Gas vs Electric Fireplace: A Comparative Guide

gas vs electric fireplace

Choosing a fireplace for your home is a big decision. It acts as a centerpiece for your living area, and will define many memories within your home. It’s no surprise that around half of all new homes are sold with a fireplace, as many homebuyers strongly prefer them!

Still, if you want to install a new fireplace at home, you have a big decision to make between fuel sources. Hopefully, we can help with that. Let’s settle the score on gas vs electric fireplace and see which is right for you!

Benefits of Electric Fireplaces

The benefits of a fireplace are quite obvious, as you can sit back and enjoy a cozy snow day with your loved ones with a book or a movie. However, here are some of the key benefits of electric fireplaces specifically!

Electric Fireplaces Only Require a Plug

Do you have a spare wall outlet? Of course you do. Fortunately, that’s all you’ll need for an electric fireplace, as you won’t need any specialized hookups or specialists to set it up, and you can essentially put it anywhere!

Less Toxicity

While gas fireplaces are incredibly safe, there is still less of a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning with electric heat. CO poisoning sends 50,000 people to the hospital and kills over 430 American every year. While an electric fireplace may still cause issues with burning wood, the effects are much less than that with gas heat.

More Environmentally Friendly

Wood and electricity are two of the cleanest heating sources you can use in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. As the grid becomes more and more based on renewable energy sources, electric fireplaces will become even more environmentally friendly. To protect your community and the planet, this is a definite plus for electric fireplaces!

Lower Initial Costs

Electric fireplaces typically cost less to install than gas fireplaces, as they require less specialized training and equipment. Again, all you need is a place to put it and an AC wall outlet! This allows you to put it in almost any room in your home.

Less Maintenance

Electric fireplaces need little to no maintenance beyond the occasional cleaning. Electric infrastructure is typically built to last, whereas gas pipelines can cause a host of potential issues and expensive, specialized repair bills. This typically translates to a longer-lasting fireplace as well, but not if you maintain your gas fireplace as directed by the manufacturer.

Benefits of Gas Fireplaces

Gas fireplaces are another excellent choice for aesthetics and functionality. Here are some of the key benefits of gas fireplaces and how they compare to electric fireplaces!

Work With What You Have

Do you already have a gas hookup at home? Why not work with what already exists in your home? This way, you won’t have to lug as many logs into your house throughout the winter, and you won’t have to add anything special to your house.

However, if you don’t already have gas hookups in your home, then this could be a large expense to add. In that case, an electric fireplace is likely the better choice, unless you were already planning to add gas infrastructure. Otherwise, a direct-vent gas tank may be an appropriate solution, as this would require the lowest initial costs!

Save Money

Although gas fireplaces are often more expensive to install, they will still save money in the long run.

On average, gas heat is less expensive than electric resistance heat. While gas and oil prices fluctuate widely, electricity costs tend to stay more steady and predictable over the long run. That is, steadily and predictably high.

Even operating at 100% efficiency, electric resistance heat can be up to three times the cost of gas or oil heat, depending on your location. If you pay $0.10 per kWh, this may not be a major difference. However, if you spend $0.20 per kWh, as many Americans do, the difference can easily add up to over $1000 per year.

The truth is that even with record-high gas prices this past year, the cost of gas heating was still substantially lower than electric. A gas fireplace will save you money in the long run.

Faster Initial Heating

Gas heats up much more quickly than electric heat. If you are buying a fireplace for a vacation home, accessory dwelling unit, or commercial space, the difference in time can be substantial, as you may need to heat up the space quickly upon arrival.

Stability During Outages

Everybody in the US should anticipate worsening power outages in the coming winters. We all know how devastating winter power outages can be without a reliable heat source. Unfortunately, if the power goes out, so does your electric fireplace.

For a more secure and reliable heating source during the winter, gas is the better option.

If safety is your top priority, this is a good choice. We mentioned that electric fireplaces pose less of a carbon monoxide risk, but a vented gas fireplace is still incredibly safe on that front, while also offering heat off the grid.

Gas Fireplaces 13

Gas vs Electric Fireplace: Which Is Better?

Now that you know the difference between a gas vs electric fireplace, you can see why they are both such popular options. There’s no right or wrong answer, as it heavily depends on your needs and preferences.

Stay up to date with our latest homeowner tips, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help finding a fireplace for your home!

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