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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!

Our Alternatives to Propane Heating

Propane is one of the most popular choices for gas-powered fireplaces, stoves, and inserts. Although it is clean-burning, an increase in demand – coupled with a decrease in availability – have made propane more expensive. Because of this, many homeowners are looking for alternatives to propane.

The Clean Sweeps of Michigan fireplace store features a number of propane alternatives. Our staff can help you find the perfect fuel source for your home – and help you get it installed before winter officially arrives!

Why make the switch

While propane is efficient, there are a number of more convenient fuel sources. Natural gas, electricity, pellets, and wood are all alternates to propane; the following are just a few reasons to make the switch.

  • Propane runs out. Containers either need to be refilled, or homeowners must go and refill containers themselves.
  • Storage in unsightly containers. Propane storage containers are unsightly and take up space on your property. Safety concerns and the need to refill the tank can make hiding or concealing propane tanks difficult.

Alternatives to propane

There are four main alternatives to propane: natural gas, electricity, pellets, and wood.

  • Natural gas. If your fireplace already burns propane, switching to natural gas is an easy transition. Natural gas is inexpensive, efficient, and clean-burning; it can provide heat at the push of afireplace insert button, making natural gas easy to use. The Clean Sweeps of Michigan fireplace store has a wide variety of natural gas stoves, fireplaces, and inserts, making it easy to find an appliance that meets your family’s heating needs.
  • Electricity. Electric fireplaces are perfect for small spaces; homeowners can use as much – or as little – fuel as they want with this “unlimited” fuel source. Likewise, electric fireplaces are ideal for homes with limited space as no fuel storage is required.
  • Pellets. Pellets combine the look and feel of wood fires with the efficiency of natural gas. Pellets fireplaces and stoves are fed using a hopper; while hoppers need to be occasionally refilled, these fires do not require constant tending or stoking. The price of pellets is comparable to burning wood, and pellets can be purchased at most major home improvement stores. Pellets are made by compacting otherwise unusable wood components such as small fragments and sawdust, making them an environmentally-friendly choice.
  • Wood. Few things are as comforting as sitting in front of a wood-burning fire on a cold winter night. While wood fireplaces require more care and maintenance than their gas-burning counterparts, wood-burning stoves and inserts are more efficient and environmentally friendly than ever before. In fact, many modern wood fireplaces are considered carbon-neutral, impacting the environment no more than decaying wood.

Propane prices are going up; switch fuel sources to avoid paying too much to heat your home this winter. For more information on the fuel source of your fireplace or stove, contact the experts at Clean Sweeps of Michigan today!

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