How Much Does It Cost to Run an Electric Fireplace?

The cost to run an electric fireplace is 21 cents per hour using the average cost of electricity in the US and a 1,500 watt fireplace or electric fireplace insert.

Running an electric fireplace for 8 hours costs about $1.70.

What’s here? Get an exact answer to the question – How much does it cost to run an electric fireplace – below using an Operating Cost Calculator and your state’s electricity price from the drop-down menu.

Plus, there is a handy chart showing the cost to run an electric fireplace of various common sizes.

Electric Fireplace Running Cost Calculator

This electric fireplace operating cost calculator is simple to use. Explanatory notes follow, if you need them.

Electric Fireplace Running Cost Calculator

Cents per Kilowatthour

Enter your fireplace’s size. Most are 1400 to 1500 watts, but smaller units are available too. Check the model plate on the unit or the owner’s manual – or search the model online to find its wattage.

Find your state in the Your State menu. The states are categorized into regions, not listed alphabetically.

Consider how long you usually run your electric fireplace, and enter it.

The Cost per hour, Cost per day and Cost per month will automatically be calculated. How easy is that?

Where do you get electricity prices?

Our data comes from the US Energy Information Agency, or EIA.

Did you know? Electricity rates are up 8% to 27% across the country in recent year-to-year data from the EIA. Average rate increase is around 16%.

And, no surprise, it is expected that it will get worse, as much as 35% higher, over the next year.

Electric Fireplace Cost to Run

This chart shows the electric fireplace cost to operate for common sizes:

For 1 hour

For 1 month if you run it for an average of 8 hour each day

Electric Fireplace Cost to Run

Fireplace WattageCost Per HourCost Per Month (8 Hours Per Day)
1000 Watts$.14 (14 cents)$33.60
1300 Watts$.18 (18 cents)$43.20
1350 Watts$.19 (19 cents)$45.60
1400 Watts$.195 (19.5 cents)$46.80
1450 Watts$.20 (20 cents)$48.00
1500 Watts$.21 (21 cents)$50.40

*Based on US Average Electric Rates: 13.84 Cents per Kilowatt Hour

Compare operating costs for fireplace sizes you are considering. As you can see, it costs only about $17.00 more per month – $.56 (56 cents) per day – to run an electric fireplace that is 1,500 watts compared to one that is 1,000 watts.

And you get 50% more heat with the larger fireplace.

If you know the size of the room where the fireplace will be installed, you can choose one rated to heat it. A 1,500 watt electric fireplace insert or free standing fireplace is designed to heat around 140 to 170 square feet. As with a space heater, consider about 10 watts per square foot of space to be heated. 

What is Cheaper to Run – Gas or Electric Fireplace?

It is cheaper to run an electric fireplace. Gas fireplace operating cost is 2-4 times more per hour than the cost to run an electric fireplace.

Here is the comparison of the cost to run an electric fireplace vs cost to run a gas fireplace:

As noted, the cost to run an electric fireplace for one hour is $0.14 to $0.21 per hour.

The cost to run a gas fireplace is $.43 to $.86 per hour for common sizes from 20,000 to 40,000 watts.

If ambiance is your goal, then an electric fireplace is a good choice for affordable operation.

But it is not the most cost-effective type of fireplace for heating.

You have to consider this: You get more heat from a gas fireplace. The equivalent of 1,500 watts is 5,200 BTU. So, common gas fireplace sizes produce 4 to 8 times as much heat, approximately.

Is an Electric Fireplace Cheaper Than Central Heat?

Yes. An electric fireplace costs less to run than central heat provided by a gas furnace.

But central heat pumps can cost less to run than an electric fireplace.

Gas furnaces: Units are 40,000 to 120,000 BTU. As a result, they cost about $.68 to $2.45 per hour based on their size and efficiency.

Heat pumps: Central heat pumps are energy efficient, so their operating costs are lower than those for gas furnaces. When you compare operating costs of an electric fireplace to a central heat pump, the cost is about the same.  

With a heat pump, you can heat your entire home for the same cost that you can heat an area of 100-250 feet with an electric fireplace or electric fireplace insert. 

Written by

Rene has worked 10 years in the HVAC field and now is the Senior Comfort Specialist for PICKHVAC. He holds an HVAC associate degree from Lone Star College and EPA & R-410A Certifications.
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