Gas vs Wood Fireplace: How To Choose a Fireplace

gas vs wood fireplace

You’re thinking about buying a new home, but so few seem to come with fireplaces these days. For you, a fireplace is a must, but it’s looking like you’ll have to have one installed, yourself. 

Two of the most popular choices are gas fireplaces and wood-burning fireplaces. Wood-burning fireplaces have a traditional look and feel that you may be used to, but gas fireplaces offer convenience at an unparalleled level.

What kind of fireplace should you choose? How can you pick between a gas vs wood fireplace and what considerations should influence your choice?

We’re here to help. Read on to learn all about gas and wood fireplaces so that you can make an informed choice for your home. 

Gas vs Wood Fireplaces: How They Work

Gas fireplaces burn natural gas, sourced from your home’s gas pipes, to create real flames and noticeable heat. While older gas fireplace models do require a chimney for ventilation, many newer models do not. However, they still must be built along an external wall so that either a double exhaust pipe or a ventilation brick can help to expel harmful gases and keep your home safe.

As the name suggests, wood fireplaces burn wood logs, producing real flames, noticeable heat, and the crackling sound and pleasant aroma we tend to associate with fireplaces. All wood fireplaces will require a chimney for ventilation so that carbon monoxide and other harmful gases do not fill your home. 

Additional Considerations to Make When Choosing a Gas vs Wood Fireplace

When you’re making the decision between a gas and wood fireplace, you have far more to consider than the ways that these fireplaces work. Depending on your home’s current structural amenities and the model you choose, this could be a significant investment, and we want you to make an informed choice. Let’s take a look at these additional considerations. 

Installation Requirements

If your home already has a chimney and you want to install a new or updated wood fireplace, installation won’t require a ton of remodeling. However, if you don’t have a chimney, it makes more sense to install a gas fireplace. Gas fireplaces do require some remodeling, such as installing the proper ventilation materials and creating an alcove for inset units, but it is a much smaller undertaking than building a chimney from scratch. 

Ease of Maintenance and Use

To use a wood fireplace, you’ll need a supply of wood logs that are dry and ready to burn. You may also want a firestarter and additional tools to turn your logs and stoke dying flames. At least once a year, you will need to have your chimney inspected, and you will need to sweep up ashes from time to time.

To use a gas fireplace, all you need to do is flip a switch. Gas fireplaces may require the occasional tuneup and glass cleaning to look and function like new.

Cost of Operation

The cost to operate both a gas fireplace and a wood fireplace is relatively low. Unless you are using your gas fireplace for hours each day, it won’t increase your gas bill substantially. You may have to purchase wood to keep a wood fireplace going, but many homeowners are able to source wood at low or no cost. 

Customization and Design Options

These days, both gas and wood fireplaces are highly customizable. That said, wood fireplaces do need to meet certain standards for proper ventilation. You can often find a wider array of design options when purchasing a gas fireplace, especially if you’re looking for something sleek and modern. 

Ambiance and Sensory Experience

If there’s one thing that a wood fireplace can provide with ease, it’s the ambiance. There’s nothing cozier than the sound and smell of burning logs in a fireplace, and you’ll get that occasional burst of flames that will dazzle the eye. Gas fireplaces can provide the dazzling flames of a wood fireplace, but they are virtually silent and scentless. 


Many homeowners are looking for ways to run a more energy-efficient home. Fireplaces are a great choice because they can prolong turning on radiators or forced air heating, but they do have a small environmental impact.

Gas fireplaces emit fewer pollutants than wood fireplaces, which often comes as a surprise to many homeowners. However, gas is not a renewable energy source. Wood fireplaces do emit more pollutants, but wood is a renewable resource.

Resale Value

You may wonder which of the two will have a better resale value. It appears that buyers may prefer gas fireplaces over wood fireplaces by a small margin. Because it’s a small margin, choosing one over the other may not have a substantial impact on resale value, and you should choose the one that you’d prefer.

The best way to ensure a high resale value, regardless of the type of fireplace you install, is to stay on top of maintenance. That includes repairing and replacing faulty components but also keeping the fireplace clean and tidy. You should also pick a design or style that suits your home. 

Gas vs Wood Fireplace: The Choice Is Yours and We Can Help

These days, it seems like home builders aren’t considering the desire that many buyers have for a fireplace. The good news is that Dreifuss Fireplaces is here to make your home feel more complete, whether you want a gas vs wood fireplace. We offer all of the best models and a wide array of designs to suit your needs and preferences.

To find out more about our products, services, and pricing, contact us today. We have been the leading fireplace source in Philadelphia since 1978 and we take great pride in carrying that legacy into the future.

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