When it comes to home features, few are as readily appreciated & widely agreed upon as a fireplace. The fireplace is a great place for family to gather, making memories when it’s too cold to go outside. A fireplace is also practical. It helps heat the home, taking the burden off of the HVAC unit & reducing the electric or gas bill.
Despite having a relatively warm climate, many Nashville homes have fireplaces, & each winter, Nashville residents have plenty of opportunity to use them. While most homeowners agree that a fireplace adds value to their lives, they often disagree about which type of fireplace is best: wood or gas. Each option possesses unique benefits & drawbacks. We have listed the ones we hear most often from homeowners & homebuyers in the Nashville area.
- There’s nothing quite like the smell & sound of a wood fireplace.
- From gathering kindling to building & stoking the fire, a wood-burning fire is a total experience. It requires attention, & that can be a welcome break from the technology & work that typically invade all aspects of our lives.
- A wood fireplace is nothing if not traditional. For many families, creating & gathering around the fire at the holidays is one of the most cherished traditions.
- Wood fireplaces need to be well maintained. Ash & soot must be cleaned regularly.
- For most homeowners, getting good firewood means buying it. For homeowners with a little land & woods, finding the wood is easy. It’s just getting it ready for the fire that requires some extra work.
- Wood fireplaces emit significantly more particulates into the atmosphere (and into your house) than a gas fireplace.
Creosote buildup (fire hazard)
- Creosote builds up over time & can lead to significant safety risks, including house fires. 73% of heating fires in the US are caused by creosote buildup.
Chopping wood (axe hazard)
- There is always a horror story every year of an injury due to someone trying to chop wood & missing his mark. Often in these stories, it’s not the homeowner but a guest or relative who doesn’t have practice but is trying to be helpful.
- With a gas fireplace, starting a fire is often as simple as flipping a switch or clicking a remote. Turning it off is just as simple & there’s no need to wait for the fire to die down before heading out or off to bed.
- So long as you have access to the gas, your fuel supply is never in doubt.
Easy to control temp of fire
- As with turning the fire on & off, you can easily regulate the heat of the fire by limiting the amount of gas you’re using. This can often be done with a remote, further simplifying the process.
No “soul” –
- We found this quote about gas fireplaces from ProjectGreenify.com, & there are many who agree with the sentiment: “there’s something about utterly soul-less about blue and yellow flame shooting up around a bunch of ceramic logs that don’t change or burn away.”
Less fun (just a heat source)
- A gas fireplace does not have the same charm as a wood fireplace. Instead of being the main attraction in the room, it often just becomes a nice heat source, with nothing mysterious or magical about it.
- The biggest concern for a gas fireplace is the potential for gas leaks. Natural gas is infused with an obnoxious odor that should tip you off if your pilot light is out & the gas line is open, or if you have a leak in the line, but it’s still a potential danger that cannot be ignored.
We don’t think there’s a wrong answer to the question of which fireplace is best for your home. But, we love to hear both sides of the argument. The folks at HGTV had to agree to disagree (see video). How about you? Do you prefer gas or wood? Let us know in the comments below.
Are you looking to buy or sell a home in the Nashville area with a fireplace? Or one without a fireplace? Either way, we can help! Search MLS for current listings, or contact us at 615-567-5507 & let us know how we can help you.