As electric fireplace experts, we often get asked if electric fireplaces are expensive to operate. Questions usually arise out of concerns about the high cost of electricity in some areas, and the belief that electric fireplaces are going to use a lot of power. The truth is that electric fireplaces cost less to purchase, install, operate and maintain than gas fireplaces.

What is the cost of running an electric fireplace compared to gas?

Yes, it costs less to run an electric fireplace than it does to run a gas fireplace. The key is in the fact that flames operate independent of the heaters on electric fireplaces. Because the flames are low-energy LEDs, they use very little power. It takes more power to run the heaters, so that is when electricity consumption goes up. Because we have control over the amount of heat produced by an electric fireplace, we have control over how much it costs. With features like thermostat control on the fireplace, the heater will regulate itself and turn off when the desired temperature has been reached. If we don’t need any heat at all, we can enjoy electric flames without heat. This makes electric fireplaces great for year-round use and enjoyment.

Compare that to a gas fireplace, where the flames are the source of heat. Often, the nicer the gas flames look, the more gas they are consuming and the more heat they are producing. Many homeowners have had the experience of overheating their room with a gas fireplace, then having to turn it off. Gas fireplaces are not able to be enjoyed year-round because they produce too much heat for warmer weather.

How to calculate the cost of running an electric fireplace — Electric cost calculator

Napoleon has created an easy-to-use Electric Cost Calculator. All you need is a recent electricity bill showing rates at peak and off-peak times. You also need to think about how many hours you want to use your electric fireplace, whether you want to use it with or without heat, and whether you plan to connect to 120 or 240 volts.

What is the cost of running an electric fireplace without heat? With is the cost of running an electric fireplace with heat?

We calculated the cost of using an electric fireplace 4 hours per day, 365 days per year, using a blend of Peak and Off-peak rates, in Southern Ontario. Without the heater, the cost of electricity is under $5.00 for the YEAR. With the heater connected to 120 volts, and using flames 12 months, and the heater 6 months of the year, for 4 hours per day, the total cost is under $120 for the YEAR.  If you choose to connect the fireplace to 240 volts, the cost for the same usage would be $235 for the YEAR. For comparison, the cost of running a typical 30,000 BTU gas fireplace for 6 months, for 4 hours per day, is $460 for the YEAR. (Note that gas fireplaces are too hot to operate year-round, so we have only calculated the cost for 6 months. If you run yours year-round, then double the cost.)

What does it cost to buy a new electric fireplace?

We mentioned earlier that electric fireplaces cost less than gas. Our current range of prices for electric fireplaces, as shown on our website, is $399 to just under $12,000. At the higher price point, you get a 100-inch fireplace with the latest technology. It isn’t possible to purchase a gas fireplace as low as $399 and something as large as 100-inches in gas would be a custom installation with another zero at the end of the price tag.

What does it cost to install an electric fireplace?

Many homeowners install their own electric fireplaces. The actual mounting of the fireplace is fairly simple, and some models may be plugged in to an existing outlet. Some dealers will also install the fireplace for you; our simple installations start at $300 – $450 plus tax. Whether you install your own electric fireplace or hire the dealer to do it, adding a new dedicated electrical line is the most costly part of the installation for most folks. This requires a licensed electrician to run a new electrical line directly from the electrical panel to the fireplace. However, this is generally less expensive than running a gas line and doing the venting required for a gas fireplace.

What does it cost to maintain an electric fireplace?

A regular LED electric fireplace has virtually no maintenance. You may occasionally need to remove the front glass and clean the dust off the inside glass and the media tray. Those electric fireplaces that produce mist from tap water will require annual cleaning of the water reservoirs. That’s it!

Because gas fireplaces are burning a fuel, there can be residue build-up on the inside of the glass. Also, those burners need to be checked and maintained regularly to ensure clean, safe burning with no carbon monoxide emissions.

Stylish Fireplaces knows that adding a fireplace to your home can be challenging. With an electric fireplace and their NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialists, it’s easy to create a space you’ll love to share with family and friends. Check out all the options and connect with their experts for help to find the perfect electric fireplace for you. You’ll live stylishly ever after. 

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