Conspire to Stay Warm by the Fire!

It may have arrived late, but we are officially in the middle of a chilly midwest winter! With temperatures consistently reaching below freezing, you would be hard pressed to find an activity cozier than sitting in front of a roaring fire with a warm blanket. There is no better time to consider installing a fireplace in your home than now! This month at Lake Country Builders, we would like to highlight the pros and cons of both wood burning and gas fireplaces. Let us help you make the right decision to stay warm all winter long!

The differences between wood burning and gas fireplaces can be broken down into four categories: Ease of use, Experience, Maintenance, and Cost effectiveness. Compared to a wood burning fireplace, a gas fireplace is much easier to use. While wood burning fireplaces require you to gather wood, build a structure, and make sure to keep feeding the fire, gas fireplaces are generally as complicated as flipping a single switch. However, the sensory experience of building a fire can often be lost with a gas fireplace. Wood fireplaces create an aroma, a visual spectacle, and a sound that cannot be recreated by gas fireplaces. In this way, you could say that gas fireplaces trade authenticity for efficiency. 


In terms of maintenance, gas burning fireplaces win this round. The aftermath of a wood burning generally takes the form of a large pile of ash, soot, and creosote. Not only does this create a messy cleanup, but it also presents a potential safety hazard. Creosote buildup can cause chimney fires, requiring wood fireplace owners to have their chimneys professionally cleaned at least once a year. All of these factors can definitely affect the price of your fireplace. Although firewood may be relatively cheap, the maintenance costs of a wood fireplace can add up over time. On the other hand, a gas fireplace will most likely be hooked up to an already existing gas line. Although this may seem more cost effective on the surface, the majority of gas fireplaces feature a lit “pilot light” that never goes out. This can definitely increase your gas cost over time. As a result, in terms of cost effectiveness, it is a toss up between gas and wood burning fireplaces.


If you are craving that quintessential winter experience, but are still unsure where you stand in the debate between wood or gas burning fireplaces, fear not! Here at Lake Country Builders, we will help you every step of the way, from choosing the right fireplace and design, to construction, and installation. Our team is here to help you make the most of what is sure to be a frigid winter!


(Photos via: Fireside Hearth and Home)