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Electric or gas fireplaces: what one is right for you?

A Look at the Pros and Cons of Electric and Gas Fireplaces in Ottawa

Fireplaces are a luxury that many people dream of having in their homes. Regardless of the type (whether electric, gas, or wood-burning), fireplaces are often a selling point for homes, boosting property values. And with the large selection of fireplaces available on the market today, more people are looking at electric or gas fireplaces in Ottawa for a low-maintenance alternative to wood-burning fireplaces.

When deciding between these two types of fireplaces, it’s important to weigh the costs and benefits of each to find a fireplace that suits your needs. Of course, burning real wood in a traditional wood fireplace is appealing for its smell, sounds, and overall ambiance. But these lower-maintenance fireplaces can offer some of the same benefits of burning wood but without the mess.


If it’s ambiance you’re going for, gas fireplaces do have a real flame. However, the artificial flames in high-quality electric fireplaces can look very realistic. Electric fireplaces also have the option to turn on the flames without heat, so you can still have the ambiance of a fireplace throughout the year, even when you don’t want to heat the room.


Overall, gas fireplaces are more expensive than electric fireplaces. They usually cost more to purchase, install, and run. Although gas is typically a cheaper heating source for homes compared to electric heating, this applies to gas furnaces, not fireplaces. The fuel needed to keep the flame going in a gas fireplace alone costs more than the electricity for LED lights in electric fireplaces.


Gas fireplaces emit more heat, so they are a better option for those looking to heat larger areas in a home. On average, a gas fireplace can heat a space of 2,000 square feet while an electric fireplace can heat around 400 square feet. So electric fireplaces are best for only heating smaller areas, such as a living room, bedroom, den, or office.

Energy Efficiency

Since electric fireplaces don’t actually burn anything, they don’t require ventilation to the outdoors. This means there is no heat output lost with these fireplaces. But gas fireplaces may lose some heat output with venting to the outdoors, making them less energy-efficient.


The flames in gas fireplaces generate heat that transfers to the glass, making the glass unsafe to touch. To protect people from burning their skin on the glass, gas fireplaces require mesh safety barriers.

Since electric fireplaces emit heat through a vent, the only part of the fireplace that gets hot is the metal vent. However, this shouldn’t become hot enough to burn skin.

Also, like with any gas appliance, gas fireplaces pose a risk for carbon monoxide leaks, which can lead to poisoning. So these fireplaces require regular maintenance and working carbon monoxide detectors in the home to keep everyone safe.

Whether you want a real flame and extra heat, or you want a fireplace on a budget, consider these costs and benefits to both electric and gas fireplaces in Ottawa to help you decide which type is best for you and your home. Regardless of which type you choose, you will be able to enjoy the luxury having a fireplace to relax by in your home, especially during Ottawa’s long winters.