Electric vs Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces – What is the Difference?
When it comes to heating their home, many people are starting to embrace the idea of installing a fireplace because it’s more stylish, practical, and economical. Both electric and gas fireplaces are popular among homeowners and choosing between the two is not an easy task because they are both packed with a series of attractive advantages. They also have some downsides so it takes a thorough research to determine which one is the best option for your home.
These are the most cost-effective choices right from the start, mainly because they come as plug-in units that only require an electrical outlet, without the need for home modifications and installation kits. Such a fireplace doesn’t actually produce a flame but only creates heat that is released into the room without an actual flame. They are very efficient in emitting heat and are capable of warming an entire home to a pleasant and acceptable level. Still, they don’t match the heat intensity of the propane fireplaces. The operating costs, depending on the model, start at 3 cents per hour without the heat on and reach 8 cents an hour with the heat turned on. The low cost is one of the main benefit provided compared to gas fireplaces. The purchase cost is also lower compared to a wood burning system that requires a more complex installation and further operating costs but is almost the same as the cost of a gas fireplace.
Home safety is a major concern that must be taken into account when choosing a heating system because the risks of starting a fire are increased in case something goes wrong. A good electrical grid is mandatory for the fireplace to operate in normal conditions and you must avoid overheating at all costs.
However, the lack of a real flame makes the electric fireplace safer to use and with fewer risks of causing a fire hazard even when not supervised.
Ventless gas fireplaces
Gas heating systems are also considered a reliable option due to the intense heat they provide, sometimes higher than you would want. Compared to vented fireplaces, the heat goes right into the room and not up through the chimney so the temperature is increased faster. We advise you to go through some ventless fireplace reviews to get to know more about this heating system that is starting to gain popularity for good reasons. The propane used to fuel to fireplaces burns slowly so that it will create a constant heat that will last much more than with an electric heater. It’s a more reliable power source that isn’t affected by outdoor factors like electricity is. Once you fill your tank, you will have the right amount of fuel for a certain amount of time while electricity can often be shut down by power outages, which makes it less reliable as a heating source. A difference between the electric and the gas model is in the operating costs that are doubled when choosing a gas powered unit that costs around 18 cents per hour to operate. This cost can be reduced by turning it off from time to time since it manages to heat up the room very fast and efficiently.
The vent-free gas fireplaces work on real fuel and they maintain a flame that heats the air while burning oxygen. This is one of the main concerns that make customers question the reliability and convenience of these heaters. When installed properly, it doesn’t pose a risk to your health so you must put a lot of care and attention into having it installed by a professional. Most models come with an Oxygen Depletion System that monitors the oxygen level in the room and turns off the gas supply in order to prevent critical situations. This means that accidents are unlikely to happen even if you use the gas fireplace in a room you don’t stay in or if you leave it unattended for a certain amount of time. Also, you must ensure proper maintenance in time to reassure yourself that your gas fireplace is working properly and that it will remain cost-effective and safe to use.
The environmental impact
In this era of revolution and advancement, it’s important to pay attention to how our actions affect the world we live in. The impact of a fireplace is huge, considering the amount of energy it uses and the emissions it creates. From this point of view, electricity can be considered a greener option because it doesn’t release any second-hand gasses into the air. However, if you think about the methods of producing it, you will see that it’s not such a harmless type of fuel after all. Propane, on the other hand, is one of the cleanest types of gasses that barely creates any emissions and it’s a primary source of energy so it doesn’t have an environmental footprint.
After analyzing the two types, we can say that the main difference is the operating cost. While the electric type is more economical, it doesn’t create such a strong and lasting heat as the gas one so you will keep it running for longer. Ventless gas fireplaces create an intense heat that lasts more so you won’t have to keep it on all the time. As for safety, although the electric version is safer to install and use, the regulations have also been met with the gas model thanks to the ingenious technologies used in designing them. Therefore, you can opt for the vent-free fireplace if you want to reduce the energy consumption at home.