Gas Vs Electric Fireplace – Advantages, Disadvantages, & Which Is Best?

Blog, Electrical & HVAC

A fireplace is a wonderful addition to a home, especially if you live in a region or area that is cold. Years ago, wood-burning fireplaces were the norm, but due to the hefty cost of installation and the need for extensive maintenance, they are not as popular as before.

These days, in the bid to find more efficient and affordable alternatives, people opt for gas and electric fireplaces. They are easier to install, still affordable, and have very few maintenance requirements. But the topic of discussion now is which of these two fireplaces poses a better choice for your home. If you happen to be in a dilemma about which fireplace is right for you, then this guide is for you.

This article will discuss both types of fireplaces, their advantages and drawbacks, and other factors to consider before answering the question, such as gas and electric fireplaces – which is best?

Gas Fireplace

gas fireplace

Just like a wood-burning fireplace features firewood, a gas fireplace features gas (natural gas or propane) as the fuel. They are seen as a superior alternative to wood-burning fireplaces mainly because they heat a space quicker.

Advantages of gas fireplace

  • The flame from a gas fireplace adds ambiance to whatever space or room the fireplace is situated
  • There are different stylish designs to choose from that can match the aesthetics of your home
  • Unlike wood-burning fireplaces, you are in absolute control of the flames
  • You can still warm your house even in case there is a power outage
  • Low maintenance

Drawbacks of gas fireplace

  • The cost of installing a gas fireplace can be high if you do not have an established gas line in your home
  • You run the risk of a potential gas leak either from the fireplace or its piping
  • You will spend more on gas or propane used as fuel than you will spend on wood to produce similar heat

Electric fireplace

electric fireplace

Unlike wood-burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces, the electric fireplace doesn’t actually produce fire or flames. It only creates the heat needed, which is powered by electricity, and the fire is more like an illusion.

Advantages of using an electric fireplace

  • The setup and installation are very easy
  • Unlike other types of fireplaces, electric fireplaces do not require a gas line, chimney, flue, or any other type of ventilation system to operate
  • An electric fireplace is environmentally friendly. That is, they don’t produce any harmful fumes (e.g., smoke or carbon monoxide)
  • They are extremely safe to use
  • They are easier to clean or maintain
  • You can switch off the heat and simply set the fireplace to produce a flame effect. This can help boost the aesthetics of your home.

Drawbacks of using an electric fireplace

  • The heat from electric fireplaces may not be sufficient to heat the entire home the way you’d hope
  • In case of power outages, you will be unable to use your electric fireplace since it runs on electricity
  • Compared to the others, an electric fireplace is more expensive as you run it on electricity


Gas vs. electric fireplace – which is cheaper to install?

The cost of purchasing and installing an electric fireplace is relatively cheaper than a gas fireplace.

Which has a better lifespan: a gas fireplace or an electric fireplace?

In terms of lifespan, a gas fireplace is often considered to be the best option.

Which is easier to install: as or an electric fireplace?

In terms of installation, the electric fireplace is easier and quicker to install than a gas fireplace.

Is a gas fireplace easier to maintain than an electric fireplace?

No, it is not. Since electric fireplaces are built without ventilation systems, they do not produce soot or other emissions during use. Automatically, you’ll spend less time cleaning and caring for it than gas fireplaces. However, you will need to replace any burnt-out bulb for the electric fireplace at least every 3 years.

Gas Vs Electric Fireplace – Which offers better aesthetic appeal?

A gas fireplace tends to offer a more appealing aesthetic than an electric fireplace. This is because gas fireplaces are built to carry real flames that resemble wood-burning fireplaces, unlike electric fireplaces, which carry illusion rather than real fire.

Which is safer, gas or electric fireplaces?

The electric fireplace is considered the safest as it doesn’t run the risk of a gas leak like the gas fireplace.

Which is cheaper to run, a gas or electric fireplace?

Although a gas fireplace is more expensive to buy and set up, it is typically cheaper to run than an electric fireplace.

Conclusion: Gas vs. electric fireplace – which is best?

In the quest to get the best type of fireplace for your home, you must first weigh the aspects mentioned above. That is, you must consider safety, running cost, price of installation, and maintenance. Generally, the electric fireplace is considered to be a better option for most homeowners.

This is because the installation and set-up are relatively easy, it is environmentally friendly, and comes with low maintenance needs. However, in the long run, a gas fireplace could be the better alternative for your home. Running a gas fireplace provides cost-effective heating with real flames.

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About Samkins

Samkins Construction Inc specializes in custom home building, general contracting, design-build, architectural design, construction management, and real estate services.


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