Electric fireplaces are now very popular and the range of them in stores is quite large. To make the right choice and not regret buying, you need to figure out what the price depends on, what types of fireplaces are there, and what they do, as well as their pros and cons. Then, you can easily create a romantic atmosphere of coziness, comfort, and warmth at home.
What does an electric fireplace do? Not only is an electric fireplace a decorative element of the apartment, but it is also a source of heat, even in a big space. An electric fireplace is a technical device that imitates the functions of a classic fireplace (in particular light, heat, and interior) by using electrical energy.
So, what is the point of an electric fireplace? Electric fireplaces perform an important decorative function. Electric fireplaces also make the room more cozy and comfortable and create a place for family evening gatherings. Electric fireplaces are also functional devices. They do a fairly good job of heating a room during the cold season. If you just want to enjoy the aesthetics of the fireplace, you can simply turn off the heat mode.
The most important criterion for choosing an electric fireplace is its external design, since such products, as a rule, do not differ in functionality.
Do Electric Fireplaces Really Heat a Room?
Yes, electric fireplaces really heat a room. The manufacturer indicates that an electric fireplace with its power of 2 kW can heat on average up to 20 m2, that is, in a ratio of 1 kW per 10 m2. In principle, the same ratio applies to heaters. In the majority of cases, an electric fireplace will take longer to heat a room to the desired temperature than a convector or infrared heater of the same power.
That said, the electric hearth is capable of heating a room up to 20 m2. Of course, you should not consider such a fireplace as the main heating, it will not replace a convector or central heating, but as an additional heating device, it will be extremely useful in most rooms.
An electric fireplace is no longer a luxury item, but rather an important piece of furniture that can create not only coziness but also warm you on cold evenings. This type of fireplace is an electric heating fireplace. It is worth noting that not all electric fireplaces have a heating function, therefore, when choosing the required model, it is worth focusing on this. An electric fireplace can be presented in any style such as a classic built-in hearth, a cassette-type hearth, a wall-mounted hearth.
Designers often use electric fireplaces in their interiors, as they are easy to install, will not harm the adjacent interior items and equipment, are absolutely safe for children and animals, and some models also humidify the air in the room.
The heating hearth can be installed in any portal of a suitable size. It can also be wall-mounted or built into a wall niche. Some fireplaces are sold ready-made; you do not need to invent and order additional framing or build a niche in the wall for them.
All electric fireplaces do not need expensive fuel that emits harmful combustion products, they are easy to maintain and operate (for many models, remote control is provided). In order for the fireplace to function, you only need access to the power supply.
An electric fireplace will decorate any interior and create a cozy atmosphere in your home. There are several features that the electric fireplace has. Let’s consider them:
- Original design. Both modern and vintage styles are used for decoration. The style of the room does not play an important role, the option is easy to choose for everyone.
- Problem-free operation. Most models have two operating modes — simulating fire without heating, or with it. It is the heating function that gives additional heat, which is especially important in winter.
- Installation takes a minimum of time. To carry out the installation work of the devices, no chimney equipment is required, compliance with certain conditions.
- Safety. There are no combustion products, fire during the operation of the devices. The possibility of unpleasant odors and fire is excluded.
Should I Buy an Electric Fireplace?
To decide whether you should buy an electric fireplace or no, you need to understand the pros and cons that it has. Let’s consider them now.
The Advantages of an Electric Fireplace
- Operation and care. One of the serious drawbacks of conventional wood-burning fireplaces is that they need to be regularly cleaned of soot and other combustion products. In addition, firewood needs to be stored somewhere else. Of course, there are no such problems with electrical ones.
- Lack of harmful combustion products. When coal or wood is burned, harmful substances are released into the air. If you regularly monitor and care for the chimney, then the harm from this drawback can be minimized, but most often the owners of fireplaces forget to clean the chimney.
- Electric fireplaces are economical. Buying firewood for heating is more expensive than paying for consumed electricity. These devices consume less electricity than conventional heaters, although they can operate in a heat mode. Also, with an electric one, you do not need to spend money on installation and repair, it is simply brought into the room and plugged into an outlet.
- Benefit for health. 3D fireplaces have a steam generator that not only creates the illusion of real fire and smoke but also acts as a humidifier. Such a device will be very useful if a family member suffers from chronic respiratory diseases since it does not dry the air but rather humidifies it. Moreover, this moisture does not harm furniture or walls at all. The user only needs to top up the water tank from time to time. Although, there are models that will save you from these hassles since they are connected directly to the domestic water supply.
- Lack of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous, colorless, and odorless gas that is often poisonous and sometimes fatal. Carbon monoxide is produced by incomplete combustion of fuel.
- Lack of water vapor. In gas fireplaces, when fuel is burned, water vapor is formed, which increases the humidity of the air, and contributes to the appearance of dampness, mildew, and mold on the walls and ceiling. Condensed water can accumulate in the chimney, on windows, or on other cold surfaces.
- No chimney required. The chimney, of course, has its advantages, but also quite significant disadvantages. Cold and damp air, as well as insects and rodents, enter the house through the chimney. And installing a chimney in a room with a completed renovation is a rather expensive business.
- Safe to use. Unlike most types of fireplaces, an electric fireplace can be left unattended. You won’t get burned from it unless you want to take it apart. Gas leakage will not occur. Do not be exposed to carbon monoxide or hazardous substances when burning fuel.
- Easy to install. The installation of an electric fireplace does not require special permits, as for a gas fireplace. There is no need for a chimney, laying gas pipes. In most cases, a qualified technician is not required for installation. Wood-burning fireplaces are not so easy to install. It is better to provide for their installation even at the construction stage. With electric ones, everything is much easier. It will not be a big problem to install them even in a room with a finished renovation. Also, no permits and approvals are required.
- More efficient for space heating. The electric fireplace has a thermostat to regulate the temperature and, unlike conventional fireplaces, you will not overheat the air in the room. In small rooms, it can be used as the main source of heat, in large rooms as an additional one.
- The electric fireplace can be used all year round. Yes, this is also a pretty significant plus. Many would like to admire the fire all year round, but hardly anyone wants to light a fireplace in hot weather. And the electric fireplace allows you to admire the flame without heating.
- Basic service. Having a real fireplace is a luxury, but not everyone knows that this luxury must be properly looked after. Before the start of the heating season, all owners of wood or gas fireplaces must definitely call a specialist to clean the chimney and check the condition. In case of any malfunctions, call the master again. Maintenance of electric fireplaces consists only of changing burned-out lamps or repairing them in a service center.
- Quiet operation. Most consider this an advantage, but for me personally, it is a disadvantage. The sound of a live-fire and crackling firewood creates a cozy atmosphere. Although there are models with the sound effects of a burning fireplace.
- Price. Electric fireplaces are 5 times cheaper than wood-burning ones.
The Disadvantages of an Electric Fireplace
In addition to advantages, electric fireplaces also have disadvantages that can deter you from buying, well, or at least make you think about whether to purchase such a device. Here are some of them:
- Poor power consumption/heat dissipation ratio. The manufacturer indicates that an electric fireplace with its power of 2 kW can heat on average up to 20 m2, that is, in a ratio of 1 kW per 10 m2. In principle, the same ratio applies to heaters. However, electric fireplaces heat up the room much longer, which increases energy consumption. We can say that in the overwhelming majority of cases, an electric fireplace will take longer to warm a room to the desired temperature than a convector or infrared heater of the same power.
- Small heated area. There are practically no units in nature with a capacity of more than 2.4 kW, which means that the maximum that they can heat is 25 m2. If your living room is larger than these dimensions, then the electric fireplace will not be enough for heating, and you cannot use it as the only source of heat.
- Poor mobility. Due to its size, and often its large weight, the electric fireplace cannot be pulled around the rooms when you need to heat them up. That is, it is extremely inconvenient to use it as a portable heater, therefore only a stationary version.
- Fan noise. In heating mode, a fan works, which forcibly drives heat into the room. Although not as noisy as those of heat guns, it is still slightly audible. This can be annoying for some. However, note that if you use the device only to simulate a flame, then the fan will not turn on, which means there will be no noise.
Should You Buy An Electric Fireplace Video Guide
That said, an electric fireplace is more a decorative decoration for a house or apartment, which can in some sense replace a real wood-burning fireplace. If you want to decorate your interior and get extra warmth, then such a device will suit you. However, an electric fireplace should not be considered as the main source of heat. In terms of the use of electricity, it is less economical than heaters, and it can heat a maximum of 25 m2 of area.
How Do Electric Fireplaces Work Video Guide
Electric Fireplace Design
Since, in most cases, people want to buy an electric fireplace for aesthetic decoration of the design of the room, then we will put this parameter in the first place.
According to this parameter, the following types of electric fireplaces can be distinguished:
- Wall-mounted electric fireplaces. These fireplaces are wall-mounted and may not touch the floor.
- Classic electric fireplaces can be installed virtually anywhere, most often on the floor or in some niche.
- Electric fireplaces with a portal. These fireplaces are sold together with a special finishing portal, which, on the one hand, serves as a kind of fireplace case, and on the other, provides an additional aesthetic design.
Size is also an important attribute of choosing a fireplace. The height and length mainly affect the possibility of placement in an open interior, and the width of the electric fireplace – on the possibility of placement in a niche. So the required dimensions of the electric fireplace should be determined even before shopping.
Power of the Electric Fireplace
Thinking about choosing an electric fireplace, quite a few buyers realize that it can quite successfully perform heating functions, just like, for example, a convector. Although this possibility is not present in all models, because the simplest electric fireplaces do not have it.
Electric power of modern electric fireplaces without heating is on average 0.2-0.5 kW, and for models with heating – 1.8-2.0 kW. An important element is the presence of a power regulator.
If you plan to use a fireplace for heating, be guided by this approximate proportion: 1 kW of power per 10 sq. m.
Fire Imitation Technology
There are several different technologies that manufacturers of electric fireplaces use to simulate a fire in their products. These include technologies such as Optiflame (lamps are used), Opti-V (LCD is installed), and others.
Most often, buyers are interested in and want to buy an electric fireplace with a 3d flame effect, which is provided with the help of LED technology. Such an electric fireplace with a real fire is really quite difficult to distinguish from a classic one.
Electric Fireplace Installation
Another plus of an electric fireplace is that its installation does not require a permit (as for gas fireplaces) and a qualified specialist is not needed to install the firebox. There are several ways to install an electric fireplace:
- Into an ordinary portal for an electric fireplace. They are installed in a special niche.
- Fireplace sets or multimedia fireplace sets when the electric fireplace is already built into the portal.
- Into the fake wall. A false wall is made of plasterboard and decorated with cladding made of wood, tiles, stone or other material.
- In the cladding of a standard fireplace which is the most difficult option.
Engineers complement modern electric fireplaces with a variety of functions: background lighting, brightness control, timer for switching to sleep mode, flame burning speed, flame sound, heater power adjustment. Owners of electric fireplaces do not use most of them for two reasons:
- Complex controls. Many people are too lazy to study the instructions, and without it it is quite difficult to understand.
- Inconvenient controls. Even if there is a remote control in the electric fireplace, some of the functions are activated through the panel on the electric fireplace.
However, there are other functions you can get for your electric fireplace. These can be:
- Thermostat which is used for automatic temperature control.
- For greater convenience, you can buy models with a remote control (RC) with which you can set the temperature and flame settings.
- Heating function. In models with an infrared heater, an imitation of heat from a fire is created (when you bring your hand, you feel warmth). But this is not a full-fledged IR heater and you can’t heat a room with it.
- Air humidifier or purifier.
- FX sound which is a sound imitation of wood crackling.