Is It Cheaper To Run An Electric Fireplace Or Heat Pump?

You might want to upgrade your heating system to prepare for colder and winter months. What would be the better option for you: a fireplace or a heat pump? Is it cheaper to run an electric fireplace or heat pump?

Well, compared to an electric fireplace and a heat pump, their biggest common characteristic is that they heat the house with electricity. In addition, they are both more common in “southern states due to milder winters” and cooling needs taking precedence over overheating. An electric fireplace generates heat using electric coils, whereas heat pumps transfer heat from outside to inside using electricity. 

Heat pumps and electric fireplaces both heat indoor air, but they differ in terms of their heating capability, energy efficiency, space requirements, maintenance, operating cost, and more. The question is, which is more cost-effective to run? Below you’ll find everything you need to know.

Is It Cheaper To Run An Electric Fireplace Or Heat Pump?

For an accurate answer to this, it is necessary to delve a little bit deeper. I would like to mention some general characteristics about both of them here.

The use of electric fireplaces is a popular & authentic method of keeping homes warm in the United States. They are a popular fixture in many homes, offering a great place to enjoy a warm beverage on a cold winter’s day.

Heat pumps are an efficient and cost-effective way to heat a home in the United States. A heat pump, which is also known as a “reverse cycle air conditioning system,” transfers heat between two places. Because of this, even one unit of electricity can produce 3 to 4 heat units inside a building.

In the box outside a heat pump, there are 2 numbers, indicating 2 types of heating capacity: “electrical input” and “heat output.” Input directly affects the price (lower is preferable), while output is determined by the heating capacity (higher is preferable).

As a general rule, electric fireplace heaters have 2 heat settings: “800 watts and 1,600 watts.” When the unit is set to high, its electrical input & maximum heat output are roughly 1,600 watts. Now you just have to find out which heater’s specs you would like to compare it with.

Electric heat pumps can also provide 1,600W of heating. It would always be more economical to run a 1,600W electric fireplace than a heat pump of a similar size.

Usually, the comparison between a heat pump and an electrical heater is more complicated on the price front. However, if your home is already heated by a heat pump, it could save you money. Electric fireplaces can sometimes cost less than electric fireplaces when you only plan to heat one room.

Running Cost Of An Electric Fireplace

Is It Cheaper To Run An Electric Fireplace Or Heat Pump

When you use an electric fireplace as a heating source, you won’t need alternative heating sources. Depending on the heating process you use, an electric fireplace may reduce the need for a furnace or heat pump. 

Your electric fireplace’s running costs depend on 3 primary factors, such as: 

  • Operating time
  • Consumption of power (based on unit type)
  • Electricity costs locally

Electric fireplaces typically run on 120 volts, which is approximately 1,500 watts, and draw 12.5 amps using a standard electrical outlet. Using these basic specifications, you can estimate average running costs. According to average electricity charges in the US, electric fireplaces generally cost around 15 cents an hour to run. 

Running the fireplace for 6 hours a day, you will spend $1.08 a day and $32.87 a month on electricity. In the case of 12 hours of active time, the cost would be $2.16 a day and $65.64 a month as well.


  • How much your electric fireplace will increase your bill depends on how long it operates. In the case of an electric fireplace as your primary source of heat in a room, the fireplace will probably run for more than an hour. 

Running Cost Of A Heat Pump

If you’re considering installing a heat pump in your home, you might be worried about the impact on your electricity bill. A heat pump’s running cost depends on a number of factors, such as: 

  • The heat pump’s system or model 
  • The capacity of heating and cooling
  • Space dimensions 
  • The wattage of the heater 
  • Consumption of power (based on unit type)
  • Electricity costs locally

The energy efficiency of heat pumps is surprising. Exactly why? Rather than creating heat, these appliances simply move heat, resulting in lower heating costs than gas heaters, wood heaters, and electric heaters also.

The average living area will require a unit with a capacity of 6k watts. Heat pumps can run three times more efficiently in living rooms at a portion of the cost of electric heaters. An electric plug-in heater usually costs you 26 cents/ kWh, whereas a heat pump would cost you 8.5 cents/ kWh.

For US customers, running a typical 1,500-watt electric heater costs $0.20 an hour, around $6.83 a week (if you use 5 hours per day), or $29.25 each month (when used for 30 days at 5 hours each day). It is important to remember that this cost may vary based on many factors, which I mentioned earlier.


  • How much will it cost to run a heat pump in the winter season? In cold weather, heat pumps rely on air sources to consume approximately 1,000 to 7,500 watts of energy. Depending on your heat pump size, you can use more energy than you think. Heat pumps cost, on average, $207 per month to run for cooling and $1,035 a year to run.

How To Reduce The Running Cost Of An Electric Fireplace? [10 Pro Tips]

The good news is you can reduce your electric fireplace’s operating costs in several ways. The following tips will help you make your electric fireplace more energy-efficient:

1. Take The Temperature Down 

In general, a temperature setting at a lower degree is cheaper (usually 50% less) compared to a temperature setting at a higher degree. If your space feels comfortable, turn the heat down.

2. Thermostat Adjustment 

Electric fireplaces often come with a built-in thermostat, making them ideal for regulating room temperature & conserving energy.

In some cases, there are only low, medium, & high settings. If you want to avoid spending money, switch to the low setting. 

3. Lights Or Flames Should Be Dimmed 

Dim or turn off the fireplace’s lights/ flame if possible. By doing so, you can reduce your energy consumption, particularly if your fireplace is older and less efficient.

In modern fireplaces, many of the lights are LEDs, which are more energy-saving than traditional bulbs. Even so, the flames still consume energy; thus, dimming the flame or turning it off completely will reduce energy consumption.

4. Move Closer 

Perhaps this seems obvious, but when you are 10 feet or farther away from an electric fireplace, the heat won’t be absorbed as easily as when you are within 3 feet. 

5. Doors, Curtains & Blinds Should Be Closed

Make sure all your doors are closed to prevent heat from leaving your home. If you’re only interested in heating the area you’re occupying; this trick will work well for you.

By closing your curtains and blinds, you can minimize a surprising amount of heat loss. You can reduce the running cost of an electric fireplace by using this method as well.

6. Circulating Air With A Ceiling Fan 

Electric ceiling fans are energy-efficient and can move warm air through your house efficiently.

In addition to creating a more effective fireplace, the fan also circulates air, resulting in a more efficient heating system.

7. Don’t Overuse 

When it comes to cutting costs considerably, reduce your use of electric fireplaces. You can stay warm by wearing multiple layers of clothing, covering yourself with a blanket, or hugging someone you love.

Don’t forget to turn off your fireplace before you step outside the room; it’s the best way to cut your bills. 

8. Seal Drafts 

Insulation inside your home keeps warm air trapped in the cold winter & cool air trapped during the hot summer.

As reported by the Environmental Protection Agency, it is possible to reduce the cost of heating & cooling by 15% and more simply by repairing drafts in windows and doors. In the long run, you will probably save more dollars.

9. Invest In A More Efficient Model 

If you have an older electric fireplace, consider upgrading to one that is more efficient. Compared to their predecessors, modern units consume considerably less energy.

Aside from that, modern electric fireplaces often have advanced controls for maximum heat output. By enhancing management, energy waste can be reduced, and utility bills can be decreased.

10. Switch Your Electricity Provider 

To attract new and potential customers, utility companies often offer substantial discounts. Perhaps you can get a better rate with your new electric company. What’s great about this? A lower electric bill doesn’t just affect the electric fireplace; it also affects lights, appliances, etc., in the whole house. 


  • When compared to classical electric fireplace models, today’s advanced fireplaces are cost-effective to run. Nevertheless, modern fireplaces also significantly drive up electricity bills every month. Hopefully, through the 10 energy-saving tips listed above, your electric fireplace will require less electricity to run.

How To Reduce The Running Cost Of A Heat Pump? [10 Pro Tips]

Generally, heat pumps save energy because they cool and heat your home simultaneously. While they’re cheaper than other ways to heat, you can still lower your energy costs.

Everyone wants to keep their energy costs as low as possible. Check out the following effective tips on how to cut your home’s heat pump running costs.

1. Proper Insulation

You’re paying more for energy because of your insulation. When your house isn’t insulated properly, the heat pump requires a lot more energy to keep you warm.

Many people don’t really care about the insulation in their homes. However, well-insulated homes keep heat inside & maintain the temperature steady.

2. Turn Down The Thermostat

Lower the temperature on your thermostat to reduce your energy bill. Depending on the temperature, you can save a percentage on your upcoming electricity charge.

However, your bills will go down if you keep the temperature down. Even lowering the thermostat at night before you sleep will save you money.

Turning down the heat pump one degree (hardly noticeable), it runs less frequently, thereby consuming less power.

3. Keep Your Filters Clean

A dirty air filter makes your heat pump less efficient. Every month, you should change or clean your filters to keep your compressor running smoothly.

When a heat pump’s filter is clean, you will obviously get the desired temperature in your house.

4. Heat Pump Sizing

You should get the right size heat pump for your house. In a home with too little space, a heat pump has to work extra hard to keep the temperature stable.

A licensed heating specialist can guide you to figure out what heat pump is right for you. Hence, you’ll get the right amount of heat if you use the right size heat pump.

5. Regular Maintenance

Heat pumps perform better when they’re well-maintained. You won’t be able to use your heat pump if your ductwork leaks or if anything else isn’t working.

Energy bills will go up if you have inefficient heating & cooling. Check to ensure everything is working properly with a professionally trained technician.

6. Close Doors & Windows

Maybe it seems silly, but when the heat pump runs, opening doors and windows is like sending money outside. Therefore, keep them closed to keep the heat inside the house and reduce heat pump running costs.

7. Schedule

If you use a programmable thermostat, the heat pump won’t run when you don’t need it. Luckily, this process can eliminate unnecessary usage, meaning it cuts down on power usage as well.

8. Don’t Waste Space

Heating your home more efficiently starts with reducing how much area a heat pump has to warm. As your heat pump heats less space, it won’t need to run as long, and it’ll use less energy.

In particular, uncovered flooring, like tiles or timber, contributes about 10% to home heating loss. A rug is an excellent way to control floor heating and add some personality.

9. Set A Timer

Make sure to always turn off the heat pump after you’re done using it. However, sometimes we get too busy & forget to switch off.

It has a timer option on most ducted systems and split systems. You’ll get more control that way; thus, saving running costs is possible.

Don’t forget to set your sleep timer before heading to bed so your heat pump won’t run all night.

10. Low-Temp Setting

Usually, heat pumps work best at low temperatures (18°C to 20°C). However, if you’re running the heating setting, it’s best to run it between 22°C to 24°C.

You don’t need to turn the heat pump up to maximum because it won’t heat up any faster; you’ll just use more power.


  • Using the top 10 tips and tricks above, you can reduce the cost of running your heat pump. Maintaining your heat pump unit regularly will ensure it runs as quietly as possible. You can get your unit checked by a technician to make sure it’s running at its best in the chilly winter.


Electric fireplace or heat pump-which one is cost efficient?

Electric fireplaces are designed to be 100% cost efficient. However, keep in mind that they can actually cost nearly 2.5 times as much as a regular heat pump. Then, electric fireplaces are more affordable than heat pumps. Also, electric fireplaces are a great alternative to heat pumps because they are more user-friendly and cost-effective. 

Is a heat pump more efficient than electric heat?

In most regions, heat pumps can be a highly energy-efficient source of heating. Accordingly, they can reduce electricity consumption by more than 50% compared with electric heat. A high-performance heat pump also dehumidifies better, using less energy & producing more heat.

Electric heat will only ever produce one unit of energy, and the heat pump transfers heat between two locations. As a final point, heat pumps use much less energy than electric heat.

Electric fireplace vs heat pump-which one is worth the price?

Price-wise, both are worth it. With electric fireplaces, you can heat your home faster & more efficiently compared to heat pumps. A built-in electric fireplace is more durable than other models and can last for about 20 years.

Heat pump heating systems can save homeowners between 20% to 70% annually in heating & cooling costs. A heat pump typically lasts 15 years. Experts say heat pumps deliver a rapid return on the money invested. Instead of heat pumps, electric fireplaces provide that classic look and feel.

Final Words

I hope you have found the answer to your question: is it cheaper to run an electric fireplace or heat pump? Modern heat pumps offer one of the most efficient heating systems. Alternatively, an electric fireplace can give you an authentic appearance, but they’re more expensive and older versions of heat pumps. 

The location of your home is perhaps a major deciding factor between an electric fireplace vs a heat pump. In general, electric fireplaces offer better heat retention during harsher, colder weather, making them more suitable for northern regions. Additionally, heat pumps work best and are suited to areas with mild winters – such as southern & coastal areas. 

Finally, after reading the above discussion, you know exactly what should be installed between the two. Choosing the right heating system for your home can improve your comfort and reduce your operating costs.

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