Is a gas or a woodburning fireplace the best way to go?

When you’re in the market for a new home,
 you’ll have a whole host of possibilities for layout, choices for amenities, and decisions for you to make together about what you want to include in your home.  You’re starting from scratch, so you should aim to get everything you’ve been wanting.  Go ahead! is a beautiful place and you’ll want a beautiful home to fit right in.

The weather can get chilly sometimes, and what better way to survive the cold than snuggled up in front of a roaring fireplace?  In fact, there’s not really a good reason why you shouldn’t get a fireplace in your home– it just makes sense!  You’ll be surrounded by the lush greenery and woodlands of the American west. 

But then you need to decide what kind of fireplace—gas or woodburning—what’s the best way to go?

Gas is quick, convenient, and relatively cheap. Considered one of the cleanest ways to produce heat, this type of fireplace has up to 90% efficiency—meaning how much useable heat is produced. Depending on the area a gas line can be installed fairly easily and without any cost to you (based on how far they have to divert from the main line). Hourly costs average out at 30-40 cents, which if you run your fireplace for 8 hours a day works out to cost you about 72 bucks a month.


The answer isn’t simple, but once you take costs and needs into consideration it will be pretty straightforward.  A quality analysis of a good fireplace for you considers the maintenance and expense associated with it, not to mention the preferred aroma and mood you want in your home when the fire is lit.

Wood (depending on the type and degree of dryness) will usually burn at a rate of 5 pounds per hour. I figure this to be about a half of a typical bundle which costs about $5 a piece (not including delivery costs). If you were to run this fireplace for 8 hours/day, costs run up to about $600 per month. The efficiency of a woodburning fireplace is typically only 30-60% depending on the type of fireplace (EPA is more efficient, where traditional types are lower efficiency). In addition, wood needs storing in a dry place and often requires splitting before use.

So as you make the decision on what type of fireplace you want, take your needs and your own capacities for fueling it into consideration. A gas fireplace provides convenient warmth at a lower cost, but is often considered fake, because it doesn’t fill your home with the earthy smell of wood and natural view of flames tickling the wood and glowing embers. No matter which one you decide on, look forward to the addition of a fireplace to your new Boise home. Quality time spent around a roaring fire is usually the stuff of movies.  Your holidays will be even more unforgettable in your new Idaho home gathered around the fire. Check out homes with a fireplace in today's new listings and more! 

Kevin Hughes

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