If you have been thinking about investing in a wood stove for the upcoming winter, you may be wondering how this heating option compares to a gas heater or fireplace. A recent Hydrofire heating comparison helps you determine the cost of heating your home in South Africa, but what else should you consider when deciding on the best heating method for your home?
There are a number of factors to consider that go far beyond cost. Cost is, however, always a major factor. Although a gas heater may seem simpler initially, you may find that a wood stove helps you save far more in the long term. Over and above cost, you will also need to consider the safety, fuel efficiency, ease of use and the general appeal that each of these heating options have to offer.
Wood Stove or Gas Heater – Which is Better?
So, how do you know whether it is best to invest in a wood stove or gas heater? For starters, you can consider the following points…
- Safety. Unlike open fireplaces, wood burning stoves have a glass door that traps the flames inside. This ensures a higher level of safety when the fire is in use. Gas heaters and fireplaces include open bar heaters and closed gas fireplaces. Even if you used a closed fireplace, gas is still a substance that can be dangerous in its raw form. Firewood on the other hand can be stored safely, without posing any risk of toxic fumes. If you have children or pets, you will certainly want to ensure that you go for closed combustion heating, whichever type of heating you decide to choose. According to the SABS Wood burning closed combustion stoves are certified to use in a bedroom, while gas heaters are not considered safe enough to use in a bedroom where people sleep.
- Fuel efficiency. Wood stoves are designed to be extremely eco-friendly as far as efficiency goes. Open fireplaces are notorious for burning through wood rapidly, while a closed fireplace uses far less wood. If you purchase your wood in summer, and store it in time for winter, you can save a great deal on resources. Gas on the other hand is always relatively expensive . According to our calculation, using a gas heater is quite costly and is actually almost the same as using an electric heater.
- Usability. Although gas heaters are generally relatively easy to use, they can be more challenging when you want to replace gas canisters. Heaters can also break, especially as they get older. Wood burning fireplaces may take a little bit of getting used to, but once you have made a fire or two, it will quickly get easier. There is little to no maintenance or effort required, either, so you won’t need to worry about changing fuels or doing much other than chopping wood and loading up your stove.
- Appeal. Generally speaking, fireplaces provide plenty of ambience. Even when not in use, a modern stove can add value to any room. In winter, when it is in use, a wood burning stove helps to create a cosy atmosphere that adds to its appeal. Gas heaters on the other hand are usually less than attractive, providing heat without much ambience or style. Many models are made of beige or grey metal that picks up dust easily.
Interested in learning more about closed combustion fireplaces? Now is the best time to invest in a wood burning fireplace, before peak season begins. Contact Hydrofire today for more information on how to order your wood stove in time for the next winter.