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Gas vs Electric Fireplace - What are the Differences?

Of the many ways that you can make a statement at home, a fireplace is by far one of the most memorable. Not only is this an aesthetically pleasing focal point, but a functional investment too.

If you have already started your search for a fireplace, you might be debating whether a gas or electric fireplace is a better option.

To help you solve this conundrum, we’ve outlined some key considerations.


Gas vs Electric Fireplaces: What to Consider Before You Buy

Here are some of the key differences between a gas vs electric fireplace.

The Installation

How costly and easy it is to install a gas vs electric fireplace is where the first difference comes in. Overall, a gas fireplace is more expensive to purchase and install, mostly because you need to install a gas line or connect a propane supply. All you need to turn on an electric fireplace is an electrical outlet. The only time you might run into extra costs is if you purchase a larger electric fireplace that requires a line with a higher voltage.

What’s more, gas fireplaces require an outlet against an exterior wall - inserting the fireplace into an existing fireplace is another option. This is not a concern with an electric fireplace because it doesn’t produce carbon monoxide. 

In terms of the overall installation, it’s quicker and easier to get a professional to assist you. However, it is easier to install an electric fireplace on your own than it is a gas alternative. 

The Hazards

Any type of fireplace is a potential fire hazard but there are steps you can take to stay safe. For one, making sure that your fireplace is installed correctly is a good start. It’s also important to keep any flammable objects away from the fireplace. Fortunately, most electric fireplaces are not hot to the touch, but it’s still best practice to clear the area around your fireplace. 

Since gas fireplaces produce real flames and carbon monoxide, they tend to be higher risk. It’s highly recommended that you install a C02 detector if you plan to purchase a gas fireplace, but this means additional costs. 

The Running Costs

While the cost of running a gas vs electric fireplace depends on local utility prices, overall, it’s more affordable to run an electric fireplace. In most instances, you can save as much as 10 cents per hour when you install an electric instead of a gas fireplace. 

As you can imagine though, the efficiency of the model you decide on will also affect the total running cost.

The Maintenance

The good news is that both gas and electric fireplaces are low maintenance. If anything, you might need to clean the glass screen of your electric fireplace every few months and carry out any repairs if they arise. With a gas fireplace, you will need to clean the flue every few months too, depending on how often you use it. 

Gas vs Electric Fireplace: What’s Right for Your Home?

If you have high electric costs, have an existing gas line, and would prefer to heat a larger area, a gas fireplace might be right for you.

If you want to enjoy warmth and realistic flames without the fumes, greater fire risks, and higher running costs, an electric fireplace is an ideal choice.

Have a look at our top electric fireplace picks here.