If you’re someone who loves the simplicity of pushing a button and instantly creating a cozy ambiance, gas fireplaces have long remained the go-to option. However, with growing environmental concerns and pressure to cut down on natural gas usage in homes, this preference is quickly changing.
Opting for an electric fireplace is not only a more sustainable option for the planet, but it is also a much safer option for homes since they don’t release any potentially harmful fumes.
Builders are starting to choose electric fireplaces over gas as the overall cost of unit and installation is much more affordable, even when choosing the most premium electric fireplace units.
Furthermore, there are several additional advantages to electric fireplaces that make them a more appealing choice than gas, including the following.
Easy to install & use
You won’t need a chimney or gas line to help fuel your new electric fireplace, which means you’ll have more choice in where the fireplace is located. Some models can be placed in an existing fireplace opening as an insert, while other models can be easily mounted on the wall. Plus, turning it on and off is about as straightforward as it gets, meaning starting a fire will never be a challenge.
Better for the environment
Electric fireplaces don’t produce any emissions such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, or particulate matter, which can all be harmful to the environment. Also, since they are able to be powered by renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power, they can have a very low carbon footprint.
Because they convert almost all of the electricity they consume into heat, electric fireplaces are more efficient and affordable. By contrast, gas fireplaces tend to lose some of the heat they generate through the chimney, and therefore require more fuel to produce the same amount of heat.
With all of these undeniable benefits, electric fireplaces are an ideal choice for any homeowner looking to save on costs, protect the environment, and simplify the process of starting a fire.
If you already have an existing gas fireplace, there’s no reason why you can’t house your new electric model in the same location. Your best bet for making the conversion as painless as possible is to install an electric insert.
How to replace a gas fireplace with an electric fireplace
To help make the conversion as simple and stress-free as possible, we’ve pulled together a step-by-step guide to replacing your gas fireplace with an electric model.
Based on our years of expertise at Electric Fireplaces Direct, here are some tips to help you streamline the process:
- Consult with a professional - Before starting the process, consult with a professional to ensure that your electrical system is able to support the new electric insert. You may need to upgrade your electrical system or add a new circuit to support the additional load.
- Measure the space and choose the right insert - Before you select the style of electric insert that matches your personal taste, it’s crucial to first measure the designated space where it will go. This will ensure that the insert is the correct size and shape and will fit properly.
- Close the gas line - Since natural gas is highly combustible and quite dangerous, we recommend a professional for all conversion projects. They will shut off the gas supply and disconnect the gas line, so the existing fireplace can be easily removed.
- Remove the gas fireplace - Once the gas line has been shut off, a professional installer can wiggle free the gas insert and carefully pull it out. During this phase, your installer will turn the gas supply back on and make sure there aren’t any leaks.
- Install the new electric insert - You now are ready to install your new electric unit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.
- Test the new unit - Finally, your new electric insert is ready for use, so give it a test run! Turn it on and make sure the unit is functioning properly and that you are happy with the appearance and heat output. If you are, your work is done!
What is an electric insert?
Electric inserts are essentially a self-contained heating unit that can be readily inserted into the opening of an existing fireplace. They provide the warmth and ambiance of a traditional fireplace, but with the added advantages of electric heating technology.
Typically speaking, electric fireplace inserts consist of a metal housing that contains a heating element and a fan to circulate the warm air. The insert is usually designed to be plugged into a standard electrical outlet, making installation a breeze. Thanks to modern technology, most electric fireplaces have extremely realistic flames, using light from a light bulb (often an LED) to create the illusion of a random flickering of fire.
Common styles of electric fireplace inserts
At Electric Fireplaces Direct, we offer several different styles of electric inserts to match every homeowners’ needs. Here are some of the most popular styles, all of which can be installed in place of an existing gas fireplace:
Classic Insert – By far the most popular electric fireplace is a simple square insert. Whether installed in an existing firebox or with a surround, this is the champion of electric fireplaces. You can add a mantel to tie the fireplace to the aesthetic of the room. They are available in sizes from 23” to 54” and have top notch flame effects.
Linear Style – Rectangular shaped liner fireplaces are a fresh take on a classic element. They make the perfect addition to minimalist or modern design styles. Linear fireplaces can be hung on the wall or partially or fully recessed into the wall, depending on the model. High tech and smart operation adds to the smooth function of your contemporary spaces.
Log Inserts - A log insert, like a gas log set, comes as a single unit that can be placed in an existing fireplace opening, plugged in, and switched on. It’s the fastest and easiest way to convert from gas to electric (once a professional has disconnected the gas and removed the insert) . Though simple, these units put out heat and ambiance with the best of the larger electric units.
With these tips and our handy guide for installation, you can be more than confident in converting your existing gas fireplace to an electric unit successfully. Shop all electric fireplace inserts now.