Your Electric Fireplace Buying Guide
A fireplace is the perfect addition to any winter, but for some homeowners, installing a wood- or gas-burning fireplace is too expensive and invasive. Luckily, electric fireplaces allow you to enjoy all the warmth and comfort of a regular fireplace, with none of the installation costs, maintenance, or hassle. Here’s what you need to know before you invest in an electric fireplace.
While electric fireplaces are designed to mimic the look of a traditional wood fireplace, the actual function is much different.
ACTUALLY, ELECTRIC FIREPLACES ARE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF FIREPLACE
Instead of relying on combustion like a gas or wood fireplace, electric fireplaces are essentially very attractive space heaters. They come in all shapes and sizes – from log inserts to standalone units – but for the most part all of them offer a safer and cheaper alternative to a traditional fireplace. Because there is nothing burning inside of an electric fireplace, they are far safer in terms of fire risks. They also eliminate the mess caused by ash, soot, and coals.
WOW! An average electric fireplace costs between 7-13 cents per hour to run, compared to 20 cents for a gas fireplace. And, you don’t need to worry about costly installation – electric fireplaces don’t require a vent or chimney and most simply need to be plugged in to operate.
PICKING AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE
No matter what type of home or room you’re trying to warm up, there are myriad electric fireplaces to choose from. Lets start with the types of units available:
- Fireplace inserts – inserts are a great way to modernize an existing fireplace, especially if you’ve already covered the chimney. These inserts are either fully enclosed or can look like a pile of glowing logs. They create a beautiful ambiance!
- Freestanding – standalone units are the most common type of electric fireplace and are usually designed to look like a built-in fireplace. These units can be used as a mantle or centerpiece in a living room and can also display a crackling flame without heat.
- Wall-mounted – standalone units are the most common type of electric fireplace and are usually designed to look like a built-in fireplace. These units can be used as a mantle or centerpiece in a living room and can also display a crackling flame without heat.
WHAT ABOUT HEATING OPTIONS?
Electric fireplaces also come in a variety of heating options, depending on how much heat output you need. This comes down to the size of the room you’re looking to heat and how much you plan to rely on the fireplace for warmth.
- Forced fan – forced fan units force outside air over electrically heated coils and pump that hot air into the room. These are great for rooms smaller than 400 square feet.
- Infrared – if you’re looking to warm a larger area, infrared is the way to go. This type of fireplace uses infrared light to provide ambient heat for areas up to 1,000 square feet.
- Ceramic – ceramic fireplaces work in almost the same way as forced fan by blowing air over a hot ceramic plate. They typically provide heat for the smallest area of the three.
With electric fireplaces all you need is a nearby outlet to enjoy the warmth and soothing mood of these fireplaces. Plug it in and let its ambiance pour over you. Simply plug in and enjoy added warmth and comfort from electric fireplaces almost instantly.