The temperatures are dropping soon and it’s almost that time of year where all you want to do is curl up in a comfy sweater with a book and relax by the fire. Fall is beautiful and when it comes to keeping warm in your home, a fireplace truly gives off that perfect warm and cozy environment that everyone loves.
So what are homeowners choosing these days; propane or wood? When selecting a propane or wood-burning fireplace, it is important to keep in mind what your lifestyle looks like, your individual preferences, and your current living situation. Both have lots of pros and cons associated with them and the answer is really up to you! Let’s take a close look at the differences and what you can expect with each option.
Propane fireplaces create heat naturally. If there is a blower system in place, electricity will need to redirect the heat out of the firebox. Several of these units have some electrical reliance, you’ll still benefit from some heat should you experience a power outage. Fireplaces that operate on radiant heat components will give off a bit more warmth.
Some manufacturers have systems in place capable of both moving and creating heat with no electricity. Styles with blower-systems are not able to transmit heat further than 5 feet, which means when the blower isn’t being used, efficiency levels decrease dramatically.
Wood-burning fireplaces of course create heat naturally. While most blower systems won’t move heat without electricity, there are other solutions to consider; you may have the option to hook up heat ducts to your fireplace in an effort to divert heat to surrounding areas. You can even lay heat activated fans on top of a stove-top surface. Some of these also have additions for cooking options as well.
The nice thing with propane fireplaces is that they are incredibly easy to operate and typically turn on and off with a simple button. Heat control technology is also available with the majority of propane fireplaces which allows you to determine exactly what temperature you want the room to be, with the choice to use a timer as well.
Wood-burning requires more work and effort, but for some people it is an enjoyable hobby that provides them with a sense of relaxation. As a homeowner, be sure that you are well informed and understand how catalysts, dampers and other components specific to your wood-burning fireplace work, to get the very most out of it.
Regular Fuel Costs
Propane is a reliable fuel source in terms of market price fluctuation. Some people fill 100-pound tanks themselves, but when you think about the value of your time, and how often you will be using your fireplace, going this route may not be worth it in the end. Several propane providers like Brown’s Fuels, have auto-fill solutions, or can work with you to determine a scheduled service, providing you with a 400-pound tank and fuel.
You’ll be responsible for chopping or purchasing wood which can add up if you ae using it on a regular basis. For best results you should make sure that wood is dried and split at least one-to-two years prior to using. You’ll create varying levels of heat based on how efficient your wood burner is. The bulk of these will burn approximately 8 to 10 hours on a slow burn with a load of hardwood like oak, maple, or hickory.
Propane fireplaces need to have bi-annual inspections, including professional cleaning. In the meantime as a home owner, you should be sure to do some standard surface cleaning including battery replacement.
This type of fireplace should also be given cleaning and maintenance annually; preferably by a certified technician. Cleaning frequencies will be based on how efficient your wood fireplace is and the type of wood you burn. The more efficient your wood unit is, and the less sap/resin that’s in your wood, the less you’ll need to work about this.
If you have any additional questions about propane heating, Brown’s Fuels provides reliable and on-time delivery of propane to hundreds of homes year round.
Get in touch with us today if you are considering switching to a propane fireplace this fall or winter.