How will an electric fireplace save me money?
As electric fireplace specialists, we hear a lot of misconceptions about electric fireplaces when people visit our showroom. One of the most common is that electric fireplaces are expensive to operate. In fact, the opposite is true, so we want to address the question “How will an electric fireplace save me money?” Much of this information is summarized on our website.
How will an electric fireplace save me money compared to a gas fireplace?
First of all, an electric fireplace will cost far less to purchase, install and operate than a gas fireplace. A good electric fireplace may be purchased for under $1000, which is much less than the cost of a gas fireplace, especially when you factor in the cost of the ventilation components. Installation of an electric fireplace may be done by the homeowner in many cases, and a professional installation will cost well under $500 in most cases. Installation of a gas fireplace is much more complex, due to the safety issues created by combustion, and must be completed by a licensed gas fitter; the cost of the ventilation and installation may actually exceed the cost of the gas fireplace itself. Lastly, the cost of operating an electric fireplace is pennies per hour. The flames in an electric fireplace are based on an LED light source, and so cost very little to operate. The heaters in electric fireplaces are only operated when heat is required, and do not run all the time. Most homeowners in our area will spend less than $100 per year to operate an electric fireplace year-round. The cost of operating a gas fireplace will be more than this, because these units burn fuel whenever they are turned on, to create ambiance or to heat. Plus, better flames generally require more fuel.
How will an electric fireplace save me money on my heating bill?
An electric fireplace is ideal for Zone Heating. That is, you can use an electric fireplace to take the chill off those rooms that you use most, without turning up the furnace. In many homes, the distribution of heat from the furnace may be uneven. Those rooms furthest from the furnace or rooms over the garage, may remain several degrees cooler than the rest of the house. If you turn up the furnace to make those spaces cozy, the other rooms in the house become overheated. An electric fireplace is ideal for heating spaces of 400 square feet or less, so they are perfect for most rooms in the house. They will take a chill off without overheating the room. (Compare this to a gas fireplace, which will put out far more heat than most rooms need.) Electric fireplaces come equipped with blowers on the heaters, so that all warm air is pushed into the room, and nothing is lost through venting, because there is no venting. This will allow you to keep the furnace set at a lower temperature, thus saving on overall heating costs.
How will an electric fireplace save me money when I renovate?
In North America today, all building codes are requiring progressively more energy-efficient construction techniques. This means that our homes are getting warmer and more airtight. This also means that we need less supplemental heat. Renovations are also bringing homes up to the new standards. However, we still desire fireplaces in our homes, even though we may no longer need the heat they produce. An electric fireplace is the ideal fireplace for today’s homes, because it provides ambiance with or without heat. Best of all from a high-performance building perspective, an electric fireplace doesn’t require builders to penetrate the building envelope, because no venting is required. Because electric fireplaces are much less expensive to purchase, install and operate than gas (for all the reasons stated above), an electric fireplace will save you money when you renovate.
Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors specializes in electric fireplaces and custom fireplace designs. In their Toronto-area showroom, they display over 50 electric fireplaces, in wall displays featuring finishing materials. Their expert staff can assist with the design and construction of fireplace features, and advise on installations as well.