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Energy Comparisons: Are Electric Fireplaces More Efficient Than Baseboard Heaters?


When it comes to owning a fireplace, you have to consider how much it costs to use it throughout the fall and winter season to ensure you budget for the expense. Baseboard heaters and electric fireplaces have a similar design and are both considered to be energy efficient. If you want to determine if an electric fireplace or electric baseboard heaters will allow you to save the most money while heating your home, it’s important to compare a few main details and ask, “Are electric fireplaces more efficient than baseboard heaters?” 

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Are Electric Fireplaces More Efficient Than Baseboard Heaters?
  • Finding the Best Electric Fireplace to Own
  • How is an Electric Fireplace Convenient?
  • Installing Your Fireplace
  • Reasons to Own an Electric Fireplace
  • Enhancing the Design of Your Fireplace
  • Where to Place Your Fireplace

Are Fireplaces More Efficient Than Baseboard Heaters?

When you’re narrowing down your options with the type of fireplace you plan to purchase, it can often come down to electric baseboard heaters or electric fireplaces. Both products are innovative with their design and are considered to be more economical than wood-burning a gas fireplaces. You may be asking, “Are electric fireplaces more efficient than baseboard heaters?”

Baseboard heaters work well for controlling the building’s internal temperature and can be installed under a window to block cold air that tries to enter the room. This is a common area to place the product because there’s less insulation near the windows. The heater can keep the building’s temperature more stable and even allow you to turn down your thermostat with your central heating system.

Baseboard heaters often have a 240-volt heater, which requires hiring a certified electrician to install it in your home. Baseboard heaters are known as convection heaters and heat up the liquid to operate and continuously warms the building’s air after enough electricity has been used because the liquid remains hot for a long period of time. This is similar to how a hydronic heater works. They use an average wattage of 12,000 of power and can cost an average of $150 to $400 per month to use in well-insulated buildings.

Electric fireplaces deliver zone heating, which prevents using extra energy to heat unused rooms in the home and offers more warmth than space heaters with heat pumps. The heat stays in the room without escaping, which can prevent the whole house from becoming too hot as heat rises. They only cost an average of three to eight cents per hour to operate, which means you can leave it running throughout the day without noticing much of an increase in your energy bill.

They supplement central heating systems offer more warmth than a hydronic heater when you want to turn down the thermostat in the building and save additional money with your heating options. The heating element produces warm air moments after turning it on for quicker comfort with your home heating.

More Efficient Than Baseboard Heaters

Finding the Best Electric Fireplace to Own

There are many different factors to consider when you start searching for the best fireplace to purchase. The fireplaces can last an average of 20 years, making it necessary to take your time doing your homework and looking around to find the right fit for your property.

Consider the look of the flames to determine which brand offers the most realistic flames any fireplace. The technology built into the feature influences if the flames have enough detail to look like you’re burning wood in the firebox. Check out a flame gallery on each manufacturer’s website to discover the many options available with the look you’ll achieve. Many electric fireplaces have different flame colors and sizes to ensure you can customize the appearance of the flames. You can change the color to match the holiday or even to work with the color scheme of your home.

Consider the BTUs the fireplace offers to ensure you get the right size for the room you plan to use it in, whether you’re considering a home office, bedroom, or living room. Getting the right size will promote proper airflow in the room. Start by calculating the square feet in the room and multiply it by 20 to get the right number. You can also consider how much insulation is present, which influences if more or fewer BTU are needed for proper heat distribution without any cold spots with the electric heat.

The included features also need to be considered to ensure you can invest in something that is more versatile and accommodating. Brands like MagikFlame feature cracking log sounds to provide you with the ultimate wood-burning fire with the infrared heater. The crackling noises will make your guests believe you have a real fire burning.

Reading reviews on sites like Amazon can offer additional details about the item to determine which models they prefer in the industry. Take notes and write down the pros and cons of each product to ensure you can make a list of your top choices. Many MagikFlame reviews are also posted on the brand’s website, as well as a photo idea gallery with pictures that have been posted by customers.

Learn a bit about the background of each brand when discovering the different heating options they offer. The MagikFlame story is unique because the company was birthed out of the founder’s interest in finding an electric fireplace that had the same look and appearance of a real fireplace. When he couldn’t find anything that had realistic flames in the industry, he decided to use his background in f/x special effects in the film industry to invent holographic technology. The technology is patented, which means you won’t find any other brand using it. A screen sits directly behind the faux logs and features details like burning embers and billowing smoke for a realistic effect. Each product also comes with a heater with 5,200 BTUs and 30 realistic flames.

Learning how MagikFlame is built on the company’s website can also offer more trust in the brand. The site is also a great place to browse the MagikFlame electric fireplace buying guide and discover payment plans and financing offered to customers before making your purchase. The American-made brand manufactures its 28” insert in Nashville, Tennessee, which can make it easier to perform repairs when certain parts are needed in the future. You don’t have to try and find a specific part in another country, which can affect the lifespan of the fireplace.

How is an Electric Fireplace Convenient?

You can take advantage of the convenience of an electric fireplace and increase its appeal and value. You don’t have to worry about spending money on wood or finding a place to store it on the property. The lack of fireplace tools and a fireplace screen that is needed offers additional savings.

Electric fireplaces also come with unique features like a remote control to ensure you can control the feature from anywhere in the room without getting out of your seat. Built-in timers also automatically shut off the device after a specific period of time, making it easy to leave it on when you fall asleep.

You also don’t have to spend time starting the fire and keep it going. You can sit back, relax, and watch your favorite movie without getting up off the couch to ensure you can truly relax.

Installing Your Fireplace

Installing a fireplace is easier than you think when you own an electric model. The simple design makes it easy to have it up and running the same day you unbox it without hiring a professional. The reason the fireplace is appealing is because it doesn’t need any vents or chimneys to be installed to start operating. The lack of smoke it produces doesn’t require venting. Compared to a gas fireplace, it also doesn’t need a gas line.

If you select a freestanding fireplace with a plug-in design, it’s easy to connect the cord to an electrical outlet to ensure you can begin using it. You don’t need to hardwire anything or contact an electrician to set it up.

Built-in fireplace inserts can be installed inside of the cavity of a wall if you want the feature to be flush with the wall, which creates a sleek, upscale look in the interior of the building. Because the fireplace is inserted directly into the wall, it can boost the market value of your property and deliver more warmth than space heaters.

Some people even choose to install an electric insert into an existing fireplace that they want to update and make more efficient. You no longer have to deal with the hassle of burning real wood and can still enjoy the beautiful mantel and surround that came with your original fireplace. The insert can fit right into the firebox and plug into a nearby outlet. Some models can even be hardwired if you want a more permanent feature to use long-term.

Many fireplaces are also easy enough to install with only a screwdriver to avoid purchasing additional tools. The simple design makes it convenient and easy to put together, even for those who don’t consider themselves to be handy.

Reasons to Own an Electric Fireplace

There are many reasons you should consider owning a fireplace that uses electricity when you want something to heat your home and add a cozy ambiance to your living space. This type of fireplace offers a high level of appeal because it’s available in a variety of looks and decorative features. You can have more options with the style you select to ensure it reflects your personal taste and complements the interior design in your home.

Electric fireplaces are an ideal heat source for residents who are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. The product doesn’t release any emissions like a wood-burning fireplace, which can offer peace of mind when you want to enjoy having a fire without making an impact on the environment. It also uses less energy to operate compared to a gas fireplace to ensure you don’t waste any electricity while it’s in use. Additionally, trees don’t need to be chopped down to fuel the fires each year. You also don’t have to worry about using propane or natural gas compared to a gas fireplace.

Electric fireplaces have also become more advanced in recent years, which means they now look more similar to a real fireplace. You can create the illusion of having a wood-burning fireplace in your home without spending as much money on the product. You don’t have to invest in masonry or modifications while achieving the same look to ensure you can show it off to your family members and friends.

You also don’t have to spend time or energy cleaning out the fireplace in-between uses. Because an infrared heater is used, there are no ashes to sweep up when you need to maintain it. You also don’t have to schedule a chimney sweep each year, which removes creosote that builds up over time. Without any creosote present, you don’t have to risk a chimney fire compared to a wood fireplace.

There’s also a high level of safety that comes with this type of fireplace, making it family-friendly and more accommodating. You can have peace of mind knowing the glass panels or doors won’t get scalding hot because real flames aren’t used. Your family members, pets, and children can roam around freely without any risk of burning their skin if they accidentally bump into the fixture. The automatic shut-off feature also offers peace of mind if you forget to turn it off. Compared to a radiator heater, there’s no risk of fires or burns.

The lack of smoke and particles that the feature produces also protects the health of your loved ones. Many homeowners are surprised to learn that traditional fireplaces can affect the indoor air quality because of the contaminants they release into the air. This can be problematic for those who suffer from breathing problems. Those who are sick in the house are even at a higher risk of developing bronchitis if there’s a wood-burning fire. Fireplaces that run off of electricity use LED lights, mist, and even screens to create the look of the faux flames without using a fuel source. You can continue to breathe well and protect your home without sacrificing the fires that you enjoy each season.

Electric fireplaces are also unique because they can be used year-round to ensure you use it more frequently, whether it’s hot or cold outside. This type of fireplace is more versatile because you can shut the heating element off if you just want to enjoy the beautiful flame effects. You can turn the infrared heater on in the middle of the summer to enjoy the entertainment of the dancing flames without making it warmer inside the building. Many models also allow you to only turn on the heating system without using the flame effects if you prefer.

Perhaps one of the main reasons so many consumers are attracted to this type of fireplace is because of the cozy touch it adds to the home. You can create a soothing and inviting environment with a fireplace that emits a warm glow in the room. It’ll make it easier to unwind and feel more at ease at the end of a long day with a feature that makes the house feel like a home.

Additionally, there’s less heat loss with an electric fireplace because 100 percent of the heat produced is used and is released into the room. Wood-burning fireplaces lose an average of 80 percent of their heat and also require leaving a window open for proper ventilation, which can make the room feel colder. Gas fireplaces also lose 30 to 40 percent of heat, causing a spike in an electric bill and less energy efficiency.

Renters can also enjoy this fireplace because it’s portable and doesn’t need to be installed in a wall. You can make an investment in the product and enjoy taking it with you to your new home without leaving it behind. The compact size also allows it to fit in smaller rooms, condos, and apartments to ensure renters can also take advantage of the same benefits of a fireplace that homeowners enjoy.

Enhancing the Design of Your Fireplace

There are many ways you can customize your fireplace to ensure it blends in with your setting and is a reflection of your personal style. Consider painting the enclosure and shelf with a bold color shade to make a statement and allow the feature to stand out in the space. You can also add laminate wood floor planks and paint them white to create a shiplap design if you want something with a farmhouse look.

Take advantage of the fireplace mantel when you’re styling your fireplace. The mantel is a great place to display your favorite items, whether you want to show off some of your favorite books or a few family photos. Adding larger objects like tall vases with smaller items will offer a cohesive look. Consider adding a main decor item on the mantel, which will prevent the space from appearing cluttered. Candlesticks and vintage items you find at flea markets can also draw more interest to the feature and allow it to have a custom appearance.

There are also items you can add to the bottom of the fireplace to make a statement and draw more attention to the feature even when it’s not in use. Stuffed poufs are cozy and can offer a seating area in the living room. A woven basket full of blankets can also offer extra storage space and add a decorative touch.

Some people may also prefer to mount their television above the fireplace, which has become more popular in recent years. If you choose this option, avoid adding additional items to the mantel to avoid blocking the view of the TV.

Are Fireplaces More Efficient Than Baseboard Heaters

Where to Place Your Fireplace

There aren’t a lot of rules to follow when you’re trying to find the ideal spot for your fireplace. The main guideline is that it needs to be within a few feet of a built-in electrical outlet to ensure you can easily plug it in at any time. Never use an extension cord, which can lead to a fire. Instead, move the fireplace closer to the outlet.

Measure the fireplace in advance to determine which walls it’ll fit on without looking too large. You can also place it directly in front of the room’s entrance to make it more noticeable each time your guests walk into the space. The cord should be tucked behind the feature to prevent cats or children from tampering with it. The portable design of the fireplace can make it easier to move it to another room in the home when you want to change the layout of the setting. You can lift it on your own or ask another person to assist.

Discovering how baseboard heaters and electric fireplaces compare to one another helps you to become more informed to make the right selection for your home after asking, “Are electric fireplaces more efficient than baseboard heaters?”. Understanding the operation of electric fireplaces helps you to appreciate the low-maintenance design compared to baseboard heaters.

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