The decision boils down to two things: availability and interaction.
When you think about the ultimate fireplace experience, do the crackling sounds and rich aromas of wood burning come to mind? Wood is such a mainstay fuel, and has been for thousands of years. But how about other fuels, such as gas, pellets and electricity?
When deciding what fuel is right for you, consider two things: fuel availability in your area, and the amount of interaction you desire with your hearth product.
- Availability: Where do you live? If your home isn’t connected to natural gas or a propane source, a gas fireplace isn’t in the cards for you. If wood is abundant in your area, a wood-burning hearth is a great option. Just make sure it’s EPA certified so you have efficient fires that don’t fill the environment with harmful smoke and byproducts. Wood pellets, which are available in many areas, are renewable, will heat your home for many hours and burn very clean. Electricity is also an option if you are looking for an inexpensive hearth alternative.
- Interaction: How much time and effort do you want to spend on your fuel? Hearth products that burn solid fuel like wood and pellets, require the most interaction and maintenance. On the other hand, gas and electric models require little to no effort, aside from operating the controls.
This chart makes it clear that fuels each have their own unique set of qualities and benefits. So before deciding what’s right for you consider your options!