When its winter, the most pleasant thing anyone could wish for is to have a clean hot fire in a nice little fireplace and get comfy in the warmth of it. The dancing flames are a winter luxury nothing can replace. But the people who have had wood burning fireplaces in their homes sure know what job it is to keep a wood burning fireplace neat, safe and green from time to time. Yeah, it involves a lot of your time and energy, not to mention the money. That’s where the Electric fireplace comes in to save you. Hassle-free, safe and energy efficient and the best electric fireplace is able to keep you warm throughout the many winters and give you the joy of golden flames and glowing embers all the year around. Sounds good, isn’t it?
When it comes to fireplaces , electric fireplaces have come a light year ahead of conventional fireplaces, making the job of keeping the chill off on hard winters an easy affair as plugging it in and switching it on. Owning one can definitely change your whole winter experience. Don’t worry about the ambience, what more would you want if it can give you fire as good as a real log and leave no fumes to fuzz about? In fact, some of the electric fireplaces now available offer multicolor flames if you are too fancy about the effects, and few of them even come with the crackling sound of timbers to give you the total experience of a wood fire.
There is huge choice over electric fireplace regarding size, type, design and special features such as multiple heat setting, adjustable flame brightness, remote control etc. which varies from one product to another. These days, more than just a source of heat, fireplaces have found their place in the drawing rooms as fine pieces of décor that go with the total aesthetics of the room. So when it comes to buying one, buying the best means buying the perfect blend of quality in performance and looks. Here is all that need to know to make the best buy.
- 1 How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?
- 2 What are the Advantages of Electric Fireplaces?
- 3 What are the Things to Consider when Buying an Electric Fireplace?
- 4 What types of Electric Fireplaces are Available and which is the Best?
- 5 How to Buy the Best Electric Fireplace?
- 6 How to Use Electric Fireplace Safely?
- 7 Top 6 Best Electric Fireplace Reviews
- 8 So, Did You get the Best Electric Fireplace for Your Home?
How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?
Electric fireplaces, as the name itself suggests, works on electricity. Most of the electric fireplaces work on standard 120-volt outlets. Heat is produced by metal coils which becomes hot when the electricity is turned on. The heat such produced is delivered from the fireplace either by a forced fan that blows over the heated coils or by infrared quartz which transfer heat through invisible infrared rays. When the fireplace is working except those areas which houses the metal coils remains cool to touch. This makes electric fireplaces a safe option for houses with small children and pets.
In addition to producing heat, electric fireplaces feature flames that are more life-like. These flames are created using LED lights or regular light bulbs. The light from the source is bounced around the flame area using refraction, to create the impression of dancing flames. More fancy looking, multicolored flames are featured by some products. However, they are less authentic and less life-like. In almost all the electric fireplace there features that enables you to use the flames alone, heat alone and both at once.
What are the Advantages of Electric Fireplaces?
Certainly, switching over to an electric place is far more advantageous than it may seem. Electric fireplaces are comparatively more safe, efficient and effective than any other alternative heating methods. They are zero pollutants and safe for children and pets to be around. Moreover, it is much easy to operate, requires very little clean-up and maintenance. At the same time, it can provide you with ample heat just as you wish. Let us see in detail what advantageous these fireplaces has over wood burning or gas fireplaces.
Advantage 1 : Easy to Install
Electric fireplaces are surprisingly easy to set up. They do not need chimneys or vents and doesn’t involve masonry or remodeling. All you need is a standard outlet to plug it in and a space where it will fit in. In short, electric fireplaces has zero installation cost if you do it yourself. It takes only a little time and care.
Advantage 2 : Easy Maintenance
Maintaining any other fireplace in order to keep it in working condition from time to time takes a lot of money and work, besides the tedious task of taking care of the daily mess. Electric fireplace requires very low maintenance or absolutely no maintenance at all other than keeping it dust free.
Advantage 3 : Zero pollution
These fireplaces run on electricity which is the most efficient and environmental friendly energy at present. There are absolutely no emissions as compared to wood burning fireplaces and gas heaters which cause a great deal of environmental pollutions. Being absolutely neat, green and safe, they are the most suitable fireplaces to houses with small children, pets and old people.
Advantage 4 : Economical to Run
Electric fireplaces, besides being green, are amazingly unbeatable in reducing energy costs. They heat up the room as soon as it is turned on and only cost about eight cents per hour when used in heating mode and about two cents when only the flame effect is used. Because they are relatively light weight in nature, they are ideal for zone heating, which will enable you from wasting electricity. Plus, you can also move it around from one room to another easily.
Advantage 5 : Year-round Use
Most electric fireplaces give you the option to use the flame effect and heat mode separately. That is you can turn off and turn on either one as desired or both at the same time if you wish so. The luxury of flickering fire can be enjoyed weather it is summer or fall.
Advantage 6 : Plenty of Design Options
The numerous attractive designs in which these fireplaces are out there it can fit perfectly to kind of home. Both contemporary and traditional looking designs are available in various styles. There sure has to be one that suits your very taste and that will enhance the total ambience of the place where it is placed.
What are the Things to Consider when Buying an Electric Fireplace?
Electric fireplace may sound very convincing to switch over to. But when it comes to making a buy you should not jump for the one that looks interesting to you. To make the best buy that will not only serve you a long time but also save you money and energy potentially, you need to consider the following things and then opt for the best one suitable.
Consideration 1 : The purpose
Are you looking a fireplace that will just provide you with ample heat on cold winters? Or is it for the wonderful flame effect that will light up the ambience of special occasions all around the year? Or is it going to be a style statement in your living room? You already have a central heating system and are you looking for one that will serve zone heating?
When buying a fireplace, it is important to set your priorities first and choose accordingly. Certainly, there is one for every need.
Consideration 2 : The location
That is, where is your fireplace going to be? Fireplaces come in different sizes. It is important to make sure you have enough room for the one of a particular size before making a purchase. Also, make sure the area that needs to be heated matches the heating capacity of the unit. So that, not much of your electricity will not be wasted in the process of keeping the chill off.
Consideration 3 : Type and Size
You will find there are different types of electric fireplaces designed to meet different needs. What type is right for you depend much on your heating and aesthetic priorities. If you are looking for one that is going to be fixed in your living room, you can opt for the traditional looking, bigger sized ones which will make a fine décor. Small ones heats up smaller places and are more portable. You have a number of combinations available regarding the type and size.
Consideration 4 : Hardwire or Plug-in?
There are two kinds of electric fireplace based on the power supplies they need to work; hardwired and plug-in fireplaces. Hardwired fireplaces are directly linked with your homes power supply as they need 240V current to run. They require to be connected to the central electrical system of house by an electrician whereas plug-in fireplaces need no such installations or arrangements. They run off on any standard 120V electric outlets.
Because hardwired electric fireplaces run off on a higher current, they produce more heat output than the plug-in types, ranging from 6000 to 9600 unit of BTUs. Plug-in types are more suitable for small areas while hardwired electric fireplaces can be effective in heating up much larger places.
What types of Electric Fireplaces are Available and which is the Best?
If you are not familiar with electric fireplaces yet, the different kinds available in the market may confuse you a bit. There are a few popular types of electric fireplace that are in demand in the market. Each of these types have specialties and highlights of its own apart from keeping the place warm on winter days. See for yourself which type of electric fireplace meets your priorities and preferences the most.
1. Electric Fireplace Inserts
These are best for the homes that already have a traditional fireplace which is not in use anymore. You can repurpose your previous fireplace to seat an electric fireplace insert. They are affordable and cheap. Besides they look much like original fire and glowing embers inside your fireplace. Being a great economic alternative to traditional or gas fireplaces, most of them come with a BTU up to 5,000 ranges which is sufficient to heat up an area of 400-500 sq. feet. Most versions will work on a standard 120 volt household outlet and comes with a remote control to make the operation quick and easy.
2. Mantel Electric Fireplaces
These fireplaces look exactly like a masonry fireplace but do not bring you the hassles of installing the actual one. It requires no installation, the job is done when you plug it in and turn it on. These can be placed on any room with an electrical outlet. They are aesthetically quite pleasing and make a fine piece of décor. Most of them comes in furniture quality woods and has elegant detailing.
These fire places can be plugged into any standard outlet as it is with most electric fireplaces and provide you with sufficient warmth and beautiful fire just like an actual fireplace without any fuss or mess.
3. Wall Mounted Fireplaces
These types of fireplace don’t require floor space. Instead, they can be hanged on the wall like a painting. It is a perfect solution if your house has no space available to accommodate a fireplace. It is easy to install; you only need to screw the mounting bracket and the hardware on the wall and mount the unit into. These fireplaces are ideal for small spaces, apartments, lobbies and condos. Like electric mantel fireplace and inserts these type also work on 120volt electric outlets.
4. Electric Fireplace TV stands
These types, also known as media consoles, are able to make room for a flat screen television apart from providing you with enough warmth and comfort. There ample storage room for other related media equipment such as DVD and you will be able to keep the wires and cables concealed and organized. They are ideal for small homes and needs only standard electric outlets to work.
5. Electric Stove Heaters
They look similar to traditional wood burning stoves. Electric stove heaters can bring the touch of class and elegance along with warmth and comfort. As these stoves are small in size, it is easy to carry them around as you move from one room to another without any difficulty. They do not need installations, they comes ready to be used. Just plug it in.
6. Corner electric Fireplaces
If you don’t have much floor space left and you still prefer a free standing style electric fireplace, you can go for a variety of corner electric fireplaces. They fit comfortably to any corner of room without obstructing the rest of the space. The only requirement is a nearby electric outlet.
7. Electric Fireplace Logs
Electric fireplace logs, much like fireplace inserts, are ideal replacement to old wood burning furnaces or gas fireplaces. They are easy to install and fit nearly to any fireplaces. They can be controlled using remote control and can be operated with or without the heat to enjoy the flames all around the year.
How to Buy the Best Electric Fireplace?
Certainly, type and size are two important factors to consider when choosing an electric fireplace. Now that we have already seen the different types of electric fireplaces and how size is important, let us now consider certain other important elements that make an electric fireplace a really good fireplace and worth your investment.
Factor 1 : Heating Capacity
In order to operate electric fireplace rely upon 120volt electrical outlets that common in most of the residences. The heat output of most fireplaces is around 5000BTU which is sufficient to warm an area around 400 sq. feet. The higher the BTU, the higher the heat produced. Majority of electric fireplaces provides three heat settings; low, high and no heat mode. Usually when the unit is in low mode, it provides 750 watts of power and when it is put in high 1,500 watts accordingly. No heat mode enables you to use the flame effect alone. The higher range of wattages is also possible by fireplaces that need a higher voltage such as 240v.
Factor 2 : Firebox
The most important attribute an electric fireplace is its firebox where the flames are displayed. When you buy an electric fireplace you need to consider the design, size and technology of its firebox. A variety of choices and designs are available. In terms of technology, the firebox goes from flat panel to 3D depending upon how originally the fire is displayed.
There are additional features like air treatment system which makes a firebox distinct from another. This means your firebox will be able to remove dust and other particles which is present in the air by pulling it in and filtering. These filters are washable and need changing once a year.
Factor 3 : Style and Finish
The age that fireplaces were seen as mere source of heat to keep the chill off on winter days are gone. Now fireplace despite what kind it is have become style statement that enhance the aesthetic appeal and the ambience of your interiors. So when it comes to investing on a fireplace you should also consider its design and style to make sure it goes well with the other décors of your interior.
Electric fireplaces are now available in a variety of style and design ranging from rustic to sleet and traditional looking ones to contemporary and ultra-modern. In case of finishes also there many options to find the perfect blend for any home in oak, mahogany, stainless steel, espresso, black, white and ivory.
Factor 4 : Check for Additional Features
Electric fireplaces have some excellent features which vary from one product to another. Deciding which features are needed for you and which ones you don’t need in advance will help you find the right electric fire place and can stop your money being spend over something that will not be helpful for you.
- Portability– Most fireplaces that are advertised to be portable are small in size and light weight in nature. However, these are best for you if you wish to use it in different rooms or if you reside in a small condo.
- Flame only mode- The fireplace featuring this mode is convenient to those who wish to use it for the purpose for enhancing the ambience of interiors all year around apart from heating.
- Adjustable Thermostat-This feature allows determining the rate in which the room gets heated.
- Self-trimming Firebox- The fireplaces which has this feature comes with a firebox that glides into place automatically offering more heat in less time.
- Safety- Electric fireplaces are relatively safe. However, additional protective features make it safer. With safety features such as overheat protection, cool to touch surface it is possible to keep all the dangers at bay.
- Controls- There is multiple controls that make electric fireplaces more convenient to use. There are controls which enables you adjust the flame speed and brightness. Some of them can be controlled remote device and some through a digital board.
How to Use Electric Fireplace Safely?
Of course, there is no doubt electric fireplaces are the safest fireplaces available. There is no smoke or soot or any other emissions harmful to health or environment. There is no danger of chimney fires or fire hazards. But however it is an electric appliances and must be used carefully like any other appliance working on electricity. And it is always good to take a little precaution and to learn how to use it safe.
- Electric fireplaces need only a standard electricity outlet to plug it in in order to operate it. If in case you don’t have a socket near to where you plan to put the fireplace, be careful not to use an extension. This can cause fire. It advised you should either move the fireplace to where its wire reaches the socket or get an electrician to move the socket near to the fireplace.
- These fireplaces have vents that pull in the air and discharge the warm air. Be careful not to block these vents when placing them. The place where vents are located changes from one place to another.
- When you are not using the unit, it is better to turn it off and unplug it from the electric socket as it is with all other electric appliance. This will help you to keep your electricity bills reasonable.
- It possible for wires to get damaged over the time. Checking on the wires and power cord every once in a while is a sure way to ensure safety and proper working of the unit.
- Be careful not to place water or any other liquids nearby these fireplaces.
- Do not use these fireplaces outdoor or places where it is damp.
- When you are leaving the fireplace on for a long time or overnight make sure you use thermostat to set a reasonable temperature.
Top 6 Best Electric Fireplace Reviews
Sure the list goes long if you search for the popular electric fireplace available in the market. After considering many variables like price, features, design, performance, consumer satisfaction and feedbacks of popular fireplaces that are in demand we have summed up a list of six best electric fireplaces that are worth your money
This electric fireplace is absolutely stunning in its performance and looks. The heat output offered by this vintage looking fireplace is 1500 watts. It has high heating efficiency when it comes to heating up small rooms. The remote device that comes with this unit enables you to adjust thermostat, timer, logs and flames independently. Cartwright provides you with lifelike flames and its brick style interior makes it look like a real wood burning furnace. This media console fireplace is one of the best electric fireplace you can buy. Considering all its features and specifications, there is no doubt Cartwright is a stunning mix of beauty and value.
Noted for its user-friendliness, design and heating performance, Claremont is one of the most recommended electric fireplaces in the market. The unit is capable of heating up an area of 1500 sq. foot in less time than any other fireplace. Its adjustable thermostat allows you set the perfect temperature and reduce and increase the heat quickly and effectively. The fireplace also features two adjustable shelves which makes it more of utility. The remote control that comes along this unit makes its operation as easy and effortless as possible. In short, it’s a treasure to own.
Elkmont is contemporary in its design; it offers realistic flames and even has the crackling sound of the timber to add to its effect. This fireplace provides a heat output of 5000 BTU and takes only less than 24 minutes to warm up an area of 15,00 sq. feet. Strong mantels that can house a television and remote control are other attractive features of the Elkmont. There are no better options for a fireplace if you are looking for a 100% energy efficient, easy to use electric fireplace.
This top rated fireplace features LED display and brightness dimmer. The optimal heat output of Infrared Quartz is 5100BTU which will heat up an area of 1000 sq. feet easily. Built in thermostat display and remote control make is easy to use while safety cut off switch ensures you no more have to deal with overheated, stuffy rooms. The unit produces natural, quiet and efficient heat and quality flames. Investing on this fireplace is a great way to embrace this winter season.
Moda flame houston 50″ is a wall mounted electric fireplace that will save you the floor space and serve as style statement upon your wall. This fireplace comes with pre-set heating options which enable you to operate in it three modes; low, high and no heat. The unit is efficient in heating 400 sq. feet room well enough. Remote control, automatic shut off and quality fire are other features that make this fireplace outstanding.
VonHaus 500W Electric Fireplace
This fireplace looks much like a wood burning stove and is small in size. It is absolutely reliable and safe. Its small size makes it possible for you to move around the house easily. Adjustable heat and safety shut off are featured by this retro looking classy electric stove. It can provide you with vivid fire like that of real wood stove. This free standing electric fireplace is absolutely worth its price.
So, Did You get the Best Electric Fireplace for Your Home?
There is no way of surviving the hard winters without a fireplace. Choosing a fireplace can be bit tough. It takes a lot of money to afford one, and then there is expenses regarding the installation, fuel and maintenance. There might not be enough space for one, or to set up a conventional fireplace you might to build a chimney first or make vents on the first place.
It may look puzzling how to deal with the winter if you are on rent or planning to move out of your current house. Or you do not have the time or patience to check on a wood fire every now and then or split the logs to keep the fire. Electric fireplaces are perfect solution to these problems regarding the modern houses and modern life. They can make the whole job of keeping the winter warm without giving you a headache.
Electric fireplaces are comparatively affordable and easy to install. As they require no vent or chimney or any other arrangements they can go in any kind of home. Those houses which don’t have much floor spaces can go for a wall mounted electric fireplace. Most of the electric fireplaces are portable, that makes it easy to carry it from one room to another or even from one house to another. Modern features like remote control, timers, adjustable thermostats, digital display etc. makes desirable to anyone who prefers convenience and ease of use.
The many designs, styles and finishes in which it comes give you plenty of opportunities in selecting the perfect one. Whether you prefer the vintage, retro, minimalistic or ultra-modern to suit the interior of your house or lobby, there is one for everyone. The magnificent life-like flames that you can enjoy all the year around without getting toasted or without any hassles an extra bonus of these fireplace. In short, investing on an electric fireplace sure means you are going to have warm winter and a nice time all the year around.