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How Expensive Is It To Run An Electric Fireplace?

Power-Bill

Many ask how much electricity does an electric fireplace use?

Use the MagikFlame Electric Fireplaces Cost Calculator to Find Out the Price of Your Next Heating Bill.

We Recommend NOT Changing Watts to Kilowatts As The Price Will Compound Incorrectly (IE: Very High!)
Heat Level Is Usually Medium to Low and is Rarely High (IE: Runs In CONJUNCTION with HVAC)

ELECTRIC FIREPLACE

COST CALCULATOR

How will you install your electric fireplace?

power plug
Plug-in 120V
hard wired
Hard wired 120V

What is your cost?

*auto populated cost based on North American average of rates. For more accurate results check your electricity bill for current rates in your area.

cents/kWh

Your Wattage?

Unit of Power

Daily Usage?

Duration?

Choose an Operation

flame
Flame only
flame-and-fan
Flame with Heater

Heat level?

How Much Does It Cost to Run an Electric Fireplace?

An infrared electric fireplace costs homeowners approximately $250 for a rolling six-months. This compares to $400-$700 for most other heating options. The MagikFlame electric fireplace is efficient, green, and cost-effective. 

An electric fireplace with a fan and a heating coil costs can be a challenge if it’s a mechanical unit instead of a holographic unit. 

Our easy, utility bill cost calculator tool allows you to get these numbers quickly. Or, take your watts and divide by 1,000 converting watts into kilowatts. Multiply these kilowatts by the kW/hr rate from your power bill. This produces your hourly cost of operation. The type of fireplace you choose matters. The best electric fireplace is a heat source that can seem like real flames while it minimizes energy cost and saves you money.

DISCLAIMER: Any estimated or approximate costs shared may differ from your unique utility setup and calculation. This content is intended to provide a sense of different types of technology and options on the market. The information listed is subject to change. Costs and prices may vary.

How to Determine the Cost of Running an Electric Fireplace?

You determine the energy costs of running by finding how much electricity you use each day by kilowatts (kW). Then multiply that by the time you wish to calculate your use for (month, week, etc.). If that sounds complicated, don’t worry. Our calculator will figure out all the math for you, determining the cost to run an electric fireplace. Below you will find the calculator and explanations of everything you need to fill it in. This will give you a measure of comparable energy efficiency.

How to Use the Calculator?

This text explains how to fill in the blanks above. Gather some basic information about the fireplaces you are considering and your electric bill, and you can fill out the calculator.

How Will You Install Your Electric Fireplace?

Choose whether the fireplace you are measuring plugs into a wall outlet or wire directly into the home’s electricity system.

What is Your Cost?

Look on your electric bill for your cost of electricity per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Our calculator fills in the North American average of ten cents per kWh if you don’t have an actual bill handy.

Your Wattage

If you are measuring for a MagikFlame, the calculator automatically fills in your answer (1500). If you are looking at another model, they list the wattage in the materials with the fireplace. The wattage is also printed somewhere on the fireplace itself as well.

Unit of Power?

Select whether your fireplace’s wattage is in watts or kilowatts. For a MagikFlame unit, watts are pre-selected.

Daily Usage?

Daily usage is the time you run your fireplace each day. The scale runs from one minute to 24 hours. Select the time that is closest to the average daily time your fireplace is on. If you run it for 4 ½ hours, for example, select 5 because over measuring the cost is better than under measuring.

Duration?

Duration measures the time you use the fireplace at the daily usage amount listed above. Do you use it 2 hours/day or 24 hours/day?

Choose an Operation

Select whether you use the flame only (to look like a fire) or flame and heat (to look and feel like a fire.) You might run the fireplace for 24-hours over the 3-month winter season and only use the visual flame without the heat in the summer.

Electricity Used and Cost

Here are your answers from the calculator. It will tell you both how many kilowatt/hours you use and what is the total cost for that use. Now, you can make comparisons between different fireplaces, to see the running costs of each.

Complete costs

How much does it cost to run an electric fireplace? Costs of operating the fireplace are not the only costs of an electric fireplace. To determine total costs you need to find the purchase price of the unit, its installation costs, and its maintenance costs.

Running costs

The running costs result from the calculator above. This measures the amount you will spend over a set period, e.g. monthly or yearly. These costs can vary and are based on running on high, instead of other heat settings.

Purchase price

The purchase price is what you will pay to gain your fireplace. This can run from under $200 for the cheapest models to over $13,000 for the most expensive. These prices may or may not include a mantle or frame for the fireplace. A MagikFlame electric fireplace is typically between $3,000-$4,000, depending upon the unit.

Installation costs

Will you have to hire someone to install the fireplace, or can you do it on your own? Some of the cheapest units just come out of a box and plug into the wall. More complicated units will require an installation crew. If you want to wire it directly into your home’s electricity system you will need an electrician. For a gas fireplace and log set, you must install a gas line if you do not have one running to your home. This is a substantial cost. A MagikFlame electric fireplace does not require installation or contractor.

Maintenance costs

Maintenance costs also differ by the fireplace you choose. A traditional wood-burning fireplace requires a chimney sweep to clean out the chimney and flue. Electric fireplaces do not come with that expense. Electric units do not need a chimney vent or any venting. For most types, maintenance costs are minimal. Mechanical fireplaces have moving parts that will break down. Other units will require only occasional maintenance. MagikFlame electric fireplaces have limited maintenance costs due to the premium components.

I Want to Do the Calculations Myself

Here are the formulas for those who want them. (Everyone else, skip to the next heading).

The energy E in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day is equal to the power P in watts (W) times number of usage hours per day t divided by 1,000 watts per kilowatt:

 

E(kWh/day) = P(W) × t(h/day) / 1000(W/kW)

 

The energy cost per day in dollars is equal to the energy consumption E in kWh per day times the energy cost of 1 kWh in cents/kWh divided by 100 cents per dollar:

 

Cost($/day) = E(kWh/day) × Cost(cent/kWh) / 100(cent/$)

Costs and Types of Heaters Compared:

We have run some average costs for the United States through the calculator and posted them below. We rounded the numbers to make comparisons easier. Do note that these numbers are very rough averages, and actual costs will differ.

 

Infrared Quartz Heaters

Infrared quartz heaters create a quiet, radiant heat that warms but does not dry out the room. We find these units in most high-end heaters, including MagikFlame. The electric fireplace heater is free of both smoke and carbon monoxide. This heat is energy efficient and has the lowest utility cost of all major heating types (unless you cut your own wood.)

Using the visual flame without heat on a MagikFlame fireplace costs approximately $0.47 each month because it has efficient LED lights. Operating the unit on high costs around $23.40 each month. Using it on low costs around $7.80 each month. If you run the unit on high for six-months and run it on visual flame only for six, your annual costs are (approximately) less than $150.

Space Heaters

Space heating can work well for occasional use in small places. The cost per heat unit is high. Costs range for different units. If you run an average heater 24-hours per day, it will cost $125 each month, equalling about $760 per year if run for six-months.

 

Forced-Fan Coil Based Electric Fireplaces

Forced fan heaters are the heating units in many of the lower-end electric fireplaces. They electrically heat coils and use a fan to blow warm air out. The fan is noisy, and you must be careful to keep flammable things away from the heater. A forced-air firebox is best for small spaces. To run the two units needed to heat the same space as a MagikFlame would cost around $110 per month and $650 per year.

 

Gas Fireplace

Natural gas is costing less than electricity in most places, and it will cost less to run a natural gas fireplace. On average, to heat the same space, a gas fireplace will cost around $15 per month or $90 per 6-month heating year. If you rely on propane, it costs more. A propane fireplace will cost $80 per month or about $475 per year. Natural gas units cost less than any other type of power today, but the price of gas is volatile and will change.

 

Traditional Fireplace

Traditional wood is lovely, but it is expensive and inefficient. Most wood fireplaces burn at about 10% efficiency. This leads to great heat loss. Running costs can range from nothing if you cut your own wood to over $3000/year if you live in a place where firewood costs are high. A quality wood stove will cost half of that.

 

Central Heating

Again, costs range, but to warm the same amount of space with an average home heating unit will cost around $100/month. But the central heat number is rougher than any of the others listed above. Still, the cost is four times the cost of running a MagikFlame.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Electric Fireplaces Save Me Money?

Yes. If you compare a MagikFlame electric fireplace costs roughly $450 less per year to run than central heating. That cost will be $610 less per year than running space heaters. Compared to a forced-fan coil-based unit, a MagikFlame saves you $500 each year. At those prices, a $3000 fireplace will pay for itself in 5-7 years. After that, the savings from your lower utility bill go 100% into your pocket. It’s typically more flexible and portable than a home with a traditional fireplace. Especially when it comes to clean up and maintenance. If you want to understand the utility bill impact, use our utility cost calculator.

Can I Match the Ambiance of a Traditional Wood-Burning Fireplace?

Yes, with a MagikFlame fireplace you can. Most electric fires stop short of looking like a true fire. They use mirrors, lights, translucent panels, or mist to create a flame effect. MagikFlame has developed holographic technology to create images of flames that seem like actual fire. You can choose from a variety of visual flame types with wood that seems to burn beneath them. This is the same technology used in theme parks. We add sound recordings of fire for some models and some come with a scent spritz of pine wood to complete the illusion.

Our technology is ahead of our competitors, including Touchstone and Dimplex. They use mist to create flames in many of their units. You must refill the mist container or connect it to a water line. Mist does not create the look of actual flames our holograph creates. Duraflame uses even older mechanical technology. Dimplex sells some holographic fireplaces, but they are not as realistic as MagikFlame.

What is Zone Heating?

Zone heating is a fresh way of thinking about heating your home and other buildings. With traditional heating, most people try to heat the entire house evenly. Traditional heating keeps rooms at your desired temperature, whether or not you use them. 
Zone divides your house into regions, often rooms or groups of rooms that share an airflow. You work on heating only the rooms that you are in and not the rest of the house. If you are in the living room all the time, an electric fireplace is a great way to heat that room. Focus on what temperatures and for how long you need to heat various places.

Can you give an example of how the zone approach works?

How might this work? The homeowner may heat the house to a cooler base temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit. They then might put electrical fireplaces in the most-used rooms. The fireplace adjusts down or off when you do not need the heat. Or turn it to the visual fire only with minimal costs. When it gets cold, crank up the heat. The 65 is the ideal temperature for sleep, so you would not need to heat the bedrooms anymore. You may want small, quick heaters in the bathrooms for immediate comfort. With an electric fireplace insert, the kitchen may heat when you open the door that connects it to the heated room.
With a smart thermostat, you can set different rooms to heat automatically at the times they are most needed. This enables you to do tasks like using your smartphone to warm your home as you leave work, so it is comfortable when you return home. With this smart technology, setting zones is no hassle and gives a big return on your energy bills.

What are BTUs?

BTUs are British Thermal Units. They are a way to measure the heat given off by an object or process. With this number, you can compare the warming abilities of different heaters. On average, you need 30-50 to heat a square foot. MagikFlame fireplaces create 5,200 BTUs heating 1000 square feet.

What Types of Fireplace Can I Get?

Fireplaces come in many models. Wall-mounted fireplaces can go almost anywhere you have an open wall. These can set in front of a wall or can be cut into the wall. Inserts slide into an existing fireplace. Freestanding models can sit in the middle of a room. Traditional mantles match many decorating schemes, while corner units can solve a decorating problem. Fireplaces come in many styles and colors as well.

Are Electric Fireplaces Green?

Yes, electric fireplaces are greener than most other options. They are very energy efficient for the homeowner. By comparison, firewood is renewable, but it burns notoriously dirty. Gas relies on at-home combustion of fossil fuel, which is not as efficient as getting electricity from a power plant. Infrared radiant heat is the most efficient you can buy.
Renewable and sustainable sources can power your electric fireplace. These can be home solar panels or large wind farms that sell power to your electric provider. Every year, our mix of fuels to create electricity becomes greener and more sustainable, making the fireplace even greener.

What Other Features Make a MagikFlame Great?

The smartphone app allows you to adjust your fire without kneeling down to the actual firebox. The fireplace uses can include being a white fireplace TV stand. You can even order MagikFlame on Amazon.

Summary

Infrared radiant heat electric fireplaces overall cost substantially less than other types of heating. (Unless you log and chop your own wood on your own land). However, every house, type of heater, and electricity rate is different. We have created a calculator so you can directly compare your personal costs.

An Easy Way to Find Out How Much Electric Fireplaces Raise Your Electric Bill With No Math Required. Plug n’ Go!

MagikFlame electric fireplaces (for reference) consume 1,500 watts of electricity to run on high and about 750 watts on medium heat. The amount of heat output is called a British thermal unit and is abbreviated (BTU). To continue using this unit for example we know it’s a 5,200 BTU heater and according to the manufacturer, it’s highly energy-efficient and green making it a good choice to take the chill out of a room. Most electric fireplaces consume about 12-15 amps with the heat turned on and much less when off.

When comparing the cost to run an electric fireplace versus a traditional gas or wood-burning fireplace it does cost much less to run. 


Electric Fireplaces
are Green and Planet Friendly

Electric fireplaces are generally considered to be a green product and much better for the planet than a wood burning or gas fireplace. Traditional combustion fireplaces will emit chemicals into the air when burned like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, and formaldehyde. These gases are not safe for humans to breathe and are not good for the planet. Electric fireplaces on the other hand do not emit hazardous fumes and are therefore not only safer to use but better for the planet. The carbon footprint of an electric fireplace is practically zero since nothing is being burned. 


Electric Fireplace
Installation Cost

When installing a traditional combustion fireplace like a gas or a wood burner there are expensive installation costs involved with these types of fireplaces. For instance traditional fireplaces need to be vented which can be very costly. Installing a chimney on a flue can cost several thousand dollars. Running a gas line for a gas-burning fireplace can also cost a few thousand dollars and requires permits. An electric fireplace on the other hand does not require any permits to install, and does not require any venting, which will save a considerable amount of money on your fireplace installation. If you have your electric fireplace professionally installed, like framed into a wall, there will be minimal fees, and far less than a traditional fireplace. If you install your electric fireplace with a wall mantel package, no professional installation is required, and generally the installation cost when using a freestanding wall mantel fireplace is free. If you can turn a screwdriver you can install a wall mantel electric fireplace as it easily pushes up against a wall and plugs in. Done.


Maintenance Considerations & Fees

There are considerable maintenance fees associated with traditional wood and gas burning fireplaces. For instance your chimney and flue needs to be cleaned at least once a year in order to keep it safe. This is a considerable expense when using a traditional wood-burning fireplace for instance. The annual maintenance fees are not insignificant and should be factored into the cost of operating a traditional fireplace. Electric fireplaces on the other hand are very economical to run as they do not require annual chimney sweeps. Electric fireplaces are a fantastic consideration for those looking for a hassle-free fireplace experience with little to no maintenance, and annual expenses related to cleaning and maintenance.


Consumable Fuel Savings

Another factor to consider when operating a traditional gas or wood fireplace is the cost of the fuel that your fireplace burns. That will be in the form of wood or natural gas. As the cost of wood goes up and forests around the world are condensing, this cost can begin to add up. Although wood is still relatively inexpensive, the fact that it’s a consumable energy source, and becoming more scarce, year after year, the cost of this consumable fuel will go up. The more that you use your wood burning fireplace the more that it will cost you to operate, because you will be using more wood for fuel. Likewise a natural gas fireplace running off of propane for instance is also a consumable fuel that is becoming more expensive year after year, as less of it is available as it’s used. An electric fireplace on the other hand uses just electricity that can be created from renewable sources, and is much less to operate than a traditional fireplace, because no fuel source is actually burned and consumed and LED lights cost almost nothing to run.


Save Money With
Zone Heating

Did you know that 50-60% of your energy bill goes to heating and cooling costs? This is perhaps the most expensive part of your monthly utility bill as it costs a lot to warm air when using a central heating system. A huge way to save on your monthly electricity bill is to utilize zone heating. Zone heating means that you warm only the rooms that you’re in. There is no need to heat your entire home, if you’re spending most of your time in your living room. By using your home’s heating system as your primary heat source, and by keeping it at a low setting, you are saving money on electricity. You can then use your electric fireplace to warm just the room that you’re in, and keep the temperature exactly where you want it. This will greatly cut your monthly energy bill by a significant amount. An electric fireplace works great as a supplemental heating source. Keep in mind that the more square feet you warm, the more your bill will increase. Zone heating is not only economical for you, but good for the environment and highly recommended for anyone wishing to reduce their heating costs and help the planet. The amount of heat output from your fireplace is rated in BTUs. The higher the number, the more capable the heater is at proficient warming that room. 

Energy saving tip: Keep doors closed and windows sealed to minimize heat loss and cut your heating bills


Is it expensive to run an
electric fireplace? What is the cost to run?

The million-dollar question that I’m sure you’re asking yourself is what will it cost to run an electric fireplace space heater? What about energy efficiency? We’ve made this quite simple by programming an electric fireplace utility bill calculator. This will let you know exactly what it will cost to run your fireplace. However there’s a few things that you’re going to need to know first, before calculating the energy usage of your fireplace. Check your latest utility bill or electric bill and find the cost per kilowatt-hour. This is usually somewhere between .10 to .13 cents throughout the United States, but differs from the region to region. 

Second you’ll need to know the wattage of your electric fireplace insert. The MagikFlame fireplace uses a 1500 watt heater which is standard. The next thing to factor in is how many hours a day you plan to use your fireplace. The more you use your heater the more it will cost, which is pretty clear. Also the temperature that you set your thermostat to also makes a big difference. The more heat that’s put out the more it will cost. 

Running the fireplace on high for instance with a $0.13 kilowatt hour cost, at 1500 watts will run you about $23.40 a month. However if you run that same fireplace electric heater on a low heat setting it costs only $7.80 a month to run, which is a significant difference. If you run your fireplace in ambiance only mode (flame effect only) IE:  not using your electric fireplace heater, the fireplace will cost you only about $0.47 a month to run. A very cost-effective solution for providing not only a beautiful flame, but also reduces your carbon footprint, and helps to save the planet, while lowering your energy usage. 


Overall, we hope we answered the following questions in this content: 

How much will an electric fireplace raise my electric bill?

Is it expensive to run an electric fireplace?

Will electric fireplaces save me money? 

To find out what it will cost to run your electric fireplace, use our handy free utility bill cost calculator located here.

Equation For Math Nerds: Energy Cost Calculation
Energy Consumption Calculation

The energy E in kilowatt-hours (kWh) per day is equal to the power P in watts (W) times number of usage hours per day t divided by 1,000 watts per kilowatt:

E(kWh/day) = P(W) × t(h/day) / 1000(W/kW)

Energy Cost Calculation

The energy cost per day in dollars is equal to the energy consumption E in kWh per day times the energy cost of 1 kWh in cents/kWh divided by 100 cents per dollar:

Cost($/day) = E(kWh/day) × Cost(cent/kWh) / 100(cent/$)

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