Wood Burning Fireplaces vs. Gas Fireplaces

The smell of wood burning in a fireplace fills the air with a faint smokey pleasure, while the glow of the fireplace creates a homey, comforting feeling for everyone in the home. Wood burning fireplaces are an older concept, so while they're attractive and pleasant, they're also inefficient.

Gas fireplaces were created for homeowners seeking the beauty of a fireplace and the convenience of the modern era. There are striking differences between the two types of fireplaces, but both features can be installed in modern homes. For anyone building a custom home, the decision to install a gas fireplace or a wood burning fireplace can be tough. Knowing the pros and cons of both types can help.

Wood Burning Fireplaces, Pros and Cons

Wood burning fireplaces have many advantages and disadvantages.


  • Beautiful smells. There's nothing quite like the smell of a fire burning in the fireplace. The aroma of burning wood fills the home and can linger in the air well after the fire burns out. In fact, different types of wood produce different scents. Some types of wood are more aromatic than others.
  • Romance. The look of a real wood burning fireplace is unmistakable. They have a romantic, cozy quality that makes spending time at home more enjoyable.
  • Auditory experience. Wood makes a popping noise as it burns, gently reminding you that your fire place is being used.


  • Ash. Wood burning fireplaces develop a layer of ash in the bottom of the fireplace and in the chimney.
  • Work. It's a lot of work to keep a fire burning in a wooden fireplace. Hauling wood from outside to inside, poking and prodding the fire to keep the flames going, and cleaning out the ashes when the fire has gone out can all take time and effort.
  • Storage of firewood. Firewood takes up a lot of room on your property, especially if you burn a lot of wood. Firewood can also attract wood-eating pests.

Gas Fireplaces, Pros and Cons

Gas fireplaces are quickly becoming the norm inside new construction homes. Their pros outweigh their cons in many ways.


  • Ease of use. Unlike a wood burning fireplace, gas fireplaces can be turned on and off easily. Keeping the fire burning takes no additional effort.
  • Minimal maintenance. Gas fireplaces do not produce ash and thus do not need to be cleaned of ash regularly.
  • Efficiency. Gas fireplaces are highly efficient and can be used as a source of heat throughout the home.


  • No smell, sounds. Perhaps one of the greatest shortfalls of gas fireplaces is the lack of ambiance. Gas fireplaces do not create smoke, and thus do not produce smells. They also do not produce the same popping and hissing noises of wood burning fireplaces. While they're an attractive feature in any room, they lack much of the romance of wood burning fireplaces.

Which One Is Right For You?

Whether a gas or wood burning fireplace is right for you depends on your priorities as a homeowner. If your goal is to create a pleasant atmosphere in your home, you may find the most pleasure in the wood burning fireplace. If you're seeking a convenient but beautiful heat source, then you may be happier with a gas fireplace.

Work With Your Custom Home Builder

If you would like to build a custom home with a fireplace, work with your custom home builder to decide type, placement, style and other factors. Working with a contractor makes the home building process simpler. GTG Home Builders works with home buyers to build their custom dream home. Contact us today to get started with the construction process.

Custom Home Guide