Are you considering buying an electric fireplace? If so, it will definitely help to take a look at our electric fireplace pros and cons.
We have created a comprehensive list of both the pluses and minuses of owning a modern electric fireplace. We hope you find it enjoyable, helpful, and it guides to make a purchase that is exactly right for you, meeting your specific needs.
Review Table of Contents
- 1 Electric Fireplace Pros:
- 2 Wall Mount
- 3 Free Standing
- 4 Loig Set
- 5 Fireplasce Insert
- 6 Electric Fireplace Cons
- 7 Conclusion:
Electric Fireplace Pros:
- The decor and design possibilities of electric fireplaces are almost infinite. It is virtually certain you can find a fireplace to meet your homes’ existing decor while creating a fashion forward focal point for any room.
- Electric fireplaces can be real space savers compared to traditional fireplaces. Wall mounted electric fireplaces and slimline mantel fireplaces only protrude 6 to 10 inches into a room. They do not require mounting into walls.
- There is tremendous flexibility regarding installation. Electric fireplace inserts come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes and which can be combined with furniture such as corner TV stands, fireplace media centers, mantels or bookshelves.
- If you have an apartment or condo, a small electric fireplace might be your only option in adding coziness and ambiance to your living space.
- The independent variety of sizes shapes and colors allow them to match architectural styles be it traditional or a contemporary electric fireplace much more accuratelythan many wood or gas fireplaces.
- A huge benefit from these units is that they can have a much longer life span than other types of fireplaces. There are no actual flames that are burning combustible fuels. This means that degradation and corrosion of parts by caustic agents is nonexistent.
- Installation of an electric fireplace is often is easy as un-boxing it and plugging it in. There are no contractors or major house renovations involved. As a matter of fact, most installations are one person jobs. Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are as easy to install as hanging a large mirror. Media center fireplaces are very similar to putting bookshelves together.
- If you move frequently, be it condos, apartments or houses, you can take your electric fireplace with you, they are complete portable. That portability factor also means that they can be moved from room to room at any time.
- An electric fireplace unit may be the most logical option if you live in an apartment or condominium where there is no existing fireplace. They don’t require chimneys or gas lines.
- Most units come with a remote control, although you may want to take a look at the features that are on the remote. Some are simple on-off switches and others control everything from level of flames to level of heat.
- You can have a beautiful fire even in the middle of summer, most electric fireplaces have the option of generating the flame effects without the heating elements being used.
- The electric fireplace heater dissipates warmth directly into the room and is not lost through the chimney or special venting, since they don’t require any.
- You have much more direct control over the heat output more control over heat output then with a wood fireplace. With electric fireplaces all you have to do is set the thermostat or flip the high low heat switch depending upon your model.
- They can be used as zone heating which allows you to keep the thermostat for your central heating system at a lower temperature while maintaining the same comfort level. They can “not the chill off” a larger room. That saves you money.
- While electric fireplaces are not designed to be the central heating source in a home, they can heat a small room much more efficiently than a real fireplace.
- When it comes to electric fireplace safety, a huge benefit is that they do not emit any harmful gases and fumes such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide.
- Electric fireplaces leave a much smaller carbon footprint because no harmful or lethal gases and toxins are released into the environment.
- If anyone in your home has respiratory difficulties such as asthma or bronchitis, they will not be aggravated by off gassing that occurs with wood and gas fireplaces.
- There is no chance of fire from a shooting ember or a log rolling out of the fireplace. There is no creosote (flammable tar) buildup, which can lead to fires.
- Check that your electric fireplace is CSA certified (The Canadian Standard Association, a nonprofit organization that sets electrical industry requirements of both the United States and Canada).
- The flames are not real so fire hazards from open flames are eliminated.
- Electric fireplaces are kid and pets safe. There are not exposed hot surfaces that can cause accidental burns. Materials are usually cool to the touch except for the heat discharge vent which may become warm to the touch.
- Electricity converts directly to heat with a 99% efficiency (you’d have to be a physicist to understand where the missing 1% goes). This compares very favorably to 60-80% efficiency with gas fireplaces. The EPA says this about wood burning fireplaces: “Generally, burning in a wood-burning fireplace is an inefficient way of heating your home. Fireplaces provide less heat to your home, since most of the heat goes out the chimney.”
- Except for changing a light bulb every 2 or 3 years they are maintenance free.
- No experts or specialists required for maintenance or installation.
- Electric fireplaces are less expensive than either a wood fireplace or a gas fireplace both in installation costs and running costs. For a more detailed look Click Here.
Electric Fireplace Cons
- One of the biggest flaws with electric fireplaces is that they do not utilize real flames, so depending on the eye of the beholder, they can look artificial or fake.
- You don’t have the fun of tending, poking and prodding a real fire.
- You may be paying a penalty in terms of ambiance, as there is no sound of crackling and popping of wood as there is in a real wood-burning fireplace. (This can be remedied with a crackling sound effect machine which is an accessory available on electric fireplaces ).
- Thee are no smells of burning wood.
- As is noted in virtually all of our electric fireplace reviews electric fireplace heaters are not designed to be the primary heat source in a home. Electric fireplace heater boxes generally provide as much heat as a small electric space heater. In fact, strictly for heating, space heaters off more capability to heat larger spaces – of course they are no fun to look at.
- Since these fireplaces run on electricity, they are not usable during power outages. If you live in a remote areas subject to frequent power outages, they will not be a reliable heat source. If the object of the exercise is to find alternative, reliable heat during storms or outages, gas or would fireplaces make much more sense.
- You will definitely see the dreaded words “some assembly required”. For the fireplace itself it simply means attaching the flame effect screen to the heater box.
- For a wall mount fireplace, installation is as simple as attaching a mounting bracket to the wall and “hanging” your fireplace on it.
- Assembly can be progressively more complex when you add furniture surrounds to the electric fireplace insert. A media console, bookshelf unit, or electric fireplace mantel surround means more assembly that could be a bit more complex. It is very similar to putting together an IKEA bookcase.
Value Added Con
- Adding a full permanent fireplace with chimney can increase the value of your home. A national realtor association says that fireplaces are the third most often requested feature of a home and can increase the value 6-8%. However, since an electric fireplace isn’t a permanent installation, it will not increase the value of your home. If you sell or move, simply take it with you.
- Although electric fireplaces designed to run from a standard 120v household outlet, they tend to draw maximum power. If there are other appliances on the same circuit, you could blow a fuse or circuit if your outlet has other appliances on it or is overloaded.
- Although this is not the norm, for larger electric fireplaces units with increased heat capacity, you may need special wiring or a dedicated circuit. You might need to use a surge protector.
- It is important to look at the heat discharge of your unit. Does the heat discharge from the top of the unit or does the heat come out low from the front? The method of heat discharge can have safety implications.
- For instance, it is not recommended to mount a TV set over a top discharge unit. If the heat blows out the bottom, you might not want to have any flammable objects near the path of discharge. Install it away from carpet, drapes, or flammable material.
- Is really important to make sure that the electric fireplace is securely mounted. If it is a console unit or mantel unit, it definitely being needs to be anchored to the wall to prevent the fireplace of tipping over. Most electric for your places are “front heavy”.
Electric fireplaces are generally chosen for their low-cost, high-efficiency, and overall practicality. They offer a surprisingly large number of positive reasons for consideration. The major drawback or con is one of personal taste – how real does the fire appear to you, and how important is it? Thank goodness the technology has improved drastically in the last couple of years.
We hope that taking a look at the pros and cons of electric fireplaces has increased your knowledge of electric fireplace pros and cons and will allow you to make a more educated choice on exactly which type of fireplace is best for you and your unique needs.
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