Mythbusted: Electric Fireplaces Are Inexpensive to Operate

February 26, 2018

Electric Fireplace Featured


With some priced at just $200-$300, electric fireplaces are a cheap way to stay warm in the winter.


Who doesn’t like snuggling up by a warm fire on a chilly winter’s day?

Sales of electric fireplaces have been hot in recent years (see what we did there?). For those of us living in smaller places, or who just don’t want to spend a lot of money on a real fireplace, these appliances are a cheap way to get that cozy feeling. As nice as electric fireplaces are though, shouldn’t we consider more than just the sticker cost?

We looked at the top electric fireplaces from several different retailers. We found that most electric fireplaces use around 1.5 kW of power, which translates to about $0.21 per hour to run. That may not seem like much, but over the course of the winter you could be paying an extra $50-$100 just for this one appliance.

Does this mean you should avoid buying an electric fireplace? Not necessarily. If you just want to warm up the room for an hour or two, then go ahead and plug in. But remember that like any appliance, electric fireplaces cost money to run. If you are using your electric fireplace for long periods of time, you will see increases to your bill.

To avoid higher bills, we strongly encourage efficient use with all appliances. Here are some quick tips for using an electric fireplace:

  • Only run your electric fireplace for short periods of time. Turn off the appliance when you leave the room.
  • Set a temperature you feel comfortable with when you first turn on your electric fireplace. If you set the temperature too high, your power bill will follow.
  • Set the unit’s thermostat to shut off automatically when the room reaches a certain temperature. Or don’t use the heat setting at all! Just enjoy the ambiance created by the realistic fire light and only use half the amount of power.
  • Use our power consumption calculator can help you determine your own usage.

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