As the winter season approaches, many homeowners are torn between choosing a gas or wood fireplace. While both options have pros and cons, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and practicality. Gas fireplaces have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their convenience and ease of use, while traditional wood-burning fireplaces offer a classic and cosy atmosphere.
In this blog post, we will compare and contrast the advantages and disadvantages of gas and wood fireplaces so that homeowners can decide which option would be best for them. We will also delve into each type of fireplace's cost, maintenance, and environmental impact. Whether you are a seasoned homeowner or a first-time buyer, this post will provide valuable insights and considerations to help you make the right choice. So, let's get into the details of the gas vs wood fireplace debate so you can enjoy a warm and inviting living space during the cold winter months.
Wood Fireplace: Quick Facts
A wood-burning fireplace provides a warm, comforting ambience and is a great focal point in the living room. However, it requires constant maintenance, is susceptible to rotting and structural damage, and can be quite pricey. Wood continues to be the most popular choice for the fireplace and outdoor fireplaces because they are less expensive, efficient at heating and warming rooms, versatile in design options, and have a traditional look that adds character to an exterior space (flames are visible from all directions), burn less cleanly than gas fireplaces (lots of creosote buildup), and don't require a chimney or venting fees. Here are our top product picks.
1. Majestic 36" Villawood Traditional Outdoor Wood Burning Fireplace
The Villawood is a well-built, rustic-looking outdoor fireplace with a classic design for a small to mid-sized living space. This gas fireplace boasts 36 inches of the loggable firebox (the active fire area) for fast, efficient flames and plenty of heat. The mantel and post cap are made from solid red cedar and the hearth surrounds are made from finished cedar. The Villawood also includes an electric starter kit with a thermostat timer function, which switches on the unit automatically when it's cool inside and off when it is warm enough outside.
2. Superior 50" WRE4550 Traditional Wood Burning Outdoor Fireplace
The WRE4550 is a gas-powered outdoor fireplace with a traditional Vermont cedar look. It boasts 50 inches of the firebox to heat and burn more efficiently and has over 200 square inches of firebox area to provide enough heat for most homes. It also boasts a larger chimney pipe and heavy-duty heater, making it a great choice for homes with more than one fireplace.
3. Osburn Everest II Wood Fireplace
The Everest II is a beautiful, rustic-looking gas fireplace ideal for small to mid-sized living spaces. It includes a convex glass front and an asymmetrical, aesthetically pleasing design. This gas fireplace boasts a heat-receiving mantel and a firebox with a 50-inch flame length. The mantel is made from 18 inched thick white pine lumber, while the firebox is made from 30 inches of solid red cedar. It also includes an electric starter kit with a thermostat timer function, which switches on the unit automatically when it's cool inside and off when it is warm enough outside.
Gas Fireplace: Quick Facts
A gas fireplace is more convenient and cost-effective than a wood-burning fireplace. It has many advantages over a traditional wood-burning fireplace, such as easy installation, quick heating times, and lesser maintenance. Gas fireplaces provide a fast, efficient heating solution that doesn't require continuous maintenance like wood-burning fireplaces. In addition, a gas fireplace puts out minimal to no smoke or soot and is, therefore, better for the environment. Here are our top picks:
1. American 65" Mariposa Vented Gas Fireplace with 4" Roundover Hearth
The American 65" Mariposa Vented Gas Fireplace is a classic-looking gas fireplace with a stainless steel hood and firebox. It boasts 6,000 BTU per hour of heat output and includes a unique cooling baffle and a thermally efficient fireplace tube to reduce heat loss. The gas fireplace also consists of an electronic thermostat which shuts off the propane at 220 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent wasting fuel and is protected with a 1-year warranty.
2. Napoleon Galaxy 51" See-Through Outdoor Linear Vent Free Gas Fireplace
The Napoleon Galaxy 51" See Through Outdoor Linear Vent Free Gas Fireplace can be used indoors and outdoors. It features a polished black finish and is ideal for small to mid-sized living spaces with up to 400 square feet. This gas fireplace is a great choice for homes with limited outdoor space or looking to upgrade their outdoor fireplace.
3. Empire Carol Rose 36" IP, 50K BTU Outdoor Traditional Premium Fireplace
The Empire Carol Rose 36" Outdoor Traditional Premium Fireplace is a beautiful, mid-sized gas fireplace with a classic design. This gas fireplace is one of the most popular backyard fireplaces due to its ornamental brass frame and elegant marble hearth. It boasts 50,000 BTUs of heat output and includes an IP (indoor/outdoor) stainless steel vent kit, which makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor use. You can also add an optional warming kit for additional heat, as needed.
Factor affecting buying gas or wood fireplace
When choosing between a gas or wood fireplace, you will want to consider the following factors:
1. Size and Shape of your living space
Both gas and wood fireplaces come in various sizes and shapes, ranging from large to small, wide to tall. Before you start shopping for a fireplace, measure the dimensions of your living space to ensure the fireplace will fit seamlessly. For example, if you want a tabletop fireplace for your bedroom or kitchen, you'll need something smaller. On the other hand, if you are looking for something larger, like an outdoor fireplace or indoor fireplace design brick media centre with a corner gas firebox, make sure they will fit in the available space before purchasing.
2. Fuel Efficiency
Fuel efficiency is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing between a gas or wood fireplace. Gas fireplaces are known for being highly efficient, as they burn clean and require very little maintenance. They also don't produce any ash or creosote, which can be a hassle to clean up. On the other hand, wood fireplaces are less efficient, requiring more maintenance and producing more ash and creosote. However, wood is a renewable resource, making it an eco-friendlier option.
3. Installation and Maintenance
Another important factor to consider is installation and maintenance. Gas fireplaces are typically easier to install than wood fireplaces, as they don't require a chimney or venting. They also require very little maintenance, as there is no ash or creosote to clean up. On the other hand, wood fireplaces require a chimney or venting and need regular cleaning to remove ash and creosote. They also require more frequent inspections to ensure they are safe to use.
4. Environmental Impact
Environmental impact is an important consideration when choosing between gas and wood fireplaces. Gas fireplaces produce fewer emissions than wood fireplaces, making them an eco-friendlier option. However, wood is a renewable resource, while gas is a non-renewable fossil fuel. Additionally, burning wood produces carbon dioxide, which contributes to climate change.
5. Aesthetics and Ambiance
The aesthetics and ambience of a fireplace are important factors to consider. Gas fireplaces provide a clean and modern look that can be customized to fit your decor. They also offer a consistent flame and heat output. Wood fireplaces, on the other hand, provide a more traditional and rustic look. They also give a crackling sound and woodsy smell that gas fireplaces can't match.
The choice between a gas or wood fireplace ultimately depends on personal preference and lifestyle. While gas fireplaces may offer more convenience and ease of use, some prefer a wood-burning fireplace's authentic ambience and crackling sound. Additionally, there are environmental factors to consider, as wood-burning fireplaces can contribute to air pollution. Ultimately, it's important to research and consider your needs and values before deciding which type of fireplace to install in your home.