How to Pick the Right Fireplace for Your Home – Gas vs Wood vs Electric 

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If you are a homeowner thinking of getting a fireplace installed, you do have a lot of options to choose from. You can pick a traditional fireplace that burns wood if you are going for that rustic look. You can also buy and install modern gas fireplaces encapsulated in clear glass. These look ultra modern and go really well with contemporary furniture and decor.        

Now, different people have different expectations from their fireplaces. A lot of people these days install fireplaces just for their aesthetic value. They don’t really care about heating efficiency because they either have central heating or live in a climate that doesn’t require too much heating.

There is also the cost of fuel, ease of installation, and, most importantly, budget. Keeping these factors in mind, the following are three types of fireplaces commonly available in the market, pitted against each other. 

Gas Fireplaces

Gas Fireplaces are in a lot of ways the most practical choice. They provide the best heating efficiency and they arguably look even better than wood burning fireplaces. Gas fireplaces are also pretty easy to maintain and unlike wood burning fireplaces they don’t require cleanups after each fire. While gas fireplaces are not easy to install as electric ones, they can still be installed in pretty much any room of the house.  Ortal fireplaces for instances can be installed in outdoor living spaces, dining rooms, and of course living rooms.

Advantages 

  • Real Flames

Much like a fireplace that burns wood, gas fireplaces have real flames. This means they have amazing aesthetic appeal.

  • Unparallel Heating Efficiency

Gas fireplaces are recommended for people who live in cold climates. They can actually supplement the central heating system or could even be enough as an independent heating solution. 

  • Can Be a Good Choice for Warm Climates 

Many reputed brands such as Ortal fireplaces have gas units that divert the heat outside. This ensures the room doesn’t get uncomfortably warm and make sure the walls surrounding the fireplace remain nice and cool. This means gas fireplaces can be a good choice for both cold and warm climates.

  • Versatile Lighting Effect

Unlike wood burning fireplaces, gas fireplaces have LED lighting. This allows you to change the lighting remotely and set the mood of the room.

Cons

  • They Are Pricey

Gas fireplaces are significantly more expensive than electric fireplaces.

  • More Installation Effort 

Installing a gas fireplace requires significant effort and expertise. These fireplaces need venting to dissipate the heat outside. 

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are easy to install and they are significantly more affordable than the other types. However, these fireplaces mimic the natural look of the fire. In other words, the flames in electric fireplaces are artificial. While some do come with an in-built heating element, they can never match the heating performance of a gas or wood-burning fireplace.

Advantages

  • More Affordable than Gas Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are undoubtedly the most inexpensive, compared to the other two types. A lot of people who want big fireplaces that cover entire walls often choose electric fireplaces to save on the cost. 

  • Easy to Install 

As the flames are artificial and because there is no real burning going on, there is no need for venting. Installing electric fireplaces is thus as easy as framing it to the wall. 

  • No Fuel

Starting an electric fireplace is like turning on a TV. Therefore, apart from power consumption, which is not much, there is no real fuel cost.

Cons

  • Flames Are Artificial

Even the best electric fireplaces do not produce flames that look as realistic as gas or wood-burn fireplaces. These fireplaces have a LED backlit display, so the flames in most cases are two dimensional.

  • Not Suitable for Heating a Room

Electric fireplaces are only good for aesthetic purposes. They do almost nothing to heat up a room, especially if you live in a freezing climate. If you want heating performance electric fireplaces are not a good choice.

  • Wood Burning Fireplace

If you are after the charm of a classic fireplace, nothing beats traditional wood burning fireplaces. However, depending on where you live, a wood burning fireplace may not be practical. Mainly because it needs a chimney, which is absent in a lot of apartments and homes.

Advantages

  • Cheaper Fuel 

If you live in a wooded area and know how to wield an axe, you can pretty much gather free fuel forever. Apart from that, there is no denying the appeal of chopping your own wood to make fire. Considering firewood is available for free, fuel is definitely cheaper.

  • Aesthetic Appeal of a Wood Burning Fireplace 

Whether it’s gas or electric, no other fireplace burns actual wood (electric fireplaces do not burn anything). Therefore, if you are after the authentic experience of a campfire inside your living room, wood burning fireplaces are the way to go. The sound of crackling wood does create a cozy atmosphere.

Cons

  • Maintenance Cost 

While the cost of fuel is low, maintaining a wood burning fireplace requires significant effort and cost. The chimney needs to be professionally cleaned periodically to clear out the soot. You also need to cleanup the ashes after each fire. 

  • Not as Efficient as Gas Fireplaces

As far as heating performance goes, wood burning fireplaces comes second to gas fireplaces. If your priority is to heat up a room when it’s freezing outside, you may find a wood fireplace falling a bit short.