When it comes to working out which fire is going to be best for you and your home, running costs tend to be a major issue. It’s all very well having a fireplace that looks amazing in your living space, but obviously, gas fires and electric fires have different running costs, and it’s important to check that the cost of the one you choose is going to be manageable. Let’s have a look at the running costs associated with each option.

Electricity or some other fuel is the most affordable in your situation. First, you'll need to work out how much energy is needed to heat the room. This is measured in kilowatts (kw). Then divide that figure by the efficiency rating of the model you’re considering. That will leave you with the actual energy you’ll need to heat the room. When you have that answer you can multiply it by the cost per kilowatt and the result will give you the cost of heating that room per hour. Got it? Ok. Maybe it will help if we break it down a little more:

Various types of fuel cost different amounts per kw. Electric fires need electricity to run. Let’s say, for example, electricity costs around 15p per kw. Gas fires are about a third of the cost of electric ones to run, so relatively speaking, we could say gas costs around 5p per kw. Now, wood is generally somewhere in between, so we’ll call it 10p per kw and if you’re interested in BioEthanol, that would be around 90p per kw.

So we’ve worked out how much the fuel itself costs. Remember, it's in the act of actually burning the fuel that some waste usually happens. But electric fires have a 100% efficiency, which means none of the heat you pay for is lost up the chimney. A flueless gas fire is round about the same, at a 99% efficiency rate, whereas an open flame gas fire is more like 25% efficiency.

Using the above information we can see that if we have similar rooms requiring 2kw to heat up, electric fires would cost 30p per hour to do the same job as an 8kw open flame gas fire at 40p per hour.

Hopefully, that gives you some idea of the costs. Doing the maths, you can make an informed choice about your new heating system.