If you’ve built a home in the last ten years, you’ve probably been asked this question: wood or gas? Like many homebuyers, it’s likely you didn’t really know the answer at the time. From a value perspective, we already know that fireplaces are becoming an increasingly popular selling point for homes these days. Some families just use the mantle as a display area, others rely on the fixtures to heat their home. To make an informed decision, it’s important that you take a look at every feature and compare your own needs to what each option has to offer. With differences in everything from efficiency to aesthetics, fireplace shopping can be more complicated than you think.
Here’s a quick summary of the pros and cons of wood versus gas fireplaces to help ease you through the process:
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The classic fireplace. A mainstay in home design for centuries, the wood burning fireplace has become an iconic scene throughout Americana. One advantage of going with this style is the fuel. Compared to a gas fixture, wood has a lot more dependability during times of emergency, since you can always go out and chop your own. In addition to the ease of refueling, we’d definitely argue that a natural fireplace also provides better ambiance than its modern counterpart. The crackling of the logs, the flickering of the flames…it’s all part of a unique overall experience that you can only get with wood. If you’re after a more modern version, low-mass fireplaces are becoming more popular in homes. These provide a contemporary alternative to the traditional style, at a lower price point.
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While wood has the advantage in fuel source and experience, gas fireplaces also have their own distinct strengths. Compared to wood, gas fixtures are much more energy efficient, sending a lot less pollution into the air after every use. In addition to being the more sustainable option, they are also the more convenient choice. Wood fireplaces require a lot of babysitting; the kindling needs to be prepared, then the logs need to be stacked the right way. With natural fire, you need to make sure to create the ideal environment for sparking up a flame. With gas, however, that problem is solved with the flick of a switch. If you’re planning on using your fireplace regularly, it’s certainly a good idea to consider the work you’ll have to put into it. Gas is a no-mess alternative that you can use on a whim. While you may be sacrificing aesthetics, you’re gaining a lot more control.
Everyone has different preferences. Moving forward, consider the qualities in the product that are right for your own needs, and make a decision based on your own personal value set. Wood fireplaces are prettier to watch, and provide the ability to function even if all power and gas are cut off from your home. Gas options, however, give owners more convenience and control, with the added benefit of sustainability thrown into the mix. When making your final considerations, don’t let price be your top factor. Both styles have many variations across multiple cost levels, so there’s sure to be a model in either category that meets your price needs, as well. Our team acknowledges that every family is different. The key to making the best choice for your needs is to list out what’s important to you specifically, and then compare those values to the pros and cons of each product.