Should You Install a Fireplace or a Wood Stove?Everyone enjoys the warmth and coziness of a real fire, but should you install a fireplace or a wood stove? A Sweep Across the Bay in Sarasota has over 40 years of hands-on experience in the chimney, fireplace, and wood stove industry. We can explain the differences and the benefits of both and help you decide what’s right for you.

Of course, the cost is always a big factor, but since both a fireplace and a wood stove’s pricing varies greatly depending on the style, size, and setup you want, for this comparison we won’t focus on price. Instead, we will look at the safety, appearance, environmental concerns, and efficiency of both a wood stove and a fireplace.


Of course, safety is important when deciding whether you want a fireplace or a wood stove.

Wood fire sparks can suddenly fly out of fireplaces and cause damage or injury. Choose a fireplace that has a good screen or door to keep the hot embers in the fireplace. Wood stoves have a door but sparks can still escape when you are tending to the fire.

You want to make sure to keep people and pets safe from the fire. Fires in a wood stove are a little more protected behind the stove door than the open fire in a fireplace, but there is still the potential for injury by touching the wood stove or the glass door of the stove. You should consider safety gates in both fireplaces or wood stoves.

Fireplaces can get a buildup of creosote and byproducts in the chimney. That’s why you should always have your chimney cleaned regularly and we can help you with that also. On the other hand, EPA-certified freestanding wood stoves offer a complete combustion process that burns away the byproducts and are not as susceptible to creosote buildup as fireplaces.


The beauty of a fireplace is so stunning, it is the focus of the home and the place everyone gathers. Now, especially with so many options for masonry fireplaces, like brick, stone, marble, veneer, and tiles, your fireplace can reflect the architecture and design of your home as well as bring a welcoming atmosphere of comfort. The ambiance created by the flames of a fireplace is very appealing to most homeowners.

Wood stoves also come in a variety of styles including modern, rustic, and traditional that can create a beautiful accent to your room. Although perhaps designed more for practicality than beauty, the glass doors of a wood stove still offer a view of the dancing flames of the fire.

Environmental Concerns

Another factor when deciding if you should you install a fireplace or a wood stove is the environment. Burning wood doesn’t release any more CO2 than a decaying tree, which means it is carbon neutral. EPA certified wood stoves with their closed combustion burning systems are also low in harmful emissions, are more efficient, and can lower your utility bills by supplementing your heating.


We know that wood is cheaper than gas, pellet, oil, or coal. But, a lot of the heat from the fireplace escapes out of the chimney. Wood stoves are more efficient and produce more heating power than open burning fireplaces. However, some new fireplaces can heat at efficiencies that are near those of wood stoves and are certified as low emission appliances. You still get the gorgeous view of the fire but it can also effectively provide heat.

These considerations can help you answer the question: should you install a fireplace or a wood stove? Our experts at A Sweep Across the Bay in Tampa offer installation, repairs, and ongoing maintenance for both fireplaces and wood stoves. We are the ideal company to help you decide what will work best for your needs and lifestyle.