is a non-renewable resource. Unlike trees, which can be grown and harvested indefinitely if maintained properly, there is a finite amount of gas in the world. This means that a gas fireplace is not as sustainable as a wood burning fireplace, and that gas fireplaces also release a great deal of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere when lit. Additionally, while natural gas does not require fuel storage like wood does, you'll still need to install a gas line in your home, which can be quite costly if you don't already have one. Talk to a heating contractor like Erickson Plumbing & Heating for more information.