Wood Fireplace? Electric Fireplace? Which Is Better?

A fireplace in the living room has charm and exudes nostalgia. It gives off heat, spreads a sense of wellbeing, and is also sustainable because it is fired with renewable resources. At least if it is a “real,” wood-burning fireplace. Depending on the type of wood, the fireplace exudes a pleasant scent of spruce and forest in the home.

In recent years, however, the classic wood fireplace has threatened to overtake modern variants. Electric fireplaces and ethanol fireplaces are trendy and are catching up in the popularity ranking. These also include models that are visually very reminiscent of a traditional wood fireplace. Probably also to maintain the rustic character of a cozy fireplace.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of The Different Types of Fireplace

All types of fireplaces naturally have advantages and disadvantages. These, once clearly defined, can be a small aid to decision-making when purchasing.

The Advantages of Wood Fireplaces

The wood fireplace has its most significant advantage in terms of authenticity. The crackling and crackling of dry wood in the licking flames of an open fire cannot be credibly imitated by either an electric or an ethanol fireplace.

The warmth emanating from burning natural wood is also exceptional. It swirls comfortably and fills the entire room. In addition, dried firewood smells unmistakable and creates an additional atmosphere.

A wood fireplace offers the possibility of an open fire in the apartment. After a snowball fight or sausages on a rainy summer’s day, barbecue marshmallows are an institution that should not be underestimated, especially for families with children.

Traditional fireplaces are also fired with a renewable raw material. Next to the fireplace, logs in a wicker basket create an authentic country house atmosphere and a rustic atmosphere.

The Disadvantages of Wood Fireplaces

As authentic and cozy as wood fires are, they can also be dangerous. Heating with wood can produce harmful gases. Especially if the wood is not really dry. Soot particles and ash also settle in the entire room in open fireplaces.

The procurement of logs is not entirely straightforward. At least if you don’t want to heat with pellets or compressed wood from the gardening trade but want to enjoy the “wood fireplace experience” with all the trimmings. You have to be able to chop and store wood.

Another disadvantage of building and installing a wood fireplace is that many legal requirements must be complied with. These include, for example, distance rules, heat protection requirements, smoke extraction regulations. The connection to the chimney is also not easy.

In addition, a traditional fireplace cannot be installed everywhere. In rented apartments, for example, there is no provision for a wood fireplace. Even in your own home, its installation is associated with massive renovation work and requirements.

The Advantages of Electric Fireplaces

With an electric fireplace, some points that can quickly become annoying with a wood-burning fireplace are eliminated, including chopping and storing wood. This also means that there is no need to permanently remove debris or bits of bark that could spread around the chimney.

But not only in terms of use, the electric fireplace is also a cleaner business than the wood fireplace. In addition, it does not develop any soot, smoke, and ash dust that settles on furniture and in textiles, masonry, and wallpaper.

An electric fireplace can also be used ideally in summer. Because particularly innovative models offer the possibility to let the electric fire blaze without generating heat. This ensures hut charm even on mild summer evenings.


When it comes to optics, too, many electric fireplaces no longer have to hide behind their big brother, the “wood fireplace.” There are models like those mentioned here based on the original design of a “real fireplace.”

However, the most significant advantage is that an electric fireplace is not a problem in rental properties. It does not have to be set up and connected to the chimney, but only to the nearest electrical outlet.

The Disadvantages of An Electric Fireplace

In contrast to a wood fireplace, the electric fireplace is not really that 100% authentic. Some models imitate the crackling sound, but of course, they can’t match the natural cracking of wood in the fire.

You can, of course, decorate an electric fireplace with logs and thus also give the impression that the electric version is a wood fireplace. On the other hand, it leads the principle of the “clean thing” to absurdity again.

An electric fireplace must run on electricity. And that costs. When using the electric fireplace, you sometimes have to calculate whether the electricity consumption justifies the romance of the fireplace. In addition, the connection cable can disrupt the overall picture.

Besides, an electric fireplace does not give off the scent of the forest. However, many want to create this atmosphere with a fireplace. Potpourris and scented oils do a poor job of compensating for this missing factor.

The Benefits of Ethanol Fireplaces

The ethanol fireplace does not incur the electricity costs of the electric fireplace, and it can be positioned more freely. Why? The ethanol fireplace does not incur the electricity costs of the electric fireplace. It can be set more freely. Why? Because it doesn’t have to be connected anywhere by cable or hose. It’s can therefore be placed anywhere in any room.

Unlike the electric fireplace, the ethanol model comes up with real flames, like the wood fireplace. However, again without soot and ash development. This also makes the ethanol fireplace a winner over the rustic wood fireplace to keep it clean.

Likewise, the ethanol fireplace does not have to be connected to the chimney. This makes it perfect for residents of rental apartments. Or owners who want to save the costs of installing a “real fireplace.”

Speaking of costs: of all the fireplace types presented here, the ethanol fireplace is also the cheapest to buy. The fuel bioethanol can also be purchased comparatively cheaply. The fuel is also just as natural as in a wood-burning fireplace.

The Disadvantages of The Ethanol Fireplace

The ethanol fireplace offers several advantages over the electric fireplace and the wood fireplace. The disadvantage of the ethanol fireplace compared to both models is that the flames are real, but they do not generate any natural heat, unlike the other models.

This means that an ethanol fireplace cannot be used as a substitute for camping on a rainy holiday or as an alternative heat source in the bitterly cold winter. Regardless of the design, it is and remains a purely decorative fireplace.

So this type of fireplace loses a lot of sympathy points. Even the handling of an ethanol fireplace is not entirely straightforward. If even a drop of ethanol goes wrong when refilling, this can have fatal consequences. Here the model is even more sensitive than a wood fireplace.

Which Fireplace Should You Choose Now?

Of course, every type of fireplace has advantages and disadvantages.

If you have the opportunity and like something more robust, you will probably feel most comfortable in a wood fireplace despite halfway adequate alternatives. People who rent or have to remain flexible in terms of their location, on the other hand, are better served with a takeaway model that runs on electricity or ethanol.

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