Fireplaces have different kinds, and today we will focus on Gas vs. Electric fireplaces.
This article will help you choose the most suitable type of fireplace for your house.
Let’s dive in to see the specifications of gas and electric fireplaces. (Cost, efficiency, resale value, and more.)
Gas vs. Electric Fireplace: Operational & Installation Cost
Gas fireplaces are far better than wood-burning and provide an appealing look to your room while being energy efficient.
Considering all costs required to set up a gas fireplace neatly, from buying it to perfectly installing it, the estimates run between $2,500 and to 7,000 & more.
The cost of installing a fireplace varies, too, depending on whether you opt for ventless or direct-vent installation.
The cost for the ventless type of installation, including labor costs, can go up to $1,800 to $3,500 & more, whereas for the direct-vent installation (labor charges included) it goes up to $2,100 to $10,000 & more.
Labor costs vary and fall between $500 to $3,000 for prefab units and between $1,000 to $10,000 for customized installations.
Remember – You need to spend extra money, as most units need to extend the gas line, which costs around $10-$20 for every linear foot.
The most variable factor is the cost of running a gas fireplace, as it depends totally on model size and the number of BTUs they put out.
Did you know: The price of natural gas is estimated by pricing in units per therm. (One therm = 1,00,000 BTUs.)
In early 2022, per therm of natural gas cost around $1,413. To simplify, $0.71 is the average amount per hour spent on gas to keep the gas fireplace running.
If you run your gas fireplace for 12 hours a day, you would spend around $59.6 weekly.
Remember – Gas prices can vary depending on your area, so calculate the estimates on your local gas price.
Electricity Cost for Electric Fireplace
The cost of running your electric fireplace will vary depending on where you reside.
On average, however, it costs $0.22 per hour to run an electric fireplace. (In the U.S.A)
If you use your electric fireplace for 5 hrs a day, your cost for running it would be $7.58, and that for a whole month would be $32.5. (5hrs per day)
Fuel Cost for Gas Fireplace
As mentioned, for electric fireplaces, the cost will vary for gas fireplaces will also vary.
However, as per the calculated estimates, it will cost around $0.49 to run your gas fireplace for an hour, whereas if you run it for 8 hours, it will cost you $4.41 a day and $132 for a whole month. (If you run it 8 hours a day.)
Gas vs. Electric Fireplace: Efficiency & Heat Output
Gas fireplaces have proved to be much more efficient at heating your home or your room than traditional wood-burning fireplaces.
Also, the heat output of gas fireplaces ranges between 30,000 to 50,000 BTUs, sufficient to heat any of your rooms perfectly.
Advantage – Gas remains constant all the time and no temperature changes, unlike a traditional wood-burning fireplace.
Electric fireplaces produce heat at 100% efficiency! Shocking, right?
This efficiency rate is so far above the efficiency that traditional fireplaces give off.
Electric fireplaces heat the room depending on the voltage supplied to them and generally, they produce 4,500 BTUs, whereas they can also give off 5,000-6,000 BTUs and some models even go up to 9,000-10,000 BTUs.
Which has the most Real Flames?
When you want your room to have a certain ambiance, you have to go with gas fireplaces. You will have the most realistic flames in gas fireplaces; however, the artificial flames in electric fireplaces also have a very realistic appeal.
You almost can’t identify if the flames coming off electric fireplaces are a vision. Moreover, you can enjoy electric fireplaces’ pets with or without heat throughout the year, even when the room is not to be heated.
Gas vs. Electric Fireplace: Maintenance
Maintenance is regularly needed when it comes to your gas fireplace. Maintenance is essential for your gas fireplace to run safely and smoothly. If not maintained periodically, gas fireplaces can build up carbon monoxide gas, posing a threat to yourself, kids, elders and even pets around.
Electric fireplaces, however, can survive with minimum to no maintenance. There are no electrical outlets or any damage to cords, so they pose no danger or risk to you and others.
Be sure to follow the instructions given by your manufacturer in the manual about the upkeep of your electric fireplace and other safety measures that you must follow.
What is the Average lifespan of Electric and Gas Fireplaces?
Electric fireplaces have a lifespan of about 20 years, making it clear that they have a longer lifespan than traditional wood-burning fireplaces and even gas fireplaces. However, the light bulbs that your electric fireplace has will need to be replaced every 2 years to enjoy visible realistic flames.
Generally, gas fireplaces last for about 10 to 15 years before replacing them with a new one. However, things like maintenance, the type of gas fireplace you own, and the installation quality all contribute to the time your gas fireplace will survive before it needs to be replaced.
Gas vs. Electric Fireplace: Safety & Environmental Aspect
Gas fireplaces are not as safe as electric fireplaces as they produce a real flame whereas electric fireplaces do not.
This gives electric fireplaces an advantage as they do not require a vent, whereas gas fireplaces need one.
Gas fireplaces are considered to be superbly efficient as they convert 90% of their energy into heat. But, since gas is a non-renewable resource, it is not optimal to burn gas all the time and also to burn it results in releasing certain particles such as CO2 into the atmosphere.
Electric fireplaces do not use as much energy as gas fireplaces and do not directly emit any particles into the atmosphere. Still, the process of producing electricity to power your model may end up producing CO2 too.
Remember – Electricity may also be a non-renewable resource, depending on where you reside.
Gas vs. Electric Fireplace: Resale Value
Leaving out all the benefits and drawbacks of gas and electric fireplaces, traditional wood-burning fireplaces or gas fireplaces add about a 50% to 75% increase in the home value. In contrast, electric fireplaces end up adding minimal value to your home.
Although, based on the buyer’s preference, they may choose one over another despite the increase or decrease in the home value.
Which is Best for Your Place?
Choosing between a gas fireplace and an electric fireplace is always tricky. They both have excellent features, advantages, and even ambiance.
Gas fireplaces produce heat from actual flames, whereas electric fireplaces give off an artificial flame, which creates an illusion of real flames.
Gas fireplaces cost more for replacements when it comes to installation. Electric fireplace requirements must be met when installing them, and you need to look at their specifications with extra care. Also, consider both the operating costs in your localities for gas and electric fireplaces.
Tip – Install a CO (carbon monoxide) detector whenever installing a gas fireplace.
Also, look at how much maintenance costs for gas and electric fireplaces are and also how often you need to make a maintenance check on them. After this, see what safety measures gas and electric fireplaces bring and choose the one that better suits your home and environment.
Remember – Gas Fireplaces remain hot to the touch, whereas electric fireplaces tend not to.
Choose Electric Fireplace if
There are several reasons for choosing an electric fireplace, some of which we have already mentioned in above points. The others are –
- If you do not have a gas line in your house,
- Do not care as much about having a natural flame,
- Want to heat a small or medium-sized room rather than an ample space,
- Have low electrical costs in your localities,
- Want to have the total purchase low as it can get,
- Have kids, and pets running around and about your house or have elders as well,
- Love a fully DIY installation option,
- You want the safest option out there.
Choose Gas Fireplace if
Similarly, some of the reasons to choose a gas fireplace have been mentioned above, but other unique reasons are –
- Want a natural flame,
- Have high or very high electricity costs in your localities,
- Own a gas line,
- Aim to heat large spaces most of the time or even all the time,
- Do not have to be concerned about kids or pets running around or about elders getting into mishaps,
- Have a high budget and want the most aesthetic fireplace for your house.
Electric and gas fireplaces are fantastic and get even better depending on your locality and need.
Consider each of the points mentioned above to make the best purchase for your house.