Word on the street is that wood-burning fireplaces are making a comeback in Canada and, ironically, natural gas fireplaces will be a thing of the past. Here's why we have doubts about that.
First and foremost, there are a few reasons why people have been wanting wood-burning fireplaces. One of the most noted reasons is that they don't use their fireplace very often, whether it be wood-burning or natural gas. Due to this, people state that they would rather have their fireplace be more of a decorative piece that is used once in a blue moon when the mood strikes, and a wood-burning fireplace provides that ambiance. People who think this way don't use their fireplace often because they use their furnace, which heats the whole house. What they don't realize is that using a natural gas fireplace can provide more used heat and be more efficient than a central heating furnace.
We've covered this topic before in our blog post, Furnace or Gas Fireplace, Which is More Efficient?, but we'll give you the gist here too. The reason why gas fireplaces are more efficient is attributed to the benefits of zone heating. Zone heating is the practice of only heating certain areas of your house that you actually use the most. To elaborate, a furnace will heat your whole house, whether you're spending all your time in just a single room or not. In contrary, you're much better off using a gas fireplace to heat up just your living room (while you turn down your furnace) if you routinely spend most of your hours there, for example. Click here to learn more about the cost efficiency of a natural gas fireplace.
Another notable reason is that the retro look of a wood-burning fireplace and the free-standing stove is more desirable than the modern visuals of a gas fireplace, depending on the home owners style. Although we can definitely see the appeal of the "retro aesthetic" of wood-burner units, we also provide natural gas fireplaces that have the same look, that gives you that traditional feeling. For example, check out our Valor Madrona Freestanding Gas Fireplace or the Valor Portrait Series. Fireplaces like these are fueled by natural gas whilst maintaining that "vacation cabin in the woods" atmosphere with it's old school design and realistic logs. In reality, gas fireplaces have much more variability than wood-burning fireplaces.
The average homeowner cares about convenience. Whether it's dollars or time, we like being practical as we weigh the cost-benefit analysis in our decisions. That being said, natural gas fireplaces also have wood-burning fireplaces beat in the category of convenience. To be more specific, wood-burning fireplaces will be dirtier every time you use them because, well... the ashes have to go somewhere. The ashes aren't the only thing you'll have to clean, you'll have to get the creosote out too.
Creosote is the molecular materials of wood that has vaporized and condensed or solidified when they touch a cool surface (your chimney and/or venting). This layer of black flakey gunk will build up on the inside of venting and it's difficult to get off yourself. In all likeliness, you'll need a fireplace service for that.
Unlike their counterparts, a gas fireplace is easier to clean and service and needs to be done less frequently (about just once a year before winter starts).
That's not the only way a gas fireplace is more convenient than a wood-burning unit. Imagine having to buy firewood and chopping it into manageable pieces every time you want to get cozy. That takes a lot more effort than just pushing a button on a remote, which is all you'll need to do with a natural gas fireplace.
With all that being said, if you're still wondering about how wood-burning fireplaces can be more beneficial to you than a natural gas fireplace, click here to read our blog post, Why Wood-Burning Fireplaces Can Be Better Than Natural Gas Fireplaces.
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