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Gas Vs Wood Vs Electric

Wood, gas, or electric? This is one of the most hotly debated questions in the fireplace world – with very strong opinions on allgas wood electric sides!

One of the most commonly asked questions we get from homeowners is, “What is the best fuel source?” The truth of the matter is that there is no one right answer; the best fuel source for your home depends on a number factors including the size of your home, how often the fireplace will be used, how much maintenance you want to do, the amount of heat that is needed, and more.

There are pros and cons for wood, gas, and electric fireplaces. The following information covers a variety of topics that can help homeowners make a more informed choice when selecting a fuel source for their fireplace.

Operation costs and sustainability

  • Gas: Although it is clean-burning with little smoke and other byproducts of combustion, gas is still a non-renewable resource. Operating a gas fireplace costs an average of seventeen cents per hour in utilities; keep in mind that because the pilot lit is constantly lit, a gas fireplace is always using small amounts of gas 24/7/365.
  • Wood: Firewood is a renewable resource that can be purchased everywhere from grocery stores to big box and hardware stores. However, the greatest discounts can be found by buying wood in bulk from a firewood dealer. While cost varies by time of year, place where you are buying wood, and type of wood being bought, homeowners can expect to pay an average of $100-$200 for a cord of wood. Looking to save even more? Start cutting and seasoning your own firewood.
  • Electric: Electric fireplaces are similar to gas fireplaces in terms of cost to operate. Homeowners can expect to pay about 3 cents per hour when the fireplace is turned on for decoration only and not producing heat; when being used as a heating source, electric fireplaces cost an average of 9 cents per hour in electricity.

Maintenance costs

  • Gas: Like any fuel-burning appliance, gas fireplaces need an annual service check in order to ensure they continue to burn safely and efficiently. This includes a chimney inspection to check for signs of damage, deterioration, or acidic corrosion to the flue, as well checking gas lines for any signs of leaks.
  • Wood: Wood fireplace need annual chimney sweepings and inspections to remove soot, ash, and highly flammable creosote that may have built up in the flue. During a chimney sweeping and inspection, the chimney sweep will check all accessible areas of fireplace and chimney for signs of damage such as cracks in the masonry or signs of a chimney leak.
  • Electric: Because no ventilation or gas lines are needed to operate an electric fireplace, very little maintenance is needed. Homeowners can perform maintenance to their electric fireplaces by checking electrical components for signs of wear or damage, cleaning heating elements, and dusting the interior and exterior of the fireplace.

Ease of use

  • Gas: Gas provides heat at the push of a button; there is no need to go outside in the cold to get more logs for the fire or shovel out ashes when the fire is done burning. Because the heat can be turned on and off instantly – and a burning temperature can be set – gas fireplaces can be enjoyed even in warm weather.
  • Wood: There is nothing quite like sitting in front of a crackling wood fire. However, that fire also requires storing lots of firewood on hand and creating time to start, stoke, maintain, and put out the fire.
  • Electric: Electric fireplaces are similar to gas in that they can provide heat at the push of a button. However, because they rely on electricity to operate they are of no use when the power goes out; this makes them less than ideal for areas that experience serious winter storms.


  • Gas: Because gas fireplaces do not have open flames, there is little chance of getting burned – or having stray sparks start an accidental fire. The main risk, however, comes from damage to the gas lines or venting system; this can cause dangerous gas leaks in the home or release carbon monoxide into the home. Regular upkeep and maintenance can prevent this from occurring.
  • Wood: The most common safety concerns with wood burning fireplaces are burns and accidental fires. Pets and small children in particular are at risk of accidental burns; the use of fireplace doors, screens, and gates can help reduce this risk. Accidental fires can be prevented by keeping furnishings, décor, and rugs at least three feet away from the fireplace while in use, as well as having the chimney swept each year.
  • Electric: Because electric fireplaces have no real flames – and come with cool-touch glass – there is little risk for burns occurring. Likewise, most models come with automatic shut-off features that prevent the fireplace from overheating. Like any appliance, however, there is a small risk from the electrical system shorting out.

Ultimately, there is no right answer to “Which fuel source is right for me?” By taking these factors into consideration, homeowners can help decide whether a gas, wood, or electric fireplace is right for their home. for more information on installing a new fireplace system, contact the experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

Now Is The Time To Get A Gas Fireplace!

Fireplaces are one of the most desirable features your home can have. In fact, according to the National Association of Homebuilders, fireplaces are the second most requested home feature for both buyers and builders. Having a functional, modern fireplace in your home can add value – as well as enjoyment for your family!

Whether you have a wood fireplace that is underutilized, want to add a heating feature to your home, or have an existing out-of-date gas fireplace, now is the perfect time to get a new gas fireplace.

Why choose gas?

While many homeowners associate fireplaces with burning wood, gas is an increasingly popular choice.

The following are five reasons to switch to a gas fireplace this summer:

  1. Increased efficiency.
    Gas fireplaces and inserts are the most efficient heating appliances on the market today. Most gas fireplaces burn with as much as 90% efficiency. This ensures that the gas being used is heating your home, not being lost up the chimney.
  2. Save time and space.
    Wood and pellet heating appliances require more upkeep than their gas counterparts. Switching to gas can reduce the amount of time spent cutting, stacking, and storing fuel and the space used to store wood and pellets.
  3. Decreased air pollution.
    Burning gas produces little to no smoke and emissions. Because of this, gas fireplaces are ideal for families with respiratory issues, such as allergies or asthma, that wood smoke may aggravate.
  4. Ease of use.
    Gas fireplaces are extremely easy to and can literally provide heat at the push of a button! This makes them ideal for busy families who want to enjoy their fireplace whenever possible, even if for just a few minutes at a time.
  5. Choices in styles.
    There is no one size or style for gas fireplaces. Instead, homeowners can pick from styles ranging from the traditional to the ultra-modern. It is even possible to customize the “wood” of the gas logs in the fireplace!

Types of gas fireplaces.

There are three main types of gas fireplaces. The type of gas fireplace you choose often depends on factors such as heating needs or the presence of any existing fireplaces. The following is a brief explanation of the pros and cons of the three types of gas fireplaces.

  • Vented.
    Vented gas fireplaces use existing chimneys to vent and draw in outside air. These fireplaces are often used when a fireplace is converted from wood to gas. However, the chimney may need to be relined if the fuel source is changed.
  • Direct vent.
    Direct vent gas fireplaces use a small, two way pipe to vent directly to the outside of your home. Since the chance for carbon monoxide or gas buildup is virtually eliminated, they are extremely safe. Many direct vent fireplaces need to be installed directly on an exterior wall.
  • Vent free.
    Vent free gas fireplaces do not require any outside venting. This allows them to be installed and used virtually anywhere in your home. Manufacturer’s instructions for use should be carefully followed to prevent a negative impact on air quality.

Don’t wait until fall to start thinking about a new gas fireplace. Contact Clean Sweeps of Michigan today for more information on installing a new gas fireplace in your home!

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