Question: Dear Fireplace Expert, Hi What's the difference between Electric and Gas Fireplaces? Also can birds knock out the fire in a fireplace and do fireplaces use a lot of gas. Answer: Gas fireplaces are usually much more realistic than electric models, since they do contain a "real" fire. Gas fireplaces are also capable of producing some heat from the flame. I have never heard of birds putting out a fire, but they can build nest in the chimney which can clog the draft.