Choosing Your Fireplace: Gas, Electric or Wood?

Are you looking for a new fireplace? The current cost of living crisis and surging energy prices make it more important than ever to choose the right fireplace. You must consider the initial price and ongoing costs, as well as how it will look in your home.

We’re the fireplace experts, with years of experience supplying and installing fireplaces across the North West. We’ve laid out the advantages and disadvantages of an electric fire vs gas fire, of a gas fire vs woodburner, so you can find the right fireplace for you. We’ve considered cost, practicality, environmental impact and more. Check out our guide below.

Gas Fires

Gas fires are cheaper to run and have a higher heat output than electric fires. In fact, they can emit up to 3 times as much heat as electric fires. This can vary from model to model, so make sure you check the efficiency rating before buying.

Gas fires also look more authentic than electric fires, with real flames. You can choose from a wide variety of fire surrounds to get the aesthetic you’re looking for. There are even flueless designs available now, so you can get a gas fire without the need for a chimney.

However, gas fires must be installed by a registered Gas Safe engineer, which can lead to higher initial costs. You will also need to install a carbon monoxide detector, to protect against the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gas fires will also need cleaning annually to make sure they run safely.

Another drawback of gas fires is the environmental impact. Gas fires run on fossil fuels and emit pollution into the atmosphere. Electric fires are a more eco-friendly option, especially if it comes from a renewable source like solar power.

Electric Fires

Electric fires are relatively cheap in terms of initial cost, although they have higher running costs in the long term. They are also very efficient, as 100% of energy is translated into heat. However, they do only have a limited output of around 2kW versus 6kW for gas fires.

Another benefit of installing an electric fire vs gas fire is that you can put them anywhere you want. This allows for very impressive, modern designs built into the wall or a unit, without the need for a flue. They can often be controlled by a remote, which is a great help for elderly people or people with limited mobility.


The main appeal of a woodburner is their cosy, traditional aesthetic. After all, you can’t beat the sound of logs crackling on the fire on a cold, windy night. Indeed, this is why many homeowners opt for a woodburner over a gas or electric fire.

However, there are serious drawbacks to a woodburner that homeowners should be aware of. The first is storage; you need to find somewhere to keep all those logs, especially in winter. The logs will also need to be dry, so they cannot just be stored in the garden.

Another major issue with woodburners is their environmental impact. Believe it or not, a gas fire is actually more eco-friendly than a woodburner. Woodburners are only around 80% efficient, with 20% of heat lost up the chimney, whereas gas fires are 90% efficient.

Woodburners also emit a serious amount of pollution into the environment. They are reported to produce particulate matter pollution, which is dangerous for human health. All woodburners must follow a more eco-design from 2022 onwards, although these still aren’t as eco-friendly as gas or electric fires.

We hope this guide has helped you find the right fireplace for you. We’ve compared an electric fire vs gas fire, a gas fire vs woodburner and so on. If you want maximum heat for the lowest cost, you might choose a gas fire. If you want easy installation with flexible design, you should opt for an electric fire. And, of course, if you want a real, authentic fire, it has to be a woodburner.

If you need help finding your ideal fireplace, pop in store or browse our collection online. We have hundreds of fireplaces in store, with our friendly team on hand to help. We’re open Monday to Saturday. Find us at Canterbury Street Mill, Blackburn.