The Pros and Cons of Owning an Electric Fireplace 2023



It’s the time of year when we all want to cosy up beside the fire. This year, you may be considering buying an electric fireplace and if so, we have a list of pros and cons for you before you make your decision. 

Electric Fireplace Pros:

Décor Pros

Electric fireplaces are visually appealing and there are a large variety of them to suit the interior of your home. Electric fireplaces can be space savers compared to traditional fireplaces and installation is flexible. The variety of sizes, shapes, and colours give you the opportunity to add warmth and ambiance to your home in a way that fits in with your décor. 

Convenience Pros

Electric fireplaces have a longer life span than other types of fireplaces. There flames are not real and are not burning combustible fuels, meaning degradation and corrosion of parts by caustic agents is non-existent. 

Installation is easy and you can do it yourself. Most units come with a remote control, some being on-off switches and others being able to control everything from the level of flames to the level of heat. Even during the warmer seasons, most of these fireplaces have the option of generating the flame effects without the heating element being used.

Heating Pros

Electric fireplaces do not require a chimney or special venting meaning they do not lose heat through them. You have more control over the heat output than with traditional fireplaces. You can increase or decrease the level of heat to ensure maximum comfort. 

Electric fireplaces are not usually designed to be the central heating source in a home, but they can heat a small room much more efficiently than a wood fireplace.

Safety Pros

Electric fireplaces tend to be safer than traditional ones, as the flames are fake and there is no chance of a log rolling out of the fireplace, eliminating open flame fire hazards. Electric fireplaces are kid and pets safe as there are no exposed hot surfaces that can cause accidental burns. Materials are usually cool to the touch except for the heat discharge vent which may become warm to the touch.

They do not emit harmful gases and leave a much smaller carbon footprint. 

Efficiency Pros

Electricity converts directly to heat with a 99% as the heat does not have a chimney or venting to escape from. Except for changing a light bulb every 2 or 3 years they are maintenance free and there are no specialists required for maintenance or installation.

Cost Pros

 Electric fireplaces are less expensive in installation and running costs than either a wood fireplace or a gas fireplace. 

Electric Fireplace Cons

Realism Cons

Some people may find the allure of a real fireplace too important to give up. Electric fireplaces do not have real flames and can look artificial or fake. They lack the crackling and popping and smell of real burning wood and for some, the overall ambiance does not live up to a real fireplace. 

Heating Cons

Electric fireplaces are not designed to be the main heat source in a home. In general, they provide as much heat as a small electric space heater.

Electric fireplaces run on electricity and will not work during power outages. If you live in a remote area subject to frequent power outages, they won’t be a reliable heat source. 

Value Added Con

Adding a full permanent fireplace with chimney can increase the value of your home. A national realtor association says that fireplaces are the third most often requested feature of a home and can increase the value 6-8%. However, since an electric fireplace isn’t a permanent installation, it will not increase the value of your home. If you sell or move, simply take it with you.

A traditional, permanent fireplace can increase the value of your home around 6%-8% as they are the third most popular feature requested in a house. An electric fireplace is not permanent and will have no positive effect on the value of your home, however you will be able to take it with you if you move.


Safety Concerns

Electric fireplaces often draw maximum power and if there are other appliances on the same circuit, the outlet could become overloaded, and the fuse or circuit could blow. This does not tend to happen, but you should have a dedicated circuit just in case.

Do not leave something below or above the point where heat is released. For example, do not mount a TV over a top discharge unit or have flammable objects such as carpet under a bottom discharge unit.



In conclusion, electric fireplaces are a good choice because of their low-cost, high-efficiency, and practicality. The main drawbacks would be your own personal taste and how much heating your home needs - whether you can give up a real fire or not. 

We hope that this post has helped you in some way and will allow you to make a more educated choice on what is best for you.

On Housebuild, we have a comprehensive list of resources you will need for each of the step. Click each of them to access the resources:

  1. Latest official Building Regulations: UK & Ireland
  2. Building Guidelines: UK & Ireland
  3. Detailed Construction Drawings: UK & Ireland
  4. Cost Estimation

Image: Burkeway Homes

Added by Housebuild

Over 2 years ago

Filed in Living Room, Renovation/Extension, Tips & Tricks