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charliecompany34's avatar

Real wood burning fire or fake gas logs?

Asked by charliecompany34 (7785points) October 6th, 2008

i love the smell of a good fire in a fireplace. i remember when i was 6 or 7 and raking leaves in the fall. back then, we’d burn the leaves, but now, in illinois at least, it’s against the law. anyway, i love the smell of a hardwood or fruitwood in the old hearth. gas, well, is clean and not so fussy, but you just dont get that “homey” feel. which do you prefer?

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12 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I have such mixed feelings. I agree that it is not the same. I love the wood burning, but the pollution is pretty bad. In the Pacific Northwest on a cold evening when everyone is using their woodstove and fireplace, the air quality is horrible with a smog-like effect and high particulate matter that is very bad for asthmatics.

Snoopy's avatar

I agree w/ what you both have related thus far….

As the owner of a home w/ a wood burning fireplace, I would also add that we are constantly on the “hunt” for firewood. It not only has to be located, but transported, split and stacked. You also have to consider the wood itself. We nearly accepted a bunch of ash this weekend that was clearly infested w/ the emerald ash borer. W/ a large ash tree in the yard, that wasn’t a great idea.

Even so, I still prefer a wood fire. I love the coals at the end of the night and the heat rolling out of the fireplace. Ahhhhh. Winter.

JackAdams's avatar

I prefer real logs, and my buddy, when he rakes leaves, brings them inside his home and later burns them in his fireplace (as kindling), so he has the advantage of having the odor of the burning leaves in his home (not overwhelming), but without burning them outdoors in violation of any laws.

During the winter months, his burnable garbage is placed in the fireplace, which cuts down on the amount of trash set outside for the collectors to pick up, and he always burns identity theft items, such as bills, credit card statements, etc.

squirbel's avatar

Real logs.

Snoopy's avatar

@Jack I hope your buddy regularly cleans his chimney. All of that paper can create a significant risk for a chimney fire.

Which reminds me of more summer “fun” w/ a wood burning fireplace: Husband on the roof playing chimney sweep w/ the extension poles and wire chimney brush and me on the ground cleaning the chimney caps. That creasote is nasty.

Snoopy's avatar

I am considering giving him a top hat for next summer….

chyna's avatar

I favor wood burning. I have a fire in my fireplace at least 3 to 4 times a week. It is messy, it’s work, but I wouldn’t trade it for gas logs as I do love the smell.

battlemarz's avatar

Real wood for life. I never had a fireplace growing up, but I did convince my parents to let me build a brick fire pit in our backyard and loved hanging outside on a cool night next to a nice fire. I don’t think I could live anywhere where I couldn’t have a real fire of some sort.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

I prefer real wood for my future house.

During the hurricane we lost power and many families lost gas too. If my house had had a real fire place, we could have cooked over it and eaten the food that melted in our freezer, just like we did during the blizzards when I was a kid.

augustlan's avatar

I am of two minds, and have had both types of fireplaces.

For ambience, sound, and smell you can not beat a wood burning fireplace. However, they can be quite a pain in the ass. 1) They are a lot of work – getting wood, building the fire, removing the ashes, cleaning the chimney 2) They don’t put off nearly as much heat as a gas fireplace with a recirculating fan 3) Being from a family of firefighters, I could never go to sleep until I was sure the fire was completely out. As a result, we didn’t use the wood burning fireplace very often.

With a gas fireplace, you lose that wood fire authenticity, but, you gain massive amounts of convenience. With a flip of the switch, viola you’ve got yourself a fire. When you’re done, hit the switch again, and it’s out. As a result, we used our gas fireplace all the time.

So, basically it’s a choice between better fires less frequently, or inferior fires more frequently.

gooch's avatar

I love my real wood burning fire place. The only problem is that living in southern Louisiana I don’t get to use it very often.

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