View Full Version : Wood or Gas Fireplace?

10-16-2009, 08:09 PM
My wife and I are building our dream home on 22 acres in Central Indiana. We are going to install a fireplace, but which kind? She wants Gas, I want Wood. Gas, less mess, easier, cheaper to install, fake. Wood, real, heat, sound, ambiance. what are your thoughts? we will have geothermal HVAC so heating should not be a big deal.

10-16-2009, 09:26 PM
Do one of each and let us know which one gets used more.

10-16-2009, 09:33 PM
if you got the cash to NOT really need the heat source as a primary than go with the looks and simplicity of the gas. I had one in my last house and it did produce some heat with the fan kit, it was a heat-a-lator. Had a wall switch that fired it up and a thermostat. Worked well but not a economical way to heat. Since you looking for the ambiance part gas is the way to go, even for resale since the same will probably apply to new owners. Even fireplaces are a poor source of heat. A wood stove really puts out the heat. I heat my entire house with a wood stove in the front room (second living room.) Nice ambiance,my wife and I often cuddle around that room after the kids are out, you know what I mean? Nod nod, wink wink, we got 4 kids now, lol

10-16-2009, 09:40 PM
My Uncle had a gas one with LP and switched it to Wood, I need to find out why.* My friends cabin near Cadilac has a real wood one and we love it, but maybe cause the sleds are right out the door too.* LOL* Lenny, I know what you mean.* I could just get a DVD on a fireplace for the new plasma.Also does anyone have experience with a flat screan tv above a fire place.* I have heard about heat being an issue for the TV?

10-16-2009, 11:32 PM
I have gas in the house use it every night because it is so ez to hit the switch on the remote .have wood at the cabin use it only when cold and trying to actually warm the place.if I had a wood stove I would prob use more because they actually make heat but still a pain for every day.on another note I also have a lp fire pit on my deck at the house very nice to turn a valve toss a match and sit buy the fire for even a short time.I would have never built a fire in the back yard for just 20minn or even 1 hr buy now I do allot

10-17-2009, 12:08 AM
I have wood stove insert in fireplace changed out from zero clearance wood for heat source. I live in Northwoods where it is cold for a very long time & is smart to have 2nd source of heat up here. Wood is plentiful & I also have splitter & enjoy cutting, spliting & curing wood. I burn 24/7 & started about 2 weeks ago when it got cold & will continue until I leave for FL in March. Central IN does not get that cold & you said not a heat source. Keep the wife happy & use gas simple, clean, turn on & off with flip of switch. Wood is messy bringing in & cleaning ashes out. I have plastic wood cart & loveless fireproof vac so keep mess to min but work at it. Wife won't like smell of wood smoke when gas is clean so give her what she wants the sight of flames dancing around & no mess. Then reap other benes like lenny said.

10-17-2009, 12:32 AM
mjdeutsch ~ Why don't you put one in that can handle real wood. Then put the gas log kit inside it. That is what I have. If I need real wood in it I have the wood and all I have to do is pull the fake logs, grate, pipe out. Put the original grate, gas pipe back in and I'm good to go. By the way in 10yrs at the house I have only used the gas.

10-17-2009, 12:46 AM
Do the gas fireplace. I put a gas log kit in my masonary (wood) fireplace. I got sick of dragging in wood, dealing with the bugs, ashes etc. A Dream House should have a dream to use fireplace. skip the work. You will love the GeoThermal heat.

10-17-2009, 08:38 AM
I have a real wood firplace at the main house that when I fire it up, the furnace actually runs more. But once I shut it down, the heated stone will keep the house warm for a day or two. It has a trap door, so the ashes are cleaned out on the lower level.

The summer place that I heat year around, I installed a ventless gas stove. The main reason is it is my "stand-by" heat source when power is lost (happens often) or if the furnace should ever malfunction.
A bonus I found later is the pilot (remember, ventless) helps to heat and add humidity.
That little pilot has reduce my bill about twenty a month.
Caution: for a ventless you cannot be airtight and generates humidity.

10-17-2009, 08:54 AM
Wow, I need to update the photo, I took out the hideous blue carpet right after I installed the stove.

10-18-2009, 09:12 PM
lvr1000, love the carpet, LOL I am still leaning wood, my wife said it's my call....

10-18-2009, 09:33 PM
Had 2 wood fire places in my main house converted to gas, when I built my dream vacation house in the northwoods I put in gas also. My home insurance is also alot less having a gas over wood fireplace.

10-18-2009, 11:00 PM
My wife was just asking me this morning, if we could convert our wood fireplace to gas since it alreadys has a gas starter i'm thinking it can't be that hard to do.

10-19-2009, 12:15 PM
I also live in central In. and went with wood (just built last year). We would have to use propane which is spendy, own a woods and just wanted the real wood fireplace. We went with a Lennox Cambria which is supposed to be able to heat the whole house. We also have Geo.

10-19-2009, 12:47 PM
Real wood with a gas starter. My old house had a very nice gas only fire place, a very nice one. It had huge flames that looked real. My new house has two wood fireplaces with gas starters, so much better in my oponion. I just really like the smell and sound of a real fire, so does my wife. If you some good dry wood with the gas starter it is very simple. Cleaning takes about 15 minutes when needed. I also have the chimmney cleaned and inspected annually. We burn cherry, hickory, oak, birch and maple. It is nice to mix and match for the differnt smell. Cherry smells so good. Hickory - HOT STUFF!! Over, LD

10-19-2009, 01:29 PM
We have a wood fireplace. Love the smell of wood burning. Friends of ours had a wood fireplace in their old home that had a trap door on the floor of the fireplace. When the ashes cooled, they would release the trap door handle and the ashes went down a shoot and emptied into a metal tub. It was pretty neat!

10-20-2009, 08:36 AM
Price is always a huge consideration. It's unbelievable what they're getting for new stoves, gas or wood. I have a Vermont Castings cast iron gas wood stove for sale. I'm asking 650.
Kevin 330.465.0807

10-20-2009, 10:23 AM
I love burning wood. I live on an acreage in N.E. Iowa had we usually have long cold winters. We too tore out our old "fireplace" and placed a wood burning insert in with a fan. We keep this burning 24/7 and use the damper choke to prolong the burn time. This little gem heats our entire home comfortably and is a great back up source. The money we save, we take a week off in late Feb. early March and go lay on the beach somewhere and drink fruity drinks!!

10-20-2009, 03:13 PM
If your not too concerned about heating long-term go wood for sure. I burn wood as my primary heat, and i love it, but it gets to be a pain. But i still long for a nice fireplace in the living room you can get going when you want to relax. Gotta love that wood fire sight, sound, and smell! You wont regret it.

My parents have had a stone fireplace since they built the house and years ago they added a gas log lighter. Now i gotta say thats handy. No kindling, paper or starters to mess with. Load up the wood rack with full splits light the lighter crank it up and once shes burning just shut off the gas and you have a real wood fire. I would look into that.

10-20-2009, 07:14 PM
Apple wood puts out the best smell as does maple.

I have two fireplaces and wished I had spent the money on one good wood stove with glass front to see the fire...like at the cabin. I like the heat, never mind the savings. Wood stove do put out heat and sometimes you don't want too much heat which could be a problem on nights that aren't that cold, but otherwise, a nice pretty wood stove (soapstone is my favorite) is pretty hard to beat.

Lenny, for heaven sakes....throw OUT the wood stove or you will single handedly be responsible for a millage increase for Greenland School sytem...and lord knows they can't afford that in these economic times.

10-21-2009, 08:58 AM
First answer is the right answer.

Think of it like an automatic sprinkler system in the yard vs toting around hoses to water. Both give the same end result.

Do your research on whatever you decide. The technology has changed a lot in recent years. There are quite a few options on efficient wood burning units that will not give you a net loss on heat.(The older wood fireplaces actually lost heat overall)

There are a lot of newer gas units that also look pretty cool. You are not stuck with the conventional fake log fire style. Take her shopping and look at the various styles.

We are lucky to have a local company that distributes some pretty neat stuff.


They have some unique wood and gas fireplace options.

10-22-2009, 10:52 PM
I would say wood all the way...who wants the gas bill any higher? A cast iron Franklin Fireplace works great (you can find them on the Wisconsin Craigslist for $150 and up), its really nice to look at and the real wood smell.... If you have property that you can harvest wood from its free heat and splitting wood by hand is a darn good workout!