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While summer is still in full swing, fall is just around the corner. Because of this, now is the perfect time to shop for a new fireplace insert. However, this begs the question: which fuel source is best?

Gas and wood inserts both have their pros and cons. While ultimately the fuel source you pick comes down to personal preference, there is no wrong answer when it comes to energy efficient, environmentally friendly fireplace inserts. The following comparisons can help you decide which fuel source can help you best heat your home this fall.


  • Wood Insert - Southern MD - Magic Broom Chimney SweepsGas: Gas inserts are extremely efficient and burn with more than 90% efficiency. However, exact efficiency may vary from model to model; gas fireplaces burn differently in order to create different kinds of flames. While blue flames burn the hottest, many homeowners prefer the realistic look of yellow flames. This type of fire burns as efficiently as gas while having the look and heat output of a real wood fire.
  • Wood: While wood inserts are not as efficient as gas, they are light years ahead of open hearth fireplaces where more than 90% of heat produced is lost up the chimney. By contrast, wood inserts burn between 60-80% efficiently.

Environmental impactWood Insert - Southern MD - Magic Broom Chimney Sweeps

  • Gas: Gas inserts are considered to be the most environmentally friendly fireplace option. Because gas produces virtually no smoke or particulate emissions, these fireplaces can be used even when regional burn bans are in place. However, some consider them to be a less environmentally friendly choice because they use a non-renewable resource as a fuel source.
  • Wood: Because of the smoke and particulate emissions they create, wood inserts have a larger environmental impact. However, EPA regulated wood inserts create far less smoke and emissions than open hearth fireplaces or older inserts.

Ease of use

  • Gas: Gas fireplaces can be turned on and off at the touch of a button; this makes them extremely easy to use and minimizes wait time and clean up. Many gas inserts also come with variable temperature control, allowing you to precisely set the heat output of your fireplace.
  • Wood: Wood inserts require more work to start and maintain a fire; likewise, ashes and cinders must be removed after each use. While it is possible to purchase precut firewood to reduce work, firewood must still be stacked and transported into the house when the insert is in use.

And the winner is…

There is no one “right choice” when it comes to fireplaces and fuel sources; if there were, everyone would have the exact same fireplace! Instead, the kind of fireplace insert you chose relies on both personal preference and heating needs. Whether you choose wood or gas, trust the expert staff at Magic Broom to help you find your new insert. Contact us today for more information on our quality wood and gas fireplace inserts.