Ask any Realtor and they’ll tell you that, all other things being equal, homes with fireplaces show better. There’s something about a fireplace that lends ambiance to any room, and prospective home buyers seem to like the idea of owning a home that has one of these amenities – even if they never plan to use it. For some homeowners, however, a sizzling fireplace is a regular part of life during cold winter months.
For those who want a fireplace and plan to use it, the first choice to make is what type of fuel they want their fireplace to run on. By far the most popular fuels are wood and gas. Let’s look at four comparisons between fireplaces that have gas burning logs that look realistic and ones that burn real wood.
Ease of Use
Once consideration when thinking about adding a fireplace to your home is ease of use. Are you the type who doesn’t mind going out and purchasing (or chopping) wood logs to use in building a fire? What about stacking, storing and the actual work of depositing the logs into the firebox?
Those who prefer a nice fire without all the work usually choose a gas fireplace, where the push of a button connected to the gas line creates instant fire, usually with very accurate temperature control.
Cost-conscious homeowners are attracted to wood fireplaces because of their economy of operation and the high levels of heat they can produce. If you live near a wooded area or have a large selection of trees on your property, the cost of running a wood-burning fireplace is nil. Even if you buy pre-cut logs, the hour-to-hour cost of fireplace operation will be lower than when running on gas.
When it comes to maintenance, fireplaces that are gas-powered make it easy compared to the wood-burning variety. About all that’s necessary to maintain a gas fireplace or stove is occasional checks for carbon soot and leaks from the gas line. Wood fireplaces need to have their flue or liner cleaned out on a very regular basis, and the hearth area will require sweeping to clean up wood particles and ash.
For some homeowners, the way a fireplace looks when being used is high on the list of importance. While the ceramic logs in a gas fireplace do a great job of mimicking burning wood logs, many people believe that there’s no substitute for a crackling fire with the kind of dancing flames only wood can produce.
There are other features and functions of gas and wood fireplaces that can influence which kind a homeowner will purchase. For more information, contact the We Love Fire member store nearest you.