How Much Does it Cost to Run an Electric Fireplace?
How Much Does it Cost to Run an
Compared to wood-burning and gas ﬁreplaces, the electric version
is typically much easier and cheaper to install, it’s eco friendly and
it can also be an economical way to provide supplemental heating
in your home.
Many electric ﬁreplace inserts and stoves can heat up to 400
square feet, with some infrared models heating up to 1,000 square
feet. If you ﬁnd that your family spends a majority of the time in
one area of the house, like the living room or family room, if can
make sense to add supplemental or zone heating to those areas
instead of paying to heat the entire house.
So, How Much Does it Cost to Run an Electric Fireplace?
The cost, of course, will depend on the utility rates in your area,
the type of electric ﬁreplace or stove that you get and, of course,
your own power usage.
Here’s the short answer:
According to ElectricFireplacesDirect.com, even though electric
ﬁreplaces produce less heat per unit, virtually no heat is lost up
the chimney – making the warmth that they do produce, more
usable and efﬁcient.
On average, electric heaters cost
8-23 cents per hour.
I know, I know, that’s a wide range, but stick with me here.
Something else to consider is the fact that you can operate an
electric model with ﬂames only (no heat) anytime you don’t need
additional heat but simply want to enjoy ﬂickering ﬂames.
Operating costs in no-heat mode end up running 1-2 cents per
hour due to the energy efﬁcient LED lights.
Here is a simple way to ﬁgure out the math:
Watts x Hours Per Day x kWh Rate
Let’s take, for example, the Paramount electric ﬁreplace insert,
which operates at 1500 watts and produces 5,112 BTUs. (This is
fairly standard, as most units are designed to use only about 1,500
watts and put out 5,000 BTUs.) It can heat up to 400 square feet
(units with hight BTUs typically heat a greater amount of space but
will also cost more to run).
We know that the watts = 1,500. If we plan to use the electric
ﬁreplace 5 hours per day, we multiply 1,500 x 5.
Next we need to check our utility bill to see the kWh rate that we
are charged in our area (keep in mind that this can also vary by
time of day). We’ll use 0.15 in this example. You can use this
simple calculator here.
1,500 Watts x 5 Hours/Day x 0.15
kWh Rate = $1.125 cost per day
This translates to about 23 cents per hour. Not bad for no chimney
cleaning, no ash removing, no gas fumes and an easy automatic
remote-controlled ﬁre. Plus, you may be able to lower the
thermostat on your whole house heating unit, and the ﬁreplace
essentially pays for itself!
Gas VS Electric Fireplace Costs
You may ﬁnd in your city that the cost to heat your home with an
electric vs a gas ﬁreplace are very similar. If you’re still undecided,
compare the cost of the unit itself plus installation costs, the
features of both units and whether or not you think you will want to
use the ﬁreplace in the “no heat mode”.
Portable ﬁreplace heaters usually have the same efﬁciency as
other space heaters, but they have the extra advantage of looking
cool. They also can be used in ﬂame-only mode
Tips for Saving Money:
• Switch to “ﬂame-only” mode when you don’t need additional
heat because this only costs pennies per hour to operate.
• If you are on a tiered rate system, avoid peak hours, as they
can sometimes double the cost of use.
• If possible, use heaters in rooms that do not have vaulted
ceilings, since heat rises.