gas and electric

A fireplace is a beautiful addition to any home as it produces steady warmth and warmth for your living space. Besides, certain research has shown that a fireplace can increase the value of your home by up to 12%. However, when planning to install a fireplace in your home, you’ve got to choose a gas Vs electric fireplace.

Both options have their pros and cons, making it a bit difficult to settle on a certain model. Luckily, this guide analyzes some of their notable differences to help you make an informed decision about which type of fireplace will work better in your house.

Let’s get into it!

Differences between Gas and electric fireplaces

  • Energy efficiency

Efficiency refers to the amount of energy that goes into actual heating. For instance, if a fireplace is 80% efficient, 20% of the used energy is lost.

With that in mind, gas fireplaces convert energy to heat at an efficiency of about 70 – 90%. On the other hand, electric fireplaces have an efficiency of up to 100%. This means that they convert almost all the energy to heat, making them much more efficient than the gas models. Plus, electric fireplaces do not burn solid fuel, thus eliminating the need for any form of ventilation such as a chimney. Therefore, they will not lose any form of heat through fuel, helping you enjoy 100% of the produced heat.

  • Heat Output

Considering the main aim of buying a fireplace is to enjoy a cozy and warm room, it’s important to ensure that the unit you choose can produce adequate heat. The heat output of electric fireplaces usually varies depending on the electric current. For instance, an average 120V outlet can produce about 5000 BTUs, which can heat up around 500 sq ft. Therefore, you can comfortably use an electric fireplace to heat a small or medium-sized room.

Contrarily, gas fireplaces produce twice as much heat as electric models, making them ideal for heating larger or poorly insulated areas in your home. On average, a gas-powered fireplace produces adequate heat to warm up a space of up to 2000 sq ft.

  • Aesthetics

Both gas and electric fireplaces are available in various beautiful designs that can complement your home decor. However, gas fireplaces have a more realistic look than electric models since the gas produces a visible and warm flame.

Although an electric fireplace produces heat, it doesn’t produce a flame. Instead, most electric units project images of a burning log. These images can either have an artificial or convincing appearance, depending on the quality and model of your fireplace. Some units have features like LED lighting, hologram imaging, or videos of burning wood. In addition, they may have sound effects that make the fireplace produce a crackling fire sound during use. More notably, they have different installation options like the wall-mounted design to make them look more authentic.

  • Eco-friendliness

To determine if a fireplace is environment-friendly, you should consider its efficiency, fuel source, and emissions. Gas fireplaces use a non-renewable resource that releases some particles into the environment when burned. Although they don’t produce toxic levels of carbon dioxide within your home, they still release some emissions into the atmosphere.

Electric fireplaces, on the other hand, consume less energy and don’t directly release emissions or smoke particles into the air. Best of all, they can be more environmentally friendly if you use a renewable energy supplier.

  • Maintenance

Although gas fireplaces are considered less maintenance than wood-burning fireplaces, they still need some annual maintenance. For instance, you must inspect the vent every year and clean it as needed. Also, you should inspect the unit for leaks and ensure they’re operating properly. On the other hand, electric fireplaces don’t require regular maintenance since they don’t burn gas or require vents.

  • Safety

While gas fireplaces are generally considered safe, they tend to become hot quickly. As a result, their glass door can become hot enough to cause burn injury when touched. Also, like any gas-powered device, these units can experience a gas leak if they’re not maintained properly. This can lead to significant health issues or a fire accident if they’re not dealt with on time. Luckily, most gas fireplaces are equipped with a gas shut-off valve that you can use in case of a gas leak.

Electric fireplaces can also cause electric fires if they’re damaged. However, they have fewer safety concerns since most electric models have various safety features like automatic shut-off features that prevent them from overheating.

  • Cost

Cost is another factor you can’t overlook when comparing gas vs electric fireplaces.

The cost of buying a pre-built gas furnace ranges from $900 – $3000, depending on the type and model. Plus, you’ll need a small gas exhaust pipe for venting the unit, which can range from $200 – $500. In addition, the cost of installing additional gas fireplace components will be between $1500 & $3000. Still, on installation, the cost of connecting the gas fireplace to an existing gas line in your home will be about $150 – $300. But, if you’re connecting it to a new gas line, the cost will be about $300 – $800. Overall, the total cost of installing a gas fireplace in your home will be between $2,750 and $7,300.

In contrast, an electric fireplace installation doesn’t need special plumbing or vents. Instead, you only need to connect it to a wall outlet and you’re good to go. As for the initial cost, you can find an electric fireplace for as low as $200, but the most impressive designs range from $1000 – $2000.


When it comes to choosing a gas or electric fireplace, various factors will influence your decision. A gas fireplace is preferred if you already have a gas line in your home, have high electrical costs, and wish to heat a large area. Moreover, a gas fireplace replicates the look of a natural flame since it produces a flame and generates more intense heat.

On the other hand, an electric furnace is a better option if you don’t have a gas line. Also, it’s a safer and easier to install option, compared to a gas fireplace.

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