What is an ELECTRIC FIREPLACE?
Electric fireplaces don’t create real flames or smoke and they are easy to set up and use. They can provide heat at a fraction of the cost and are a great alternative to traditional fireplaces. There are many styles of electric fireplaces: traditional, linear, wall-mounted, freestanding. They work in the same way as TVs, being operated by using a remote control or buttons located on the unit.
- Little-to-no clearance requirements (they can be close to combustible materials)
- No installation restrictions
- There are no harmful byproducts or smoke produced
- Durable – Will not corrode when exposed to high heat like gas or wood fireplaces
- Safe and sound – No fire. Stays cool to touch.
- They come pre-assembled
- Easy to install – Just plug it in
HOW DO ELECTRIC FIREPLACES WORK?
The electric fireplace does not require any solid fuels. Instead, just plug it into a wall socket to generate heat and flames.
Electric fireplaces are made differently depending on the brand. However, the process of exchanging cool air with heated air will be similar in each case. The fireplace uses room air that is warmed up inside the unit. It then pushes the heated air back out into the room using a fan.
They look real but they are not. There are many ways to achieve the flame effect, a lot of them include a motorized mechanism that reflects light from mirrored panels and metal strips, creating the illusion of dancing or flickering flames.
LED lightbulbs are also used for flame effect. LED bulbs produce 90% less heat than incandescent lightbulbs. They also consume much less energy than CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs). With less heat being produced the external surface of the fireplace stays cool. This allows for zero clearance installation and contributes to overall safety.
Additionally, LED bulbs don’t contain mercury. This, combined with the low energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions makes those environmentally conscious sleep easier.
Some models have different flame settings allowing you to set the flame color to suit your mood or the season.
The heat output is often independent of the flame effects, so it’s possible to have the relaxation of an open fire at any time of year including hot summer months.
The amount of heat produced by electric fireplaces can typically warm up an area between 400 and 1,000 square feet. The amount of heat produced varies greatly from one manufacturer to the next. It is best to consult the product listing or owner’s manual to determine how many Watts and BTUs are required to heat the desired area. For more information on this learn about sizing a fireplace or insert.
Zone Heating is a way of increasing the efficiency of your heating system thus lowering your heating bills. The addition of an electric fireplace to the most frequented room in your home and making it the primary heat source is considered zone heating.
CONTROL OF TEMPERATURE
Thermostats are included with the units, which makes it simple to adjust the temperature as the temperatures change throughout the year.
What kind of ELECTRICAL CONNECTION do I need?
Most electric fireplaces can plug into a 120-volt wall socket. This makes it easy for setup and installation.
It is important to ensure that your electrical system can handle the additional appliance. This is especially true if you live in an older house with old wiring.
To ensure that your wall socket and fireplace don’t heat up, you can use surge protectors or fire-safe sockets.
You will need to hire a licensed electrician for electric fireplaces that use higher voltage.
To make the fireplace a permanent fixture, an electrician can hardwire it into your electrical system.
WHERE CAN I INSTALL AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE?
Electric fireplaces give you a lot of options with this question. Most are non-clearance. This means that they can be placed next to combustible materials without additional protection required.
This allows you to be more creative. They can be installed in non-traditional indoor spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms, entryways, and basements.
Some built-in units might have certain clearance and installation requirements. This is to ensure heat escapes effectively and doesn’t build up inside walls.
Clearances, restrictions, and other terms are unique to each manufacturer and brand. Before you buy anything, make sure you know the requirements.
An electric fireplace is only intended for indoor use and shouldn’t be used outdoors. For outdoor fireplaces, choose a wood-burning or gas option.
Are Electric Fireplaces Safe?
For families with children or pets, it’s reassuring to know they only require electricity for their operation and do not produce smoke, fire, combustion byproducts, or other unpleasant smells.
They are very easy to install, even in places where gas or wood fireplaces cannot be used.
The most affordable option is a wall-mounted fireplace with a plug that fits into standard wall sockets. Installing a fireplace that requires more voltage will increase your costs. You will still be saving money, though, since no chimney or vent is required. They are great for remodeling, renovations, and new construction where a cost-effective, efficient solution is required.