Should You Spring for an Electric or Gas Fireplace?


Fireplaces are inviting features that add value to your home. They also provide warmth during long Minnesota winters. At Avalon Homes, our homeowners often ask whether they should go with an electric fireplace a gas fireplace. Our answer: it depends! Here are the key differences between electric and gas fireplaces so you can make the right decision for your new home.

  1. Are you going for heat, ambience, or both with your gas or electric fireplace?

If you like the look of a roaring fire but not the heat it gives off, an electric fireplace is a great option for you. Electric fireplaces do not have a flame, just the look of fire. At an average of $0.03 an hour, they are very economical to run without heat. You can get the look of flame for your holiday party without worrying about overheating your guests. For a few more cents per month, you can turn your electric fireplace’s heater on to warm up a cool room.

An extra heat source is nice to have in Minnesota. Gas fireplaces provide both heat and ambience. They produce a real flame, just like a gas stovetop does. Though they are slightly more expensive to run, gas fireplaces put off a lot of heat and make any room feel cozy.

  1. Do you need flexibility in your fireplace design?

Gas fireplaces burn natural or propane gas and need to be vented to the outside. Because they require a chimney vent, they are great options for homeowners who want a permanent feature for their living room, den, or other space.

But if you’d like to move your fireplace around or your home’s design can’t accommodate a chimney vent, an electric fireplace is a good fit for you. Electric fireplaces do not produce air pollutants and are safe to run without venting.

  1. Do you have small children or pets?

Since gas fireplaces produce a real flame, the fire logs and the glass front of the fireplace unit get very hot. Depending on the design of your fireplace, this may present a hazard for small kids and pets. We can design a fireplace for you that mitigates this hazard, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a fireplace.

Electric fireplaces don’t produce flames and their heating elements are buried within the unit. The “fire” and surrounding cabinet are safe to touch when the fireplace is on. If you’re worried about little hands or noses pressing against hot glass, an electric fireplace may be a good option for you.

Many of our homeowners ask us for recommendations on fireplaces. Whether they decide to go with electric or gas, we’ll incorporate the unit into a beautiful room design they’ll enjoy for many winters to come. To learn more about your fireplace options and how we can incorporate one into your new home, contact Avalon Homes today.

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