WHY BUY AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE? 4 GREAT REASONS TO CONSIDER…

. CUTTING COSTS: CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS AND TRADITIONAL WOOD BURNING AND GAS FIREPLACES

Electric fireplaces can have a tremendous effect on electric bills especially during the winter months because they don’t require as much energy as a central heating system. They cost less to run than heating systems with electric fireplaces costing on average only 8-12 cents an hour to run, totaling about $25 a year. Compare that to gas, which typically costs 17-19 cents an hour to run and about $60 a day and you’re looking at a $35 difference. So utilizing an electric fireplace and turning down the central heating system can save a tremendous amount of money in just one day.

One principle to keep in mind is that electric fireplaces shouldn’t replace a central heating system, but rather help keep one specific area warm. This method is called zone heating. Essentially, zone heating is keeping the parts of the home that are used the most warm in order to save more energy. The best strategy for heating your home when it’s cold is to have the electric fireplace in the room that has the most traffic such as the family room or kitchen and then keep that area warm, while you turn down the heat to save some cash. Keep in mind that these fireplaces can keep about 400 square feet heated, so use this as a way to keep one area warm, while your turned down central heating system keeps your pipes and other essentials from freezing in the especially colder months.

In addition to helping cut costs from the electric bill, I found these electric fireplaces can save more money than stone, built-in fireplaces that are powered by burning wood. The first way they can save money is the installation costs, with a traditional brick and gas fireplace having a substantially higher installation cost than electric fireplaces. Installation prices can make or break the bank because you have to hire a skilled mason and factor in various construction costs, which can easily cost a couple thousand dollars. And if you choose a gas or propane fueled fireplace, the cost can increase by another couple thousand dollars. According to HouseLogic.com, a traditional fireplace can cost a whopping $2,000 for the basic materials package with Installation and finishing typically adds $2,500.

So that’s about $4,500 dollars for a regular brick fireplace for just the installation alone.

Yikes.

But have no fear as this may be the time you consider other options! Luckily, I got just the thing for you; electric fireplaces that cost tremendous less for installation than their traditional counterparts. Let’s begin with the basic types of electric fireplaces and their associated costs:

Electric Log Inserts

These are electric logs and brazier combos replace wood logs in an existing fireplace without an installation. A typical log insert can heat up to 400 square feet and simply plugs into a standard electric outlet. These logs typically cost $150-$200 and can be placed in a fireplace.

Plug-in Electric Fireplace Inserts

This option has the look of a fireplace and can fit into an existing mantel or other area of the home. The main difference between this insert and the built-in insert is the built in has a bit more power and can be connected with the home heating and electric systems. The plug-in insert has enough power to heat 400 square feet and typically plugs into a standard outlet. These fireplaces typically cost $150-$350.

Built-in Electric Fireplace Inserts

Like the name implies, these pieces are built into mantels, entertainment centers, or the wall. 220-volt versions are able to heat as much as 800 square feet. Most are hardwired into the home. These usually cost $250-$600.

All three of these options offer a significantly lower price for their installation over a traditional fireplace by a couple thousand dollars and without much of the hassle.

I know money can be tight so make sure to examine all the options to keeping your home warm. If you have a tight wallet, the cost of a electric fireplace may be enough to entice you to buy an electric fireplace, but let’s take a look at another positive that electric fireplaces have: their impact on the environment.