Fireplaces are thought to be one of the main features of your home. An indoor fireplace can provide a lot of warmth on chilly fall days and winter nights. They can help to reduce your heating bill and can provide an inviting decor to the a room. But, how do you know which type of fireplace is best suited for your style and needs? Whether you are newly constructing a home or remodeling your current home, choosing the right fireplace can be challenging. To help ease the confusion of choosing the best type is for you, gas or wood-burning, here are the pros and cons of each.
Wood-burning fireplaces are the oldest, most traditional type of fireplaces. They are traditionally a masonry structure with a firebox and chimney built from stone or brick. However, there is a more "modern" type of wood-burning fireplace known as a low-mass fireplace, which is a fireplace that is re-engineered and pre-fabricated in a manufacturing plant prior to being installed. This type of fireplace is typically less expensive than a traditional built-in fireplace and is often energy efficient as well. The pros and cons of a wood-burning fireplace include:
- Aesthetic appeal
- Environmentally friendly (wood is a renewable and sustainable resource)
- Energy efficient, especially with an insert installed
- Cost effective
- Spit out burning embers, so require a screen for safety purposes
- Require routine maintenance of the chimney and cleaning ash out of the fireplace
A gas fireplace burns natural gas instead of wood, so one of the benefits of a gas fireplace is that it provides cleaner and more efficient heat than a wood-burning fireplace. Gas fireplaces also typically provide more control over the size of the flame as well as the heat output. The pros and cons of a gas fireplace include:
- Can be installed with a thermostat to regulate output
- Easy to use (operated by remote control or push button)
- Available in vented (requires a chimney) or ventless (no chimney required) varieties
- Doesn't offer the charm and aesthetics of a wood-burning fireplace
- Have to pay for fuel
Both wood-burning and gas fireplaces have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is basically a matter of personal preference when choosing the type of fireplace you want to install. Keep in mind that whichever style you choose, safety is the most important factor, so it is important to talk with the contractor about what type of maintenance and upkeep is required for your fireplace.
For more information, contact a professional in your area or visit a website like http://www.villagefireplaceandbbq.com.