Fireplaces keep you warm, look beautiful and encourage a certain lifestyle choice that many aspire to. Just imagine gathering around a fireplace with friends in winter or curling up in front of one with a good book and a glass of red.

Two of the most popular fireplaces are gas and electric, but each suits a certain budget and living style. What’s one to do? Relax, we’ve done the legwork for you and have come up with this guide to the differences between them so you can figure out what suits you best.

 Gas

Look and feel

If you have a sentimental longing for a log fire but don’t want the maintenance and mess that comes with it then gas can be a good option. It still has the look of a traditional fireplace with a live flame and artificial logs that are usually made from ceramic or concrete.

Ease of use

Gas fireplaces are easy to operate, usually with the push of a wall button or a remote – perfect for when you’re lounging on the couch! There’s no waiting for the fireplace to cool down and is an efficient heating method.

Gas is also environmentally friendly and works when there’s a power outage. You can’t deny the appeal of having a warm, glowing fire when the power is out in the dead of winter.

Cost

Gas fireplaces can be more costly upfront than wood fireplaces as you have more components involved in the manufacturing process. A direct vent gas fire is a simple way to have a gas fire installed with minimal installation expenditure as these fires can vent simply out the back with a very short flue. Installation can be expensive if you need to run a gas line in.

The ongoing price of a gas fireplace depends on the price of gas where you’re living but they are often the cheapest fireplace option in the long run.

Bottom line

Are you after a warm, live flame that costs upfront but is cheaper over the long run? Gas is the way to go.

Electric

Look and feel

Electric fireplaces can mimic traditional fireplaces with the option for masonry and other traditional finishes but they produce no real flame – only the image of one. They are also unsuitable for heating large areas because they don’t produce much warmth.

Ease of use

Electric fireplaces are low-maintenance and a low-effort choice because they only need a power point and are simple to install. There’s also no specific storing or maintenance required.

Cost

Electric fireplaces can be expensive because they run off electricity. However, installation costs of electric fireplaces are next to nothing because they don’t need to be vented – just unpack them, plug them in and you’re done.

This also means that you have more options for where to install the fireplace as you don’t have to worry about chimneys, or you can even move a small electric fireplace from room to room.

With all things considered, electric fireplaces are the cheapest option for the short term.

Bottom line

Looking for a cheap, convenient and pretty option for a small area? The electric fireplace is your friend.

Made your decision? Good. Now go daydream about how pleasant that fireplace will be in your lounge room.