There are great reasons for both sides of the question, which is better, a gas or wood-burning fireplace is better. Gas fireplaces win for convenience; wood fireplaces win for ambience; both introduce relaxation, beauty, and sociability. Whether you choose a gas fireplace installation or a wood-burning or fireplace insert, choose a reliable and established fireplace company to ensure excellent standards are met.

If you are in London, ON, or the surrounding areas, ask Elmira Stove Works about a custom gas and wood fireplace. 

Introducing an indoor or outdoor fireplace in your life will enhance your lifestyle and provide you and your family with years of beauty and warmth. 

See our extensive line of services here to help you with every aspect of your home’s indoor and outdoor fireplace, barbeque, stove, or insert. We also provide caring and professional maintenance for them all.


Wood vs Gas Fireplaces

Which is better, a gas or wood fireplace? Let’s look at the differences using these distinctions:

  • Cost to operate
  • Convenience
  • Designability and options
  • Ambience
  • Maintenance requirements
  • Safety factors
  • Environmental impact
  • Resale value


1. Cost to operate: 

Wood – Very little cost if you have your own wood source. The average full cord of firewood (4’ high x 4’ deep x 8’ long) should last ten to thirteen weeks for one or two fires per week (hardwoods will burn more slowly) and cost approximately $750-800 delivered and stacked.

Gas – Your gas fireplace will use either propane or natural gas, which are used at differing rates but cost about the same. The number of British Thermal Units (BTUs) you use/pay for will depend on how long the fireplace is in use during the day, and you will see this cost on your monthly gas bill. 

Conclusion – Gas is more costly to operate, but an older natural wood fireplace’s inefficiency (some can waste 75% or more of the heat energy up their flue) can cancel out the cost of a higher gas bill. Call our knowledgeable team at (519) 451 2124 to book a visit to help you determine how to upgrade an older, existing wood-burning fireplace.


2. Convenience:

Wood – More work than a gas fireplace. Tasks include trudging through snow, gathering firewood, digging wood out of your pockets, and even chopping. However, this may not feel like work for some folks who consider these chores an endearing part of winter. 

Gas – Very convenient, including the use of a remote control or wall switch.

Conclusion – Gas wins easily for convenience.


3. Designability and options:


Wood – Equal choices – Wood fireplaces can be indoor or outdoor, single-sided, double-sided, three-sided, or even 4-sided, eliminating the need for a hearth (and viewable from 4 sides). Heating types, radiant (focused heat) and convection (dispersed heat or direct-venting) are common options. Designs range from contemporary gas fireplaces to traditional ones. Venting can be above or on the side.

Gas – Equal options -Gas fireplaces can be indoor or outdoor, single-sided, double-sided, three-sided, or even 4-sided, eliminating the need for a hearth (and viewable from 4 sides) Heating types, radiant (focused heat) and convection (dispersed heat or direct-venting) are standard alternatives. Designs range from contemporary gas fireplaces to traditional ones. Venting can be above or on the side.

Conclusion – Lots of design choices for both – At Elmira Stove Works in London, ON, you’ll have equal and wide-ranging design choices whether you are looking for a gas or wood fireplace installation. We are happy to work with your designer and existing contractors to ensure you get precisely what you want.


4. Ambience:

Wood – Beautiful – Wood-burning fireplaces are not far removed from the original fire building of our ancestors thousands of years ago, making them pretty hard to compete with. The crackling, dancing fire is a mesmerizing experience.

Gas – Charming – Gas fireplaces work hard and achieve a lot of ambience, beauty, and charm with stunning surrounds, vented gas heat, and many styles of faux logs. 

Conclusion – Wood – The crackle, hypnotic burning, and earthy bouquet of logs in a wood fireplace for authenticity and ambience win. 


5. Maintenance requirements:


Wood – Annual chimney inspection and cleaning is a part of the necessary maintenance and cleaning out of excess ash.

Gas – Little maintenance is required beyond cleaning of the glass and yearly checking of the gas valve

Conclusion – A gas fireplace requires less regular maintenance and work than a wood fireplace.


6. Safety factors:

Wood – An open wood fireplace has obvious safety concerns, so vigilance is required; it should not be left unattended around children. When fireplace doors are closed, more assurance of safety is realized.

Gas – A gas fireplace poses few safety concerns and can be left while you’re in another room with less supervision. Gas fireplaces burn more cleanly than wood fireplaces.

Conclusion – Gas fireplaces are safer than wood fireplaces.


7. Regarding environmental impact, which is better, a gas or wood fireplace?

Wood – More pollutants are released using a wood fireplace than a gas fireplace. CO2 is a colourless greenhouse gas that is released when the wood is burned. This contributes to climate change.

Gas – Natural gas is not a renewable resource and is a product made through environmentally damaging industries of fracking and mining while releasing methane hydrates into the atmosphere.

Conclusion – Neither gas nor wood fireplaces impart a win for the environment. If you are looking for an environmentally positive or eco-friendly heater, consider our pellet-burning stoves with efficient heat exchangers. Pellets are made from leftover wood and sawdust that would otherwise go to a landfill.


8. Resale value: 

Wood – A wood fireplace increases your home’s resale value by approximately $10,000. Typically you can fully recover any expenses added during its addition.

Gas – A gas fireplace may increase your home’s resale value more than a wood fireplace because it is less work and easier to care for.

Conclusion – Gas fireplaces will ensure a slightly higher resale value for your home.

Whether you decide to purchase a wood or gas fireplace really depends on your personal choice. If you grew up with a wood-burning fireplace and recall draftiness and smoke as being a big part of the experience, you’ll be happy to discover fireplace inserts. 


What is a Wood or Gas Fireplace Insert?

Elmira Stove Works in London, ON, are experts in all things pertaining to fire or gas heating and cooking units. We are here to help you understand whether a wood insert or gas insert may be the right way to go.

Fireplace inserts are a great option if you want to convert an existing wood-burning or gas fireplace to a more efficient and low-maintenance option. They can be installed directly into the existing fireplace opening, providing a convenient and energy-efficient heating source.


Here are a few often-asked questions about gas fireplaces:

1. Does My Gas Fireplace Need Maintenance?

Keeping your gas fireplace clean and well-maintained is crucial for its performance and safety. If you notice any signs of a dirty or inefficient fireplace, such as a yellow flame or buildup of soot, it’s important to have it inspected and cleaned by a professional technician. By taking these steps, you can enjoy a cozy and safe gas fireplace for years to come.

2. Is it Ok to Leave a Fireplace Pilot Light On?

Some homeowners may be concerned about leaving the pilot light on overnight. Most manufacturers recommend leaving the pilot light on for several reasons, including:

  • You’d have to relight it every time you want to use the fireplace.
  •  A pilot light helps prevent moisture buildup inside the fireplace.
  • Leaving the gas fireplace pilot light on can also help prevent gas buildup in your home.

3. Do Gas Fireplace Logs Need to be Cleaned?

Generally, gas fireplace logs are maintenance-free. However, there are occasionally instances that can cause fireplace logs to discolour:

  • Incomplete combustion can discolour your fireplace logs. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including dirty burners, clogged air intake ports, and incorrect air-to-gas ratios. 
  • The type of gas that you’re using in your fireplace can affect the colour of the logs.
  • Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the logs, making them appear dirty and sooty. 
  •  If the venting system is inadequate or obstructed, the combustion gases can’t escape, leading to the buildup of soot on the logs.


Are You Buying an Outdoor Fireplace in the London area? Outdoor entertaining now includes Outdoor Fireplaces, Firepits, Firepit Tables, Pellet Grills, Smokers, Pizza Ovens, and Barbeques.

An outdoor fireplace is a great addition to any backyard or outdoor living space. Not only does it provide warmth and a cozy ambiance, but it also offers a range of benefits that make it a worthwhile investment.

  • Extend Your Outdoor Living Season
  • Create a Cozy Ambiance
  • Increase Your Home’s Value
  • Reduce Your Energy Costs
  • Provide a Cooking Option
  • Improve Your Home’s Aesthetics
  • Enhance Your Overall Quality of Life


What are Pellet Grills – are They The Same as Smokers?

Pellet grills and smokers produce smoke and can grill, braise, and even bake. Anything made in an ordinary oven can be made with a pellet grill or smoker.

Pellet grills use compressed wood pellets and are often touted as being extremely easy to use, thanks to their digital controllers. These controllers allow you to set the temperature and cooking time, and the grill will take care of the rest. This makes pellet grills a great option for beginners or those who don’t want to spend much time tending to their grill.

Smokers use wood chips and require more attention and experience to use them properly. Maintaining the fire and airflow is important to ensure consistent heat and smoke levels. This can be a bit of a learning curve, but many people find tending to a smoker a relaxing and rewarding experience.


If you’re considering a fireplace in London, ON, or the surrounding areas in Southwestern Ontario, Elmira Stove Works is an excellent place to learn everything you need to know. They offer a wide selection of gas and wood fireplaces and expert advice to help you choose the right one for your home.

This post was written by Allan Viveiros

March 30, 2023