A fireplace or stove is considered highly desirable by most homeowners. There’s just something cozy about sitting around a flame, and a fireplace is an attractive centerpiece in a room. In terms of both design and function, a warm stove or fireplace is an asset to a home of any size or style.
If you’ve considered adding or upgrading an existing fireplace or stove, it may interest you to know that the majority of systems added to homes these days are gas-fueled systems. One of your first decisions will be what type of system fits your needs best, so it’s worth considering what the draw to modern gas appliances are.
As with many decisions in your home, a significant factor in deciding what direction to take with a fireplace is personal, based on what works in your space and best fits your priorities. As you weigh the options, the following factors may be helpful to consider.
The Pros of Gas Systems
- Ease of use. This is a major motivator! Building a wood fire takes some time and effort. You’ll need to procure firewood, build the fire and tend it throughout the burn, then ensure that it’s entirely out before leaving or turning in for the evening for safety reasons. A gas fireplace is ignited with the flip or a switch or push of a button on a remote, and you have an instant cozy fire. When you’re ready to call it a night, simply switch your fire off – nothing more required.
- No need to stock fuel. Since your fuel is readily available in your home through your gas company, you won’t need to chop and split (or purchase) firewood, store it, and rotate it to ensure proper seasoning.
- Automated features. Some gas units have automatic thermostats and will flip on and off to maintain a set room temperature.
- Eco-friendliness. Gas appliances are engineered for high efficiency, and operate without generating smoke or combustible creosote.
- Easy to retrofit. Gas fireplaces and inserts and can vented through an existing chimney – no major construction project to orchestrate.
- Options. From a home design standpoint, gas-burning systems will offer a great deal of flexibility. A fireplace can be placed into almost any room of the house, and placement options are flexible as less bulky masonry is required to safely contain the fire. Additionally, today’s gas appliances come in a wide variety of styles, features and finishes.
- Less mess. Creosote accumulation inside a system won’t be an ongoing concern as it is with wood-burning units, and you also won’t need to scoop and remove ash since gas-powered units don’t produce any.
- Require little maintenance. Usually, all that’s required is a few visual check-overs a year by the homeowner for immediately apparent issues and an annual inspection by a certified professional.
The Cons of Going with Gas
- Warmth during power loss. While some gas units can be used in power outages, all wood-burning systems can be. This means a gas unit won’t be as reliable as a wood one at keeping your home heated if you lose power.
- Ongoing fuel supply cost. If you have a wood-burning unit and don’t have access to firewood, you’ll have to pay for it. But if you’re fortunate enough to live where you can chop your own for free, your operating and heating costs can be very low – or essentially nonexistent. Since wood can’t be burned in a gas unit, on the other hand, you’ll always be reliant on your gas supplier when you use your gas-fueled unit.
- Less authentic. Wood-fire purists will claim that gas units give a less authentic experience. There can be less radiant heat, less warmth to the glow, no breakdown in logs throughout the fire, and no satisfying snap and pop of the fire at work. While it’s important to note that today’s gas units are designed to give an excellent fireside experience, some homeowners want the smell and sound of a real wood fire.
Ready to Get Started? Reach Out to Us
When it comes to adding a fire feature to your home, consider what matters most to you. Is cozy, low-maintenance convenience at the top of your list? Do you covet the ambiance of a wood fire? These priorities should inform your initial decision. From there, there are many options to navigate to make your unit work for you.
If you’re ready to make a move toward enhancing your home’s heating and ambiance, give us a call! We’re experts in the industry and would be glad to put our knowledge and experience to work to help you navigate the options available on the market. Questions about efficiency? Installation? Design options and features? We’ve got you covered! Call or reach out online today.