There is truly something charming about fireplaces. It is more than just the warmth they are able to spread across the room but something that reminds us of things beautiful and relaxing. However, traditional fireplaces are not suitable for every house. Some houses have built-in fireplaces yet are never used because it is hard to maintain and clean. Some do not have built-in fireplaces yet would very much want to have one if not for the very pricey home renovation it calls for.
Lucky for everyone, there are electric fireplaces available almost everywhere. These electric fireplaces have real-looking flames and add the same supplemental warmth but without the issues brought about by a real fireplace such as air quality and difficulty to maintain and clean. These even now come in a wide variety of designs to match the theme of your room. On top of these all, they are mostly inexpensive despite all the great benefits it comes with.
Defining What Is An Electric Fireplace?
An electric fireplace is works pretty much like an electric heater designed to look like an ordinary fireplace for aesthetic purposes. It mimics the warmth that is produced by the traditional fireplace from burning coal, wood, or natural gas but without the usual fire and air hazards that come with it. These are usually plugged and can run on flame-only setting to give that just the glow like what the traditional one does.
People, in general, prefer electric fireplaces over the traditional ones because it does not require chimneys making it perfect even for those who live in tight city apartments or condominiums. Best part is that because they are portable, no remodeling or renovation is required. Because of this, electric fireplaces have been classified as economical, practical, and ultimately convenient to use.
The Different Types of Electric Fireplaces
Becoming widely known as a great addition to any home regardless of location and size, there surely is a perfect electric fireplace for your home and your needs. They do come in many styles and features that you can choose from. But first, let us get to know the different types of electric fireplaces:
Wall-Mount Electric Fireplaces
Yes, electric fireplaces can now be wall-mounted just like your plasma television. So are you willing to move that plasma TV onto your bedroom or can you think of another side to place this?
The good thing about wall-mounted electric fireplaces is that they take up no floor space making it ideal for those who do not have the luxury of space. These are installed on any wall just like the way one would install a wall-mounted television. Experts say that this adds a romantic mood to bedrooms and act as a focal point if placed on living areas.
Electric Fireplace Inserts
These are mainly created to be inserted or placed in existing but not functioning traditional fireplaces. They are way easier to use and does not emit carbon dioxide or dramatically increase room humidity. They are easier to maintain as well and gives home owners the versatility of choosing a design for the inserts. It can be natural stone, wooden mantel, or even glass tiles. Today, this perfectly acts as a great substitute for ashy and messy wood-burning traditional fireplaces.
Electric Stove Fireplaces
This is the electric fireplace that pretty much resembles the traditional fireplaces the most. It has got that surprising charm as a result of combination of cast iron and steel electric stove in a standalone unit. However, these are compact and portable compared to the traditional fireplaces. They are low maintenance and come with various features including those that can even filter the air you breathe.
Corner Electric Fireplaces
This is a great alternative for those who are not really excited about the thought of having an electric fireplace up mounted in the wall. Corner electric fireplaces also feature a space saving design. One can simply tuck this at any corner and still enjoy the same charming fireplace ambience and warmth that is expected.
Wall Electric Fireplace
This is the most common one of all as it is designed to be simply placed against a wall near an electric socket and it is good to go. It is just like the electric stove fireplace but without all the cast iron charm. Some of these even come inclusive of collapsible panels. However, these, just like the corner electric fireplaces must be purchased with mantel support weight.
More Important Things to Consider Before Making a Purchase
With the variety of types, designs, styles, and features included in the electric fireplaces available in the market today, it is easy to get drowned in the sea of choices. It is likelier that you might pick out the wrong choice than end up with the right one especially if you come to an appliance store unprepared.
Do you know what you are looking for? Have you listed all your preferred features? If not, let us help you prepare a mental or a written checklist with these helpful tips:
Style and Finish
Electric fireplaces today come in almost every possible size, material, and design that it is just simply impossible for you not to find one that will perfectly match the current theme of your room.
Determine carefully if you want a sleek and modern looking electric fireplace or you favor the old charm of old-fashioned standalone models. There also are those that come in charming wood design cravings and a stainless steel surround. If you wish, you can even have it in glass or stone finish.
This is the secret of the electric fireplaces you see today (wiki). Remember how the flames look incredibly real? These fireboxes are the ones responsible for making it all happen. It is the heart and core of electric fireplaces. They vary in terms of sizes, technology used, and features though the standard and most commonly used are those between 18 and 33 inches in width.
As far as technology is concerned, fireboxes can make realistic 3-D flames with real life patterns and even the smoke along with flame bed with embers and glow rocks. These are actually a sight to behold. It is soothing and gives that relaxing feeling just like what the traditional fireplace gives.
In addition, fireboxes now also come with several features that consumers can choose from. Some offer a more advanced filtration technology that removes dust, pet dander, and molds out of the room. Just like air conditioners, these commonly have a washable filter that must be cleaned at least once a month and changed periodically.
Size and Heating Power
Electric fireplaces mostly need a standard 120-volt plug to operate. However, models greatly vary in watts that come anywhere between 700 and 1500 to be able to provide heat sufficiently for low and high settings. If you are wondering how many watts would be useful for small to medium-sized rooms, this will do.
However, if you want to use it as an electric heater and need to provide supplemental heat to rooms ranging from large to extra-large, you might need those models that require higher voltage – a 240-volt plug with higher wattages as well.
Features to Put into Consideration
From convenient features to safety features and even to energy-efficient features, you can find a whole plethora of them among the modern electric fireplaces today. Because of this, it is easy to just always say yes to what the sales persons might offer you. What we suggest is for you to go through these and choose only the ones you really need. Through that way, you can stay practical and not go over budget when purchasing an electric fireplace.
- Adjustable Thermostats – This pretty much works like your ordinary air-conditioner at home. Only with this, what you can adjust is the rate at which heat is released into the room.
- Flame-Only Operation – This is a must especially if you already have a centralized heater at the house and you simply want to enjoy the great ambience that a fireplace gives to an otherwise plain and boring room. As the name implies, the unit will operate with flames only but without the actual heat.
- Flame-Speed Control – This feature lets one select the speed of which the flame runs. It has always been known that the flicker of flames gives somewhat of a relaxing feeling. So to further enhance that, you can choose your preference by selecting the flame speed that totally relaxes you.
- Brightness Control – This is perfect for those who love reading or taking a nap by the fireplace. One can select the brightness or dimness of the flames that would be suitable to whatever it is you are doing.
- Digital Controls – If you think this might take away the old charm of fireplaces, think again because this gives utmost convenience to anyone as far as controls are concerned. Some electric fireplaces even have remote controls for easier control.
One cannot be too complacent just because electric fireplaces do not have real flames. Keep in mind that this works like a heater and whenever heat is concerned, safety should be practiced at all times.
Though electric fireplaces are naturally safe, it would be better if you can choose one that has a cool-to-the-touch feature especially if you have pets or children around the house. Another great feature that you should look for is the overheat protection capability which automatically turns the unit off before it overheats.
Lastly, look for UL and CSA certifications just to make sure that the brand and model have passed the national and international standards for safety.
Electric fireplaces are a great addition in any room. They do not only make any area look good but provide supplemental heat as well. However, do remember that electric fireplaces are not designed to be the primary or sole source of heating in a room. Some negative reviews came out because of customers being misinformed and therefore thinking that this should be enough to warm a room similar to a standalone heater.
If you have always wanted a fireplace but never had the chance to have one built inside your home for several reasons, this would be your great chance to feel the warmth and enjoy the old charm of the traditional fireplace through the modern day electric fireplaces.