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Electric Fireplace Cost

Electric Fireplace Cost

National average
$900
(insert into an existing fireplace opening and hardwired)
Low: $255

(basic log set using existing fireplace opening, installation of 120v outlet and dedicated circuit)

High: $1,675

(insert into a wall, reconfiguration by carpenter and hardwiring)

Cost to install an electric fireplace varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from electricians in your city.

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Electric Fireplace Cost

National average
$900
(insert into an existing fireplace opening and hardwired)
Low: $255

(basic log set using existing fireplace opening, installation of 120v outlet and dedicated circuit)

High: $1,675

(insert into a wall, reconfiguration by carpenter and hardwiring)

Cost to install an electric fireplace varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from electricians in your city.

The average cost to install an electric fireplace is $900​.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Electric Fireplace?

A fireplace enhances any home. However, if your home does not have a chimney or you would like to have the ambiance without the maintenance, mess, or fumes, you should consider the benefits of an electric fireplace.

Electric fireplace installation costs can vary wildly. For a simple, glass-front, stone bed, 5,000 BTU insert firebox 1 using an existing 120v outlet, the average cost for a unit and installation is $900.

Pros and Cons

There are lots of great reasons to install an electric fireplace. Having a fire crackling away while it is cold and blustery outside can give your home a comfy, cozy feel, even when it's not a heat-emitting fireplace! Recent advancements make it possible for you to have the realistic look, sound, and even smell of a wood fire without lugging wood and cleaning up ashes.

Also, electric fireplaces are a less expensive option if your home does not have a chimney. Installing a traditional wood-burning fireplace and a chimney can cost $10,000 or more. Electric fireplaces don't emit any smoke or fumes; therefore, no venting or chimney is necessary. Furthermore, electric fireplaces are a much safer option, particularly if you have small children and pets in your home.

Unfortunately, there can be a few downsides to an electric fireplace. They can be costly, and often the simulated fire in the less expensive models isn't very realistic looking. Although, if you are willing and able to spend a bit more, you can acquire a very realistic experience. Of course, electric fireplaces don't work at all when the power goes out, and do not provide heat like gas or wood models. When comparing the heat emission of electric, gas, and wood fireplaces, there is one crucial thing to keep in mind. Although an electric fireplace will emit 5,000 BTUs, and gas and wood will emit anywhere from 10,000 BTUs, nearly all of the heat from an electric fireplace will stay in the room, while as much as 75% of gas and wood heat can escape through a chimney.

Types

One thing that homeowners appreciate about electric fireplaces is the numerous options and variety. Regardless of your home’s style, you will find a model to complement the look and space available. The following table shows a comparison of some popular types, characteristics, and costs:

TypesCharacteristicsAverage costs
Freestanding Units

Easy installation

Less realistic flame

$100 to $635
Inserts

Space-saving

More realistic looking

Easier to maintain than burning wood in an existing fireplace

$100 to $1,035
Corner Models

Space-saving

TV stand and mantel 2 models

Easy installation

$200 to $1,085
Wall-mounted - flat

Space-saving recessed options available

Sleek, modern look

$250 to $1,635
Wall-mounted - curved

Space-saving

Easy installation

Sleek, modern look

$250 to $1,735
Dual-sided

Multi-room exposure

Costly

Complex installation

Impressive look

$1,135 to $6,200

Designs and Colors

One of the most significant benefits of choosing to install an electric fireplace is the diversity of style options. The variety of dimensions and finishes allow homeowners to choose an electric fireplace that will fit complement any space and existing decor. Traditional fireplaces do not always suit a modern aesthetic. More often than not, electric fireplaces have a strictly modern look or a neutral look that can match well with any furnishings.

However, you can also achieve a more formal or conventional look with electric fireplaces with various colors of carved wood, stone, or brick frames or mantels. While browsing for electric fireplaces, you will see designs from contemporary and minimalist to mid-century modern and even French country.

Also, several possibilities exist for your electric fireplace to be multi-purpose. Space-saving models, built-in 3 to TV stands, bookshelves, and entertainment centers, allow homeowners to have a fire in smaller rooms.

In addition to the external look, electric fires come with internal options such as various log designs, black or white stone, river rocks, and might even include LED lights that deliver a choice of flame color. A recent trend in electric fireplaces is the imitation brick refractory look. Traditionally, the brick surround inside of a fireplace was for safety. Although the safety measure is not needed with the electric fireplace, it has the look that many people want in a fireplace.

Heat

The first feature that you want to consider when deciding whether or not to install an electric fireplace is heat. Do you even need or want your fire to produce heat? You may just be looking for the look and cozy-factor delivered by a fireplace. If that is the case, several attractive models on the market are simply lights and mirrors that create no heat at all.

If, however, adding heat to your room is one of the reasons that you are considering an electric fireplace, there are a number of features to consider. Most electric fireplaces claim to raise the temperature in a space between 400 and 1,000 square feet. Depending on where you live, raising the temperature of a room and truly heating it may be completely different things.

The amount of heat produced by an electric fireplace is expressed in BTUs. Most electric fireplaces, like most space heaters, produce 5,000 BTUs, which is adequate for heating a small room. Generally speaking, it is advisable, if you intend to heat a room with your electric fireplace, to purchase a unit capable of heating a room twice the size. Every unit comes with temperature controls that can be set to your comfort level. However, for example, if your room is 400 square feet and you purchase a unit that can raise the temperature in a space 400 square feet, you are sure to be disappointed.

The vast majority of electric fireplaces run off of a standard 120v outlet. This extra power allows the unit to draw a maximum of 1,500 watts creating a heat output of 5,000 BTUs, enough to heat a 400 square foot space. There are other units available that can be connected to a 240v outlet increasing draw to 2,500 watts creating an output of 8,000 BTUs and heating up to 1,000 square feet.

Additional Features

As far as setting the heat on an electric fireplace, features like remote controls and wall thermostats 4 for hardwired units are convenient. Depending on the style that you choose, you may also be able to adjust the flame level and brightness. While this certainly doesn’t affect the actual temperature in the room, there is something to be said for the power of suggestion, and the “warm feeling” that the light and flames can conjure in the mind.

Beyond the heating of the room, you will find even more features that you might enjoy in your new electric fireplace. Some people like electric fireplaces with simulated crackling or the smell of wood from a scent atomizer. Ultra-modern designs look amazing with various or alternating colored flames, and many electric fireplaces can be fitted with custom grates or glass door kits. And, most recently, companies have begun offering air purity system options within electric fireplaces, giving the units a much appreciated multifunctional aspect.

Although aesthetics and warmth are probably the first things that come to mind when researching electric fireplaces, other features are equally important, but often overlooked. Overheat protection and temperature monitoring are essential features to have on an electric fireplace. Indeed, though electric fireplaces are safer than an open wood fire in your home; there is always potential for fire when heat and electricity are involved.

Brands​

Each brand of electric fireplaces offers many styles, sizes, and options. The following table allows you to compare some popular brands, the characteristics of each, and the average price range:

BrandsCharacteristicsPrice range
Pleasant Hearth

Heater log set inserts

Electric fireplace with media cabinet

$60 - $500
Duraflame

No heat log set inserts

Heater log set inserts

Free-standing mantles

$139 - $430
Xtremepower

Electric firebox insert

Wall mounted 5 fireplaces

Built-in flush wall units

$150 - $290
Dimplex

Cabinet

Free-standing mantle

Corner units with mantle

Built-in electric fireplace

$195 - $7,000
Classic Flame

Infrared mantle or TV stand inserts

Wall-hung electric fireplaces

Electric firebox insert

$200 - $1,400
Real Flame

Electric fireplace with media cabinet

Free-standing mantle

Corner units with mantle

Wall-hung electric fireplace

Electric firebox insert

$250 - $800
Napoleon

Electric firebox insert

Heater log set inserts

Electric fireplace with media cabinet

Free-standing mantle

Wall-hung electric fireplaces

Built-in 3-sided or flush units

$300 - $2,100
Touchstone

Wall mounted fireplaces

Built-in flush wall units

$300 - $2,300
Amantii

Fireplace inserts

Wall mounted fireplaces

Built-in 3-sided or flush units

$629 - $3,400


Energy Efficiency

You can't beat electric fireplaces in terms of energy efficiency. In a comparison of firewood heat output versus electric heat output, it may seem that firewood has greater efficiency potential. However, even though hardwoods may have available heat value between 8000 and 9000 BTUs, a large percentage of that is escaping up the chimney, and heat is continually being pulled back into the fireplace as the fire feeds off of the oxygen in the air.

Contrarily, electric fireplaces have no vent or chimney. There is nowhere for the heat to escape and the heat source does not rely on the ambient air to keep producing. If the appropriately sized electric fireplace is used, fuel efficiency should be 70 to 90%, and 100% of the emitted heat should remain in the room.

Electric fireplaces used only for ambiance without heat cost 0.003 to 3 cents per hour to run. However, a heating unit, depending on how and when used, costs 9 to 18 cents per hour. Homeowners using an electric fireplace as a supplemental heat source can expect an average yearly cost of $65, depending on location and local utility cost. Of course, you would not consider trying to replace your HVAC system with individual room electric fireplaces, although you may see energy savings if you lower the temperature setting on your HVAC and outfit the room that your family uses the most with one electric unit.

Labor

There are many free-standing and insert electric fireplaces available that you can bring home and simply plug into an existing 120v outlet. However, it must be a dedicated circuit. A dedicated circuit, connected to its own breaker, ensures appliances don't draw too much power causing the breaker to pop or overheat the wiring. Even with a basic plug-in unit, it would be wise to have an electrician check the suitability of the outlet that you intend to use. Also, if there is not an outlet in the area that you wish to place the unit, you will need a licensed electrician install one for you.

Wall-mounted and insert hard-wired units must be installed by a professional. Not only should you enlist the help of a licensed electrician ($65 to $85 per hour), but you may need an experienced carpenter ($70 to $90 per hour). Should you decide to install an electric fireplace into a wall of your home, or want an elaborate dual-sided model installed, you will need a carpenter's expertise. Depending on the complexity of the job, you can expect to pay $130 to $500 for an electrician's services and, if necessary, $140 to $360 for a carpenter.

Maintenance

Possibly the most beneficial aspect of owning an electric fireplace as opposed to gas or wood is the ease of maintenance and cleaning. Most electric fireplaces use energy-efficient, long-lasting LED bulbs that should only need replacing every ten years or 50,000 hours.

Other than changing the bulbs, you will want to use a dry clean cloth on the interior of your unit, and vacuum the heater outlets occasionally to remove any dust.

Electric vs. Wood-burning Fireplaces

Understandably, many homeowners prefer the authentic look, sound, and smell of a wood fireplace. However, the energy efficiency, low maintenance, and potential cost savings can lure others to install an electric fireplace instead.

CharacteristicsElectric fireplacesWood-burning fireplaces
Average cost$150 - $6,200$4,500 - $8,500
FuelNone

Easily accessible

4 to 5 cords at $500-$800 per season
Energy efficiencyNearly all of the heat emitted remains in the roomLess energy-efficient than electric
MaintenanceVery low

Daily and weekly cleaning

Yearly chimney cleaning and inspections

Ventilation requiredNoYes


Electric vs. Gas vs. Ethanol Fireplaces

Deciding what kind of fireplace will best suit your needs can be challenging. The following pros and cons list gives a side by side comparison of three popular non-wood options:

TypesProsCons

Electric

($100-$6,000)

Less expensive to install and use

Easily fit into the space available

No venting or chimney needed

Much easier to operate and maintain

More often complement modern and contemporary homes

Can't provide a 100% authentic fireplace experience

Will not work during a power outage when a fire may be most needed

Can't heat more than 1,000 square feet

Gas

($3,650-$7,800)

Clean-burning fuel is better for the environment

Needs simple venting instead of a chimney

Easy to start and maintain

Will work even in a power outage

Missing the natural look, smell, and crackling of wood

Professional installation and maintenance of gas lines

Risk associated with faulty gas lines

Ethanol

($600-$2,000)

Clean-burning fuel is environmentally friendly

Nearly maintenance-free

Fuel is easily accessible and conveniently stored in quart containers

Inexpensive to purchase and install

Not a great heat source

Expensive fuel

Unit must cool completely before refueling

Liquid ethanol is dangerous and poisonous


Enhancement and Improvement Costs

Integrated Units

A simple fully enclosed free-standing unit can cost as little as $100. However, you might consider making greater use of the space or going for something more eye-catching. Several manufacturers offer electric fireplaces built into attractive and functional furniture pieces. Units integrated into TV stands, entertainment centers, or bookshelves can cost $400 or more.

Striking Surrounds

Custom color and stonework finishes can be quite expensive. But, if the fireplace is going to be the focal point of the room, you might consider spending $500 to $2,000 for the exact look you want.

Colorful Bulbs

LED bulbs in colors other than natural flame (avg. $2.20) may add 25% or more to your cost. Depending on your personal style, different colored bulbs (avg. $4.25 to $7.00 each) can add a completely different dimension to your decor.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • Electrical services. Re-wiring or reconfiguring a wall for an insert model will require an experienced electrician and carpenter who will charge $65-$90 per hour for two to five hours or more. An electrician can easily add an outlet if there is not one in the desired location or convert an outlet to a dedicated circuit if needed ($65-$140)
  • Rewiring inspection. Depending on where you live, and the extent of the work done, the county or city may require an inspection of rewiring needed to convert to a designated circuit, or add a 240v outlet if needed in the case of a larger more powerful fireplace.
  • Dedicated circuits. A free-standing electric fireplace just needs to be plugged into an existing 120v outlet. You must be sure that the outlet is on a dedicated circuit. Many appliances in your home require a dedicated circuit to prevent overloading and potential electrical fire.
  • Attractive for home buyers. While an electric fireplace won’t add resale value to your home, many buyers would consider it an attractive selling point for your home, leading to a quicker sale.

FAQ

  • How much does it cost to have an electric fireplace installed?

The average cost to install a glass-front, stone bed, 5,000 BTU insert firebox using an existing 120v outlet is $900.

  • Does an electric fireplace add value to a home?

Home buyers might consider spending a bit more on a property that has a wood or gas fireplace. Electric fireplaces will not generate that much in dollars, but may be a strong selling point and help your home sell faster.

  • Are electric fireplaces cost effective?

Depending on where you live and the cost of electricity, electric fireplaces are very cost effective. Especially, when you take into account the fact that 100% of the heat generated stays in the room without escaping up a chimney. Using an electric fireplace for two hours per day on high heat will raise your electric bill by $5-$10 on average.

  • Is it cheaper to use electric heat or gas fireplace?

An electric fireplace heater is less expensive to run than a gas fireplace. Not only is a gas fireplace less efficient if heat is escaping up a chimney, but the average cost to run one per year is $60, compared to $25 per year for an electric fireplace.

  • How much does it cost to convert wood burning fireplace to electric?

Simple 120v electric log heater inserts are available for as little as $100. For something more elaborate, you can purchase a full insert and firebox for anywhere from $300 to $1,035. If rewiring is necessary for the conversion, you may pay upwards of $335 for the services of a licensed electrician.

  • Do you need to vent an electric fireplace?

One of the most appealing aspects of an electric fireplace is that they do not emit any smoke or fumes. Some can be installed quite easily and do not require any venting or a chimney.

  • Do electric fireplace use a lot of electricity?

An electric fireplace uses approximately 1500 watts, which is slightly more than the average microwave oven. The wattage translates to 9-18 cents per hour, depending on how the fireplace is set up.

  • How do you install an electric fireplace on the wall?

Depending on the unit and where it emits heat (top, front, or bottom), you need to measure clearances. Appropriate clearances are 100-cm above and 50-cm on each side and below. Once you have ensured the clearances, the brackets 6 that come with the unit need to be attached to the fireplace and wall studs. These fireplaces may weigh anywhere from 50 to 200 pounds and having them securely mounted in the studs is absolutely necessary.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Firebox: The chamber in a fireplace that contains the fire. It is usually lined with firebrick so it can withstand the extreme heat that it is exposed to. Manufactured fireplaces have fireboxes made of sheet metal
glossary term picture Mantel 2 Mantel: A decorative construction that frames the opening of a fireplace. The term "mantel" can also refer to a shelf above a fireplace
glossary term picture Built-in 3 Built-in: An item of furniture, such as a bookcase or set of cabinets, that is built directly into the structure of the room. Built-ins are therefore customized to the room and not detachable
glossary term picture Thermostat 4 Thermostats: A device that senses and regulates temperature by turning heating and cooling devices on and off
5 Mounted: A support on which something is attached or hung
glossary term picture Bracket 6 Brackets: A support that projects outward from one surface to hold another surface to it, such as attaching a shelf to a wall or piece of furniture. Brackets can also be used to strengthen joins between two materials

Cost to install an electric fireplace varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

White electric fireplace with candles on top

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Arlington, VA
+38%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Austin, TX
+13%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clearwater, FL
-14%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Columbus, GA
-20%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Culpeper, VA
-14%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Dayton, OH
-7%
Denver, CO
+1%
Durham, NC
-1%
Evanston, IL
+42%
Fairfield, CA
+5%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Myers, FL
-7%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Fresno, CA
-6%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Grand Prairie, TX
+6%
Hermiston, OR
-30%
Houston, TX
+24%
Huntsville, AL
-17%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Indio, CA
-6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Kansas City, MO
+4%
Lafayette, IN
-10%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Levittown, NY
+31%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lynn, MA
+19%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Murfreesboro, TN
-7%
New York, NY
+77%
Oklahoma City, OK
-12%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Labor cost in your zip code
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