Fairfield County, CT winters can be brutal, particularly those on the shores of towns like Greenwich, Westport, Fairfield, and Darien. Homeowners often cherish their fireplaces on these cold, snowy days. They provide an extra layer of warmth and comfort, and make luxury living spaces even more inviting.


Those who are building a luxury custom home will be faced with several decisions about home features. One of those choices may be whether you should go with a gas or wood-burning fireplace. If you are renovating your home or building a home addition, you may be considering adding a fireplace or replacing a wood-burning fireplace with one that runs on gas. So what’s the best choice for your home building project? Below, we discuss the pros and cons of both.

Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Although quality gas fireplaces have evolved aesthetically over the years, it can still be hard to duplicate the natural beauty that wood-burning fireplaces can provide. The natural flame aesthetics, as well as the smells and sounds, are among the biggest advantages. Another advantage is the lower cost of wood versus gas.

The cons revolve mostly around maintenance. A constant supply of wood must be ready for consumption. You also need to feed the fire regularly when in use, as well as empty and discard the ashes. The wood must be purchased, delivered, and stored. Wood-burning fireplaces also need to be professionally maintained. Ideally they should be inspected and/or cleaned once per year. The wood-burning fireplace must be started with kindling or a starter log each time. Lastly, they can be a source of heat loss, as most flues must remain open to exhaust after the fire is out. During this time, heat escapes up the chimney.

Gas Fireplaces
Gas fireplaces can run on natural gas or propane, depending on the availability of fuel in your Fairfield County town. There are two main types: inserts and built-in units. Inserts can be placed inside existing wood-burning chimney spaces. Built-in units are constructed separately into the wall.

The biggest negative associated with gas fireplaces is likely the aesthetic value. As discussed earlier, although gas fireplaces have come a long way, it is hard to duplicate the natural beauty of wood-burning fireplaces. Another con is the difference in cost. Running gas fireplaces requires burning fuel.

On the other hand, there are a number of advantages to having a gas fireplace, primarily ease of use. Gas fireplaces have become increasingly popular in luxury homes over the years because they require a lot less effort. They don’t need to be maintained as frequently, there are no ashes to clean, and they don’t need to be constantly fed with wood to keep them running. Another plus that homeowners appreciate is the quick on/off. Just flip a switch.

Whichever option you go with for your next homebuilding project, there’s no doubt that a roaring fire adds something special to any indoor or outdoor space.