Can a Fireplace Save You Money on Your Electric Bills?

electric bills

Everyone’s constantly in search of ways to save money on their electric bills. This is both because of the rising cost of electricity and also a desire to reduce their dependence on the city’s energy grid. In colder states, fighting the cold is the number one way homeowners rack up high utility bills.

One solution to this problem is to invest in a new fireplace. A fireplace allows you to introduce both a decorative and a functional element to your home. Newer types of fireplaces don’t even require a flame to operate.

Here’s how a fireplace installation can help you cut costs every month.

Types of Fireplaces and How They Function

First of all, you should understand your options when it comes to fireplaces. Each one operates differently and provides its own kind of benefit. There are also different costs associated with them based on their fuel source.

Wood Fireplace

A wood-burning fireplace is the one that most people are associated with. These require wooden logs in order to burn and tinder. You can find them in a variety of different inserts, such as an open heart, wood fire stove, or a closed hearth.

An open heart has an exposed flame, usually with a removable firescreen. A wood fire stove is freestanding and doesn’t require installation into your wall. And a closed hearth has a protective glass barrier that prevents sparks from escaping the enclosure.

Gas Fireplace

A gas fireplace uses either gas logs or gas inserts to operate. In both cases, a decorative element disguises the piping that provides the natural gas into the fireplace. You end up with a flame that doesn’t require wood, much like you’d get from a gas stove burner.

You can also find direct vent gas fireplaces that pull in oxygen from the outdoors but don’t require a chimney. They also have an outer flue that isolates the combustion components from the outside air.

While gas fireplaces provide better heat efficiency than wood-burning ones and a more accessible fuel source, they have their own drawbacks.

For example, natural gas in your area may cost more than you’re comfortable spending on it. In that case, it would only provide different charges to your utilities rather than help you save a noticeable amount of money. You’ll also miss out on the wood flames and aroma that you’d get from a normal wood fireplace.

Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces are unique in that they don’t generate a flame to produce heat. Instead, they function more like electric heating units. Cool air is drawn in, heated with a heating coil, and pushed back into the room.

Any visible flame is usually some kind of LED illusion or even produced by a screen.

The main draw of electric fireplaces is that they require very little maintenance. You don’t have to worry about cleaning out or replacing firewood. They consume about as much energy as any free-standing heater.

Fireplace Installation Cost and Factors

Various factors go into installing a new fireplace. If you don’t already have an insert, then one will need to be made. The different types also have their own fuel sources that cost extra to acquire.

Effects on Electric Bill

The two kinds of fireplaces that will have the most impact on your electric bills are wood-burning and gas ones. Both of these types use alternative fuel sources that don’t require electricity. As such, how much they cost will largely depend on the price of wood and natural gas in your area.

Meanwhile, electric fireplaces do use electricity to function. However, they’re different from central heating in that they only work in a limited space.

If you spend most of your time in your living room, then you’ll only need the electric fireplace running to keep it warm. You can’t limit central heating usage to a single room.

Use and Placement

Where you position your fireplace will help determine how effectively it can warm your home. If you want the most use out of it, then you should put it in the most-used room such as a family room. Smaller fireplaces will also work in smaller rooms, but you won’t reap as many benefits from those.

Another option to consider is installing a double-sided fireplace. These allow you to distribute heat better and lend a modern look to your home. However, installing them will cost more and they aren’t always compatible with your home’s structure.

Fuel Source

Are fireplaces a good alternative to central heating in terms of operating costs? To determine that, you’ll need to know the price of firewood and natural gas.

If you live in a heavily wooded area, then you can expect wood to cost much less than if you lived in a dense city. Prices will fluctuate depending on the season.

Your location and time of year will also affect natural gas prices. It’s in much higher demand during the colder months, so it’ll cost more.

Fireplace vs Other Heating Options

While a fireplace isn’t always going to be more affordable than other heating options, it does bring a certain level of style and aesthetic to your home. There’s nothing quite like curling up next to a burning fire on a winter morning, after all.

A space heater is a good option for a small bedroom or office space. However, you’ll get much better mileage out of a fireplace for larger rooms.

Lower Your Electric Bills

Installing a fireplace doesn’t seem like the most obvious way to lower your electric bills. However, it’s a great side effect of upgrading your home and living space. There’s also something pleasurable about adding wood to the hearth on a cold winter’s day.

Dreifuss Fireplaces offers fireplace installation services in the Pennsylvania area. We can install anything from traditional fireplaces to custom options. Contact us for your free estimate and to learn more.

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