Wood burning fireplaces vs. gas fires vs. electric fires


One of our favorite places to be in the winter months is in front of a fire snuggling up with our loved ones. The flames can bring warmth and comfort, however, with so many options on the market it can be difficult to select the best solution for you and your home.

When most people think of a fireplace they imagine crackling logs, a wonderful smell and a cozy feel. A wood burning fire is truly the only option that offers this entire sensory experience. While gas or electric fires can attempt to mimic this scene, there is nothing that can top the original wood burning fire. Wood burning fires are also known to give off the most heat (Source: US EPA).

On the downside, wood burning fires do require a high level of maintenance. Each fire requires cleaning of the soot afterwards. A chimney sweep should come and clean the chimney once a year depending on how often the fireplace is used. Wood will also need to be stored for use when making a fire.

Pros: Authentic flame, ambience, high heat generating
Cons: Clean up, storing wood, maintenance

Gas fires are a great option for someone looking for a low maintenance flame, but still want the fireplace to provide heat. These fires usually work with a remote and can be started with the click of a button. This ease of use tends to allow people to use their fireplace more often, as there is no cleanup following the wonderful fire.

While gas fires may be the best option for people looking for high ease of use, many find them to not look realistic or not provide the right ambience. These fires also require a connection to a gas hook-up and need to pass inspections.

Pros: Ease of use, generate heat, real flame
Cons: Cost, lack of realistic appearance, requires gas line

Electric fires are the perfect option for someone who doesn’t care about generating heat from their fireplace but still wants the atmosphere it provides. By nature an electric fire does not need anything except a standard electrical outlet and filtered water to work. They are extremely easy to use and require little to no maintenance; however they are an aesthetic effect only and do not provide heat.

Pros: Ease of use, virtually no maintenance, requires only an electrical outlet to work
Cons: No heat generated, not a real flame.