Gas Or Wood? Which Type Of Fireplace Should You Have Installed?

A fireplace can add such a nice, cozy glow and warmth to your home. Years ago, if you said you were getting a fireplace installed, people would just assume you were talking about a wood-burning fireplace, since that's really the only type of fireplace there was. These days, though, gas fireplaces are becoming more popular. So if you plan on getting a fireplace installed, you will need to decide — do you want a wood-burning or a gas-burning one? Both have some pros and cons, which are presented below.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces

Wood-burning fireplaces can be installed quite easily since they do not need to be connected to a gas line. Sure, you'll need to have a chimney installed, but that's true with a gas fireplace, too. Wood-burning fireplaces are also more rustic, which many people see as an advantage. The smell of wood burning in your home is hard to beat. If you have trees on your land or know someone who has a wooded lot, you can get your fuel cheaply or even for free.

One downfall of wood fireplaces is that you do have to store the wood. It can take up quite a lot of space, and it can also harbor insects and rodents if you don't store it carefully. You also won't be able to immediately turn the fireplace on and off as you would with a gas fireplace. It takes time to light a wood fire, and it takes time to put it out.

Gas-Burning Fireplaces

Gas-burning fireplaces burn more cleanly than wood-burning ones. Natural gas is one of the cleanest-burning fuels available. There won't be any soot to clean up as there often is with wood. You can also turn the fire on and off immediately just by turning the gas control knob. This can make gas fireplaces safer, especially in homes with kids. You don't have to clear space to store your fuel, either.

However, gas fireplaces don't always get as warm as a real wood fireplace. They are more about creating an ambiance than about creating warmth. The other main con is that you have to have a gas connection put in. Your installer will have to run a gas line to the fireplace, which can make installation more expensive.

Before you have your fireplace installed, spend some time doing your research, and then decide whether you want wood or gas. There's no wrong answer; it simply depends on your preferences. Discuss your situation with a fireplace installation professional.