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Gas vs Electric Fireplace. Which is better?

Gas vs Electric Fireplace. Which is better?

There are typically two options when it comes to buying a fireplace: an electric or a gas-powered one. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose wisely if you wish to buy a new one or replace an existing fireplace. Figure out which option best meets your needs and make any adjustments.


Prices for gas fireplaces start at $400+, while electric ones range from $400 to $7,000 or more. The process to install a gas fireplace and the need to vent gas fireplaces can be expensive, plus maintenance which can cost more than electric fireplaces

Gas fireplaces will cost you an average of 17 cents per hour on your utility bill. It is recommended to consider yearly service checks, which should not cost more than $100 for each examination. Electric units only require minimal maintenance and their expenses are comparable to those of a standard refrigerator or any other higher-voltage appliance in your home.

An electric unit is a more cost-effective choice if you don't have access to an existing gas line. Electric fireplaces are less expensive to purchase and install than their gas-burning counterparts. Overall, a gas-burning fireplace costs more to operate than an electric fireplace.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric Fireplace

Installation and Maintenance

Gas fireplaces require less maintenance compared to wood-burning fireplaces. They just need to be inspected and maintained at least once a year. The vent should be examined for leaks and cleaned as needed. They are an excellent option for those who desire the warmth of a traditional open hearth fireplace or wood stove without the hassle of maintaining one.

Electric fireplaces do not burn gas or require vents so they only need little to no upkeep. This makes it a practical choice for those who want to own a fireplace but don't want to deal with regular maintenance.


A gas unit uses between 7,000 and 16,000 BTUs, which are 70% to 90% effective in converting energy to heat. Electric heaters and fireplaces, especially the cheaper ones, will have a smaller BTU. They have an electric current-based output, so an average 120V outlet generates over 5000 BTU, just enough to heat a room about 500 square feet.

Gas Fireplaces

Gas Fireplace

In terms of efficiency, a gas-burning fireplace is the best solution for this. However, keep in mind that most expensive electric models offer a strong return on investment too.

For additional information on BTU, check this article: What is BTU? Heater and Fireplace BTU Rating


Since it only takes a push of a button in order to operate and produce realistic-looking flames, an electric fireplace takes the lead in terms of convenience. Gas units are similar, although they ignite flame a bit slower due to the fact that they use natural gas or propane tank. Either way, both types of fireplaces are much more convenient than a traditional wood-burning fireplace.

Design and Safety

The electric fireplace design simply displays an image or animation of a flickering flame or burning wood, while gas fireplace creates real and visible flames. The gas-fueled one wins in terms of a realistic flame look. However, you'll be dealing with real flames so you need to be more cautious about what you put near your fireplace. And like other gas appliances, they are prone to gas leaks.

The electric one is much safer since there are no real flames. They still generate adequate heat even if they don't have real flames and works just like a space heater. Certain models incorporate LED lighting, images or videos of a burning flame, and sound effects that simulate a crackling fire, as well as installation options like wall mounting, which may help the fireplace appear more lifelike.

Environmental Friendliness

Using an energy-efficient home heating source is one effective approach to decrease your carbon footprint. One that is not overly reliant on natural resources and does not emit greenhouse gases.

Gas is a fossil fuel, which is not as detrimental to the environment but it somehow emits greenhouse gases. They are proven to be a suitable eco-friendly alternative since they produce fewer emissions than an open fire.

Electric fireplaces are a more environmentally friendly option. They heat your home with energy-efficient lights rather than burning wood or fossil fuels. Despite the fact that electric units are safe, the process to produce heat releases dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide into the environment, which is a non-renewable resource.

Which type of fireplace is better?

It is a matter of personal choice. We found gas units to be more energy-efficient, however, you must ensure proper fireplace installations, and maintenance can be expensive. Electric units are cost-effective and have a greater impact on most people. The goal here is to understand what you really need to ensure that you achieve the outcomes you want from your desired fireplace.

Look through our most popular and best selling gas and electric fireplaces:

Since the winter months are fast approaching and you're looking for ways to warm up and improve your home, here are some fireplace ideas to help you plan your next design. Check out this article: Fireplace Trends 2021: Best Fireplace Ideas For Your Home

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