Welcome to our comprehensive slim electric fireplace review, the Crawford by Real Flame. The model number is 8020E and is distributed by the Real Flame Company.
This freestanding white electric fireplace caught our eye because it is a slim fireplace with a narrow profile. It uses a special firebox and design considerations that allow it to mount flush with the wall. Done so, it only protrudes 9.5 inches out from the wall. It does it take not take up much space sticking out in your room. Because of the depth of the flame effects set against a black firebox, it gives a nice 3-D effect and really appears to be built into the wall, adding an extra dimension in realism.
Spoiler Alert: We really like this decorative fireplace for several reasons which will soon be revealed. We love the firebox and Ohhh…that remote. If you like the fashionable, clean look, this may be the one for you.
NOTE: If you have arrived on our site and have decided to buy the slim electric fireplace then we recommend clicking through to Amazon.com and checking out this product and the daily discount. You will get very fast delivery (often free) and the great Amazon guarantee and service pledge.
The classic, slightly understated design in pure white color blends well with most room decors. A note about the color, this is not an off- white, it is bright, pure white. If you want a more natural wood look, it also comes in a ‘Chestnut Oak’ wood finish. In this oak electric fireplace, the grain resembles oak, but the color is a little deeper brown. It is a richer chestnut color than most light oak finishes you might be used to.
So, let’s get to the gettin’…
Review Table of Contents
Crawford Flame Effects
The flame effects are described in the product description as ‘Vivid Flame adjustable LED light’. Great, sounds like marketing hoopla. What does that mean?
In order to get an answer that wasn’t catchy sales jargon, we went into Sherlock Holmes detective mode. An investigative call was made direct to the manufacturer and we got the scoop on the details which follow.
But first, check it out for yourself in this great video, the surround is different but the firebox in flame effects are the same as is found in the Crawford model.
What was revealed was that the ‘Vivid Flame adjustable LED light’ have several components, the flickering flames themselves, and the light of the embers and glowing logs, and the LED lights. You can run the light effects with the glowing logs on or off. With this cool ember feature, the wood glows and varies in the intensity.
The flames themselves have five distinct light levels. You click to the level you want. This allows a huge range of ambient effects ranging from a sleepy glow, to roaring fire, and greatly enhances your ability to set a cozy mood for any occasion. The flames are natural in color and there is no multi-color special effects capability.
The lights themselves that produce the flame effects are energy-saving LED lights. When asked how long the LED lights generally last the customer service rep said “they are designed to last for the lifetime of the fireplace”. No owners mentioned having and lights go out. We were not able to determine the wattage draw of those lights, but based on comparables, it is really low probably under 40 Watts.
The electric logs and glowing embers set up to evoke realism. They set in place and not changeable so the foreground is as you see it. You do not have the ability to change the foreground media for special effects such as burning stones or gravel as in some electric fireplaces.
Crawford Heater Functions
Usually, we start the heating capability review section of electric fire places with a warning not to get your hopes too high. In this case, we are pleased to say this heater box works well. Many reports from satisfied owners say this can really heat up a good size living room. It is suggested that this heater will heat up a 400 ft.² room which is the same claim which many other manufacturers make and they fall short. This one actually does the job and allows you to get nice and cozy by the fire.
The heating levels are controlled by a programmable thermostat that also has a timer making this a very energy efficient electric fireplace. You just set the temperature you want maintained in the heater will do the rest. This is a great improvement over budget price models that simply have a high/low heat function.
This is a front heat discharge unit. The heat is distributed through the vent located in the front and near the top of the black glass enclosure in blows forward. This eliminates concerns about placing items on the mantel or mounting a TV above it.
The noise level is low. It is commonly described as a low background hum, not disturbing at all.
For the technically orientated, the firebox is rated as a 1400 W heater producing 4780 BTUs per hour.
We are really excited to report that not only does this unit, arrive with a remote control, but the remote control is a full function remote control. It actually does everything you need it to do.
The remote has six buttons: the power on/off switch, the flame light off on switch (ambient light), brightness adjustment – up and down (controls flame levels), temperature adjustment up and down, timer shut off control, and dynamic embers off/on. To date, this is the most feature rich remote control we have seen.
The manual controls are located on the front upper left of the fireplace.
There is one safety feature I sincerely urge you not to skip. The fireplace must be anchored to the wall. An attachment is provided to secure the back of the fireplace to the wall. The unit is fairly tall and while not particularly top-heavy if someone were to lean on it, it could tip. The safety precautions for this stand alone electric fireplace are pretty standard. The flame area of the glass does not get warm but the area around the vent does. Here are the key points from the Owners Manual:
The trim around the heater outlet becomes hot during heater operation. Keep combustible materials, such as furniture, pillows, bedding, papers, clothes, and curtains at least 3 feet from the front, sides and rear of the unit.
- Do not operate any unit with a damaged cord or plug
- Do not use outdoors.
- The electric heater is not intended for use in bathrooms, laundry areas and similar indoor locations. Never locate heater where it may fall into a bathtub or other water container.
- Do not run the cord under carpeting, furniture, or appliances. Do not cover cord with throw rugs, runners, or the like. Arrange cord away from high traffic areas, where it will not be tripped over.
- Always plug heaters directly into a wall outlet/ receptacle. Never use with an extension cord or re-locatable power tap (outlet/ power strip).
The firebox is UL approved, which means it meets industry standard safety regulations and guidelines. For more information see electric fireplace safety tips.
There is no doubt about it, there is assembly required in order to set up your fireplace. Don’t panic or roll your eyes.
The fireplace will be shipped in two packages one is for the mantel and surround, and the other is the heater box unit itself. Assembly is a two-stage process first is assembling the mantel and surround and the second is attaching the heater box to the surround.
Don’t get nervous about the complexity or the time involvement of the assembly. There are about 14 pieces in the mantel and surround and they simply screw together. We got hold of the actual assembly instructions and it is pretty straight forward. I am a veteran of assembling IKEA furniture in it is certainly no more complex than putting one of their book selves together.
Surveying owner’s experiences, it appears that the average assembly time is 30 to 60 minutes. On the short end of that time frame, two different owners handed the project over to their teenagers one was 14 years old and one was 16-years-old. Both teens got it done in about the same amount of time – 30 minutes. On the long end of the time frame, one lady stated “I’m a 65 year old woman with arthritis and a bad back. I still managed to put it together in about 2 hours (yes, the instructions are that easy, and the pieces fit together that well). I was surprised to find the only tool I needed was the Allen Wrench included in the package.” God bless her.
Once the frame is assembled the firebox mounts in with 4 screws. Did you notice that the lady in the introductory video is securing the firebox in high heels… on a rug.
Tools Needed: Allen wrench which is supplied. Phillips (star) tip screwdriver.
Assembly Tip: We have put together a lot of furniture like this. If you have a hex tip for a ratchet socket wrench or drill , use that and it will save time.
Give or take an inch or two the power cord is 6 feet in length. The poor customer service rep could not find the data, so he put me on hold and took a tape measure to the fireplace in the office. (It must be good if they are using it at headquarters).He came up with a measurement of 5’10” long on the cord. It is a 3 prong plug and is a ‘right angle’ plug so the cord runs more parallel to the floor or wall, rather than sticking straight out a few inches.
In order to get the fireplace flush against the wall some people took out the base board along the wall in the room where the fireplace will be. An alternative is to notch out and cut a piece out of the base board behind the fireplace. There is space behind the fireplace for the plug to nestle in if you locate it in front of an outlet. The plug will not interfere with the fireplace being flush against the wall or floor.
Cost of operation
The cost of operation is very comparable to other fireplaces in the same class. There is a big difference in cost between operating the fireplace with the flame and heat together and just the flame effect alone.
Operating the fireplace with just the flame effect should cost about 1 cent per hour. That is the cost calculated of LED bulbs. Therefore, using the flame effects mode and assuming 5 hours of use each and every night it would add about $1.00per month to your electric bill.
If you operate in heat and flame mode it will cost about $.12 per hour. So, running the unit every night for 5 hours @ rated max of 1400 Watts would add $25.20 to your electric bill. The 3 variables that will greatly affect your actual cost are how long you run the unit each month, your heat setting, and the cost of electricity in your state.
If are really want a near exact estimate of what your costs will be, check this out:
1. First go to this site and determine your states energy cost per KWH; or you can get it off of your electric bill (use residential column). For examples above,I used the US average of $.12/KWH.
Click Here to determine: Your states energy cost.
2. Then use the calculator at this site to determine your cost: Click Here for the Cost Calculator
Values= 1400 watts high heat + flame, 700 watts for low heat and flame. Fill in your states KWH cost, the hours you think you will use it per month and generate results.
Overall Width – Side to Side: 47.4 Inches.
Overall Depth – Front to Back: -9.5 Inches.
Overall Product Weight: 87 Pounds
Shipping Weight: 91.4 pounds
There are 2 accessories that will enhance your enjoyment of your fireplace; one will provide provide crackling fire sounds, another provides a low tech solution to hide the cord, and lastly and easy way to add program-ability to your fireplace.
1. Crackling fire sound machine. Take your enjoyment of your new electric fireplace up a notch and add the sounds of a crackling fire. For approximately $30 you can add this sound machine, The device is about 2 1/2 ” x 3″ and you can attach it out of site to the fireplace body. Click Here for: Fire Crackle Sound
2. Hide the cord with a paint-able wire channel. Paint to match the color of your walls. These are available at any hardware or big box store or just Click Here for: Wire Covers
Pros and Cons
I believe the pros far outweigh the cons, but here is a bullet point presentation of the high and low notes:
- It is a designed as a slimline. The narrow profile allows it to fit into most rooms.
- The best remote we have seen yet. Controls all functions.
- Great flexibility flame and ember effects.
- The heater is way better than most electric fireplaces.
- Easy and straight forward assembly.
- Well…you DO have to assemble it.
- Some said the colors were not what they thought. The white is pure, bright white, the oak is darker than some expected.
There is nearly universal praise and accolades for this fireplace. Of the nearly 40 reviews we surveyed, only 4 were not the highest star rating . Three of those four people rated the fireplace only one notch below the highest rating possible, and only one person was dissatisfied because of a mechanical noise.
NOTE: If you have pretty much have decided to buy the Crawford Slim electric fireplace then we recommend clicking through to Amazon.com and checking out the exact ratings and reading buyer reviews:
At well under $150 the combination of low price and good features make this a best selling electric fireplace on Amazon. It is a great value. Although there are even lower priced electric wall mounts, they also have markedly less features than this one.
This could be the fireplace for you if you are looking for one that functions very, very well in three key areas:
- In the design sense, it looks good.
- The flame effects are really good.
- The heater functions much better than most.
Here is what we really liked:
Another thing that was extremely attractive was the full functionality and completeness of the remote. Call me lazy, but if I am cozy and snuggled down on the couch, I certainly don’t want to have to get up to change the mood Let’s face it, it’s his hassle to have to get up and change adjustments manually on the less expensive models that just have a basic on/off capability on the remote.
The warranty is for 1 year on the firebox, (the heater, lights and flame effect) and 90 days on the wood pieces.
We hope you enjoyed our Slim Electric Fireplace Review of the Crawford by Real Flame.