Gas or Wood Burning Logs?


Converting a Wood Burning Fireplace to Gas Logs: Advantages and Disadvantages

Ever since gas logs became an option in the average home, homeowners have debated whether or not this is really a better option than their wood burning fireplaces. There are many important things to take into consideration before making this important decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to each but in the end, it is a matter of preference and a choice that each homeowner needs to make for themselves.

The most obvious advantage of a fireplace with gas logs is that it is extremely convenient. The fireplaces simply need to be turned on and it is possible to have a roaring fire in just moments. Some models require people to reach in and turn a knob, while others create a fire with the push of a remote control button. As soon as the family wants a fire, they can have one and do not have to wait for logs to catch and for the fire to really get going.

Photo of: gas fireplace

Gas logs are a click away from heating the room.

Another reason that many people enjoy a gas burning fireplace is that they no longer need to deal with the mess of burning logs. This includes the need to purchase or gather firewood as well as the need to season it well in advance. In addition, a fireplace with gas logs does not create any ash that needs to be cleaned out after each fire. This makes day to day maintenance of the fireplace much easier than when it burns real, wooden logs.

In addition to being convenient and easy to use, fireplaces with gas logs do a much better job of heating the home than their traditional counterparts. They create a great deal of heat, which spreads throughout much of the home. This can help reduce the energy bill because it is not necessary to run the heat as often during the cold months. However, it is important to keep in mind that most models are not capable of heating the entire home.

A fireplace with gas logs will not create the same smell as a wood burning fireplace. For some people, this may be an advantage, especially if they are very sensitive to the smell of smoke. However, for some people, the smell of a fire burning is extremely nostalgic and one of the things they most look forward to when the weather turns cool. Those who are emotionally invested in the sound and smell of a traditional fire should consider this before installing gas logs.

Homeowners should not install fireplaces with gas logs if they think it will reduce the amount of annual maintenance on their fireplace. Regardless of the type of logs in the fireplace, it is important to have an annual inspection. This will help ensure that the fireplace is in safe, working order and that there are no potential problems on the horizon. The chimney and fireplace should still be checked out by a licensed chimney sweep at the beginning of every cold weather season.

There are many advantages to a fireplace with gas logs but there are also many reasons that people choose to keep their wood burning fireplaces. A gas fireplace is much more convenient but it lacks the traditional smell and sounds that many people have come to associate with a cozy winter night at home. Before making a decision, be sure to consider all of the options and to keep up with regular fireplace maintenance.