Gas Log Fireplace Vs Wood Burning Fireplace

Although all fireplaces are designed for heat production, they do this by burning different fuels. The most common of these fuels include wood, pellets, gas, and coal.

The variations are what we’re interested in as we focus on two types; gas log fireplaces vs wood-burning fireplaces.

Are you confused about what these distinctions are? We’re going to show you everything you need to know. Key areas we’ll be making comparisons on include efficiency, cost, installations, and appearance.

We’ll also make comparisons on maintenance, and safety concerns in addition to the pros and cons of each fireplace type. You only need to read on to get informed on these important areas.

Customer Preferences Drive Purchase

Customers have their unique preferences fueled by multiple factors, both real and imagined.

However, some haven’t used either gas log fireplaces or wood-burning fireplaces. Such persons simply want to make informed choices. You’re likely reading this because you fall into this category of persons.

Some persons may simply prefer wood-burning fireplaces simply because of the invigorating smell that comes from wood burning. For others, this may be the deal-breaker as they prefer the convenience of lighting their gas log fireplaces by simply turning a switch.

Gas Log Vs Wood Fireplace: Comparison

Our discussion will never be complete without touching on key areas of comparisons between gas log fireplaces and wood-burning fireplaces. These areas include efficiency, cost, installation, appearance, and maintenance.

The safety concern is also an important area of discussion we’ll be touching on among several others.

  • Efficiency

Homeowners are largely united on one front when it comes to energy. Everyone wants to use energy-efficient heating systems for their homes. So, are gas long and wood-burning fireplaces both efficient?

Efficiency is relative when it comes to both types of fireplaces.

However, there’s also a clear difference between both. For a gas log fireplace, efficiency is quite significant when compared to wood-burning fireplaces. The efficiency you get for a single vent gas log fireplace is as much as 50% while that (efficiency) for double pipe vent models increases significantly to around 70%.

Wood burning fireplaces on the other hand are way less efficient compared to gas log fireplaces. The worst of these is the traditional wood-burning, open masonry fireplace. These are known to have an efficiency of around 10%.

There are times when efficiency levels drop to negative digits due to poor insulation. To increase efficiency levels for both fireplace types, a building needs to be properly insulated.

Nevertheless, there’ll still be a wide efficiency gap between them as shown above.

  • Cost

Is there a difference in cost between gas log fireplaces and wood-burning fireplaces?

Yes, there is! In terms of cost, the gas log fireplace is the cheaper of the two. Prebuilt gas-burning fireplaces cost around $1,500 to $3,000. This cost covers both materials and the fireplace.

Small gas exhaust pipes cost around $500 to $1,000. This includes installation costs. In all, the cost of purchasing and installing a gas log fireplace will range from $3,650 to $7,800.

Wood burning fireplaces cost significantly higher. Total costs for purchase and installation of wood-burning fireplaces will range from $8,500 to $22,000.

  • Installation

Gas log fireplaces aren’t so difficult to install. These come with a small vent or exhaust pipes. How the installation unfolds depends on what’s on the ground.

For example, a gas line that’s already in place won’t require calling a certified expert for gas line installation.

Also, certain components (such as the blower) considered optional can either be installed or not. This depends on what the customer or homeowner wants.

Unlike the gas log fireplace, installing a wood-burning fireplace is quite challenging as it needs a chimney in place. Here, you’ll need the experience and expertise of a stonemason in cases where the chimney and firebox are absent.

Additional components may be needed to make the wood-burning fireplace functional. This explains why wood-burning fireplaces are more costly to purchase and install.

  • Appearance

The physical appeal of a fireplace will determine if it’s considered or not.

For gas log fireplaces, they come in a variation of beautiful shapes and styles. Plus, they possess the illusion of burning wooden logs whereas their main fuel consists of gas.

Asides from the elegance they add to your home, different styles of wood-burning fireplaces create a certain feel to your home. For instance, rustic wood-burning fireplace designs marry the old and the new to create appeal.

  • Maintenance

Maintenance is a key aspect of fireplace functionality. Maintenance is a key consideration when determining the efficiency of a fireplace. For gas log fireplaces, maintenance isn’t as challenging as with wood-burning fireplaces.

Here, there are fewer maintenance problems as you only have to deal with debris accumulation instead of creosote & soot buildup as is the case with wood-burning fireplaces.

Other common issues with gas log fireplaces include malfunctioning ceramic logs and leaky valves among other connections.

With wood-burning fireplaces, the maintenance requirements are quite different.

Being different in this sense refers to higher maintenance requirements. The process involves soot cleaning, ash removal, removal of unburnt fuel or wood, and creosote removal among others.

  • Safety Concerns

Paramount in the mind of most homeowners is safety.

Homeowners need to know that a fireplace won’t present a challenge or risk to safety and property. For gas log fireplaces, door temperatures (f for glass doors) can reach as high as 400 degrees.

For such, child-proofing the fireplace door(s) should be a top priority. Childproof screens are designed for this purpose. This won’t be necessary when there are no kids around.

In the case of wood-burning fireplaces, problems arise when it’s assumed that the fire has died down. There could be hidden fire embers that could ignite and cause serious damage when left unattended.

Making the comparison between gas log fireplace and wood-burning fireplaces has been necessary for informing interested readers seeking to make a purchase.

With the information provided here, you should be able to make informed choices when making your selection.

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