Fireplaces: Gas vs. Wood vs. Electric
Why should I install a fireplace?
A fireplace is a great addition to your home as a supplemental or backup heating source. Fireplaces are also commonly used to adjust or improve the ambiance and aesthetics of your living space. Often, when remodeling a home for resale, the owners will add a gas fireplace to improve the aesthetics and resell value of the home. Gas is commonly used in this decision because it is generally more convenient for a prospective homebuyer than a wood stove is.
Which type of fireplace is best for my needs?
It depends on your needs! If you’re looking for a quick fix when it comes to redesigning a space, an electric fireplace is your best bet. Electric fireplaces put out a maximum of 10,000 BTUs, with standard electric fireplaces putting out about 5,000 BTUs on average. Electric fireplaces are a great option for renters or landlords in rental units to help reduce heating costs. There are permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary types with various styles available in electric fireplaces. If you are in need of an additional heat source or a backup heat source (that doesn’t use electricity), then a gas fireplace will be the better option to research. The typical gas fireplace puts out 30,000 BTUs on average. Gas fireplaces are convenient because they are simple to control temperature of the heating output. Gas fireplaces tend to be used by those who have busy lifestyles, as they are more convenient to use and maintain
than wood fireplaces. Wood fireplaces provide a comforting experience with the sound of the fire crackling, the smell of the burning wood, and the warmth of the hot, dry heat, but your space must be able to accommodate the space needed to store the wood. Wood fireplaces tend to burn hotter, with average BTUs from 60,000 to 80,000, depending on the model, airflow damper, etc.
What resources do I have readily available to help me choose the best fireplace type?
If you have natural gas already available in your home, then installing a gas fireplace will be much easier than having to set up a natural gas connection to your home. Before considering a wood stove installation, be sure to think about your schedule and if you have the time to put effort into harvesting wood for your fireplace (or research local firewood companies that may have wood readily available).
How often will I be using my new fireplace?
If you are planning to use your new fireplace regularly and live a busier life, a gas fireplace would be a great option. If you will be using your fireplace regularly, as a heat source, and have the time to cut, split, and stack wood, a wood stove may fit your needs best. Alternatively, if you are If you are only planning to use your fireplace a couple of times per year, gas or electric options should be researched to decide which option better fits your needs.
Will an electric fireplace raise my electricity costs?
The average electric fireplace uses about 1000 to 1500 watts of power. If you are using an electric fireplace to improve or change the ambiance and aesthetic of the room, you will not notice much of a difference on your electricity bill. If you plan on using your electric fireplace for regular heating, though, you may see a (ballpark) $50-$100 per month increase in your electric bill, depending on the settings you use for your unit.