Is an Electric Fireplace Worth the Money?

Margaret Wack
Written by Margaret Wack
Updated January 11, 2022
Large electric fireplace set in a bright modern living room
Photo: hikesterson / iStock / Getty Images

With an average cost of around $700, electric fireplaces are affordable and can add ambiance to your home

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If you don't have a chimney or simply want to avoid the hassle of a wood-burning or gas fireplace, electric fireplaces are a great alternative. This type of fireplace is affordable, easy to install, and comes in a wide variety of different styles. For just a few hundred dollars, you can add a warm and cozy fireplace to your home—the perfect place to curl up next to on chilly winter nights.

How Much Does It Cost to Add an Electric Fireplace?

An electric fireplace costs an average of about $700. Depending on the size and type of fireplace, you could spend as little as $200. Electric fireplaces are less expensive than the cost of installing a fireplace or woodstove, which can run from $850 to $3,500.

Pros of an Electric Fireplace

When weighing the pros and cons of different types of fireplaces, you’ll want to determine which fits best into your lifestyle and plans. Electric fireplaces are affordable, easy to install, and require minimal maintenance.

Affordable

Electric fireplaces are much less expensive than other types of fireplaces. If your home doesn’t already have a chimney, installing a traditional fireplace or woodstove can be costly. In contrast, electric fireplaces cost just a few hundred dollars.

Easy to Install

Electric fireplaces don’t require a gas line, chimney, or other infrastructure. You can install them anywhere you have a power outlet, and most homeowners can take a DIY approach to electric fireplace installation.

If you want to insert your fireplace into a wall, you might need the help of a carpenter or electrician. You can contact a fireplace installation company near you for a personalized quote.

Easy to Maintain

Electric fireplaces don’t emit harmful fumes like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. They don’t require a chimney, venting, or monitoring. They don’t produce any soot or ash, so they’re easy to clean and maintain. Because electric fireplaces don’t burn or use combustible fuel, they don’t corrode, and they wear out very slowly. This means that they can last many years longer than their fiery counterparts.

Cons of an Electric Fireplace

While electric fireplaces are an attractive and affordable option, they’re not the best option for all homeowners. Here are some reasons why you might want to consider another type of fireplace.

Not as Warm as a Real Fire

Don’t count on an electric fireplace heater to warm your home. Most electric fireplaces don’t emit more than 5,000 BTUs, which is about as much heat as four or five pilot lights. While they can still add a little warmth to a chilly room, they’re not nearly as cozy as a traditional wood-burning fire.

Only Semi-Realistic Appearance

Although the aesthetics of electric fireplaces have improved in recent years, they can still sometimes look less than authentic. They also lack the smell of woodsmoke and the crackling sound of a real fire. If you’re dreaming of relaxing by a roaring fire on a cold winter night, an electric fireplace may not quite scratch the same itch.

FAQs About Electric Fireplaces

Are electric fireplaces worth it?

Electric fireplaces are an attractive and affordable option. They’re especially well-suited to homeowners on a budget or those who want a fireplace with minimal maintenance.

Do fireplaces increase your home’s value?

Fireplaces increase your home’s value by as much as 12%. While gas and wood-burning fireplaces are more valuable, electric fireplaces are still able to give your home’s value a boost.

Do electric fireplaces use a lot of electricity?

Electric fireplaces use an average of $1.85 of electricity every eight hours. These minimal operational costs aren’t likely to make a big difference in your electric bill.

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