There’s nothing quite like the curling up in front of a warm, crackling fire. Yet not everyone wants to deal with all the maintenance and added cost of a traditional wood-burning fireplace. For those who want the warmth and ambiance a fireplace provides without all the extra work, gas and electric units can offer the perfect solution.
If you are trying to choose between a gas and an electric fireplace, there are a few things to consider. Read on as we cover some of the points that can help you to decide which type of fireplace is right for your home.
In general, it costs more to purchase and install a gas fireplace than it does any electric one. However, a gas fireplace typically costs less to operate and offers more warmth. Therefore, while an electric fireplace may cost less up front, a gas fireplace can possibly save money in the long run. However, it’s important to remember that operating costs for both gas and electric fireplaces will depend the model and size of the unit, current utility rates, and frequency of use.
With both a gas and electric fireplace, you can heat a room with the push of a button. However, you will need a gas line or propane supply for a gas-powered fireplace. An electric fireplace only require a standard outlet for operation.
Most people tend to find gas fireplaces more aesthetically pleasing than their electric counterparts. Gas fireplaces produce an actual flame that emits heat much like a wood-burning fireplace whereas electric fireplaces project an image of a burning log. Some electric models may have sound effects that mimic a crackling fire and utilize water vapor and LED lights to produce a more realistic looking flame, but it can’t quite compete with a real one.
While gas fireplaces produce more heat overall, electric fireplaces convert energy more efficiently because they convert nearly all electricity to heat. Since an electric fireplace does not need to be vented, all the heat stays in the room. What’s more, electric fireplaces use efficient LED light bulbs and can run without the heater turned on, further contributing to cost and energy savings.
Gas fireplaces should be routinely inspected by a certified fireplace technician for gas leaks, and cleaned of dirt, dust, pet hair, and other debris. The flue also should be cleaned once a year. On the other hand, the only maintenance that an electric fireplace requires is routine inspection of wiring and the replacement of light bulbs as they burn out.
In general, electric fireplaces have fewer safety risks than gas fireplaces. A gas fireplace produces noxious odors like carbon monoxide and can also have a gas leak. Therefore, proper and routine maintenance is crucial. While electric fireplaces do not pose the same risks, an electrical fire could start if wiring is damaged.
While a fireplace – whether gas, electric, or wood-burning – can be a lovely addition to a home, it cannot replace your home’s main heating system. For preventive heating system maintenance, repairs, and expert installation, contact the complete home service team at Anthony’s Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning.