The debate over whether gas heaters are better than wood heaters only seems to be getting hotter. Some people hold the opinion that gas heaters have more pros than cons but others say the advent of modern wood heaters has completely changed the debate in favour of wood heaters. Knowing that the devil lies in the details, it is time to smoke out the devil and thoroughly analyse these two options. Before we begin, it is crucial to point out that open fires are completely out of the race when it comes to deciding which heating options are the best. Open fires are wasteful since most of the heat generated is lost through the chimney. Modern wood-fed slow-combustion heaters are more efficient, look pretty and are better at warming a room but do they stand a chance against gas heaters?
Efficiency is the first trait in question when it comes to comparing wood heaters to gas heaters. The efficiency of any heating system is measured by scrutinizing the combustion and heat transfer attributes of the heating option. Combustion efficiency is the percentage of fuel that is actually converted to heat energy. This means that ash, vapour and steam produced from combustion reduce the efficiency of a heating system. Combustion efficiency is also an indicator of the percentage of your fuel cost that is actually used to generate heat while taking into account the amount of waste that is taken from the fuel usage. On the other hand, heat transfer efficiency is the amount of heat generated that actually radiates to your living space. Fuel generated within a stove is different from the heat transferred to your living space and this has to be accounted for.
Wood burning stoves are less efficient when it comes to an equal balance of fuel to heat release. This is because the outside of wood burning stoves doesn’t typically have an efficient heat exchanger. Heat exchangers on wood burning stoves have an inadequate surface area. This impedes proper extraction and distribution of heat relative to the amount of fuel used to generate the heat. Wood stoves are much more combustion efficient than they are heat transfer efficient. Heat exchangers in gas stoves prevent the escape of heat from your stove and help better distribute it throughout your home. They are typically more viable within a gas stove than in a wood stove, therefore less heat escapes from the stove making gas stoves, like the GF900L, more efficient in both respects. Although gas stoves are more reliable in terms of efficiency, they are often highly priced.
Although wood is a renewable source of energy, obtaining and storing it can be tasking. Cutting and splitting wood, storing it to dry and then stacking it in an area near the wood stove is hard work and takes extensive time. While many retailers sell dried wood for wood burning stoves, the DIY (Do It Yourself) option is always cheaper. Fortunately in many parts of Australia, wood is easily accessible. If you have the patience and the energy, you will save a lot with aRegency Mansfield Double Sided Wood Fireplace. On the other hand, gas is non-renewable but it is readily available especially in areas with gas lines. Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere in Australia. Bottled LPG can get around this problem, but it is more expensive due to regular refilling.
When you turn on your wood burning stove, you may still have to bear the cold for a few minutes before the heat starts coming your way. The firewood used in wood-burning stoves has to catch fire and burn before emitting any heat. This process may take some time and time is money. Moreover, heat adjustments for wood burning stoves take time. More often than not, you may also need to refill the stove, especially if you are using it overnight. Unlike wood-burning stoves, gas heaters emit heat at the flick of a switch. These heaters warm a room almost immediately and temperature adjustments are quick. Gas heaters don’t require a lot of cleaning services, unlike wood burning stoves that produce a lot of dirt.
No one can question the aesthetic impact of wood burning stoves and gas heaters. Inbuilt wood fireplaces and gas fireplaces are now being installed in master suites and outdoor living spaces. These heaters are stylish and come in both contemporary and traditional designs.However, the cost of installation of gas heaters is quite hefty. Moreover, gas heaters require professional installation and annual inspections. A simple fault in the installation may be disastrous. Fortunately, gas heaters have a low maintenance cost. On the other hand, wood burning heaters have a high maintenance cost and require aftercare. Luckily, these stoves are cheaper to purchase and install.
Modern designs and insulation solutions are improving the efficiency of heaters. To realise the economic advantage of gas and wood heaters, compare the accessibility of wood and gas. Once this is done, you can do a cost analysis and pick the best heater to keep your home cozy.