Should I Get a Gas or Wood-Burning Fireplace?

Both gas and wood-burning fireplaces have their supporters. People in the wood-burning camp tend to cite the artificial look of a gas fireplace as the main reason why they would never switch to gas. However, many recent models of gas fireplaces have extremely realistic flames and embers. Below are some advantages of a gas fireplace over a wood-burning fireplace:

Gas:
  • No ashes or bits of wood to clean up
  • Turns on with the flick of a switch
  • Flames are safely enclosed
  • Heat can be easily regulated
  • Effectively heats large rooms
  • Available in a wide variety of styles and sizes
  • Installs virtually anywhere in the home.
Wood:
  • Generates ashes and wood bits
  • Chimney provides insects with a direct path into your house
  • Average time to a roaring fire under perfect conditions is about 15 to 20 minutes
  • Creosote can build up in the chimney, creating a serious fire hazard
  • Heat given off by a wood-burning fireplace is difficult to regulate
  • Wood-burning fireplaces often have negative efficiencies (heated air from the room goes up the flue).