Can You Convert a Wood or Gas Fireplace to Electric?

At first glance, it may seem strange to hear about someone wanting to convert their traditional fireplace that runs on either wood or gas into an electric fireplace.  But if you think about it, this conversion makes very good sense in certain instances.  Let’s look at a few of them and then talk about some tips for making this conversion.


Even with all the benefits homeowners get from their wood-burning or gas-fueled fireplaces, these types of appliances don’t take care of themselves.  A wood-burning fireplace requires not only the time spent acquiring the logs and loading and re-loading the firebox, they also need regular cleaning and inspections.  While gas fireplaces are simpler to operate, overall, they aren’t maintenance-free.

Operating an electric fireplace is about as difficult as operating an electric space heater.


Any time you create an open flame, there is the potential for danger.  Owners of traditional fireplaces know the safety measures they must take when running a gas or wood fire, and in most cases everything goes according to plan.  But a flame is a flame.  And a roaring wood log fire is a lot of flame.  Additionally, burning wood releases toxins that over time cling to the inside of the chimney and can ignite.

There is no flame in an electric fireplace, and the heat level is always under control.

Buying a new home

When you buy a home with a gas or wood fireplace, it’s impossible for you to know the condition of the system.  Much trouble has been caused when new owners start using a unit that has not had any kind of cleaning and maintenance for years.

Converting a fireplace of unknown condition to electric in many cases can be less expensive than hiring a professional chimney sweep and paying for whatever cleaning and repair work might be required on the existing appliance.

Electric fireplace conversion

Going with an electric fireplace insert is ultra-simple.  No gas lines have to be hooked up, no venting issues will need to be addressed and you won’t need any masonry work.  Electric log set inserts go right into the existing firebox and are easy to get up and running.

Electric log sets are also available in an LED version, which use less electricity and last longer than other log set styles.  Initial purchase price is usually higher, but it balances out with long life.  Regardless of your choice, you’ll get excellent zone heating with up to 5,000 BTUs per hour ushered into the room with a quiet fan.  Cost is approximately .08-.12 cents per hour.

Finally, modern electric fireplaces incorporate amazingly realistic designs to mimic actual gas or wood log fires.  Many styles are available that will make a great match with the aesthetics of the room in which they’re placed.

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

Winston's Chimney Service LogoVisit Store Page

Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Hearth & Home Shoppe LogoVisit Store Page

Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

8 Responses

  1. Shawn Marie hewison
    I would like to change gas to electric there is no gas lines here no more. So if someone can hone me 7787795191
    • We Love Fireplaces and Grills
      Hi Shawn, We invite you to find your local dealer using this link: You will have to enter your address or zip code in the blank space and a list will be displayed with several stores information. The expert you will contact will gladly help you with this project. Thank you and have a nice day!
  2. Carok
    When it’s very cold outside the room where fireplace is very cold. We have a pillow insert to hllo block air and it’s still cold. My neighbor said when she converted to gas or electric she noticed different in warmth of room. Is that usually the case
    • We Love Fireplaces and Grills
      Hello Carol Thanks for visiting with us. The answer to your question is Yes. However, adding a wood insert would also create more heat. The two best options for heat in your case are the gas and wood inserts. Please visit our closest store to find out how this can be done. Click here to locate it: Stay warm!
  3. Lee
    I have a gas fireplace but I would like to convert it to an electric fireplace. Is this possible? Where would I purchase the electric logs and would I be able to do it by myself. I am a widow and do not have anyone to help me. I like my gas fireplace but am terrified of the flames. Thank you !
    • Dominique Page
      Hello! Thanks for your message. Converting might be possible. The best way to start is to get a local fireplace expert take a look at your current fireplace and give you the options. To find out if we have a local partner near you, click here All the best and stay safe! Dominique
  4. Len Williams
    Hello, We want to convert our gas fireplace to electric. The opening is 36", but tapers back to 31-32" at about 12", which is the depth of the electric unit. Question--can the masonry be "cut back" to accommodate the electric unit? It doesn't taper like the firebox, it's the same width over all 12". Thanks!
    • Dominique Page
      Good morning Len Thanks for your message. It looks like the following fireplace would fit: Take a good look at the FP36. The best is always to get a local fireplace expert to validate everything. We may have someone fairly close to you:

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