How to Buy an Electric Fireplace
Electric fireplaces are quickly becoming one of the most popular features in many homes (and even RVs). They are efficient and easy to install, making them an ideal choice whether you rent or own your home. Most electric fireplaces can be used with or without heat, so they can be enjoyed all year long. Unlike gas or wood fireplaces, electric fireplaces require no venting or gas lines – just a standard 120 volt outlet is usually all that is needed. This makes it easy to install an electric fireplace just about anywhere you'd like, such as your living room, bedroom, kitchen, and even bathroom. Since you can install one almost anywhere, you can take advantage of zone heating in your home. Utilizing zone heating costs much less than using your furnace heating the entire home, as you are only heating the areas you need to.
Being able to use your electric fireplace with or without heat means that it also acts as a decorative piece in your home. The look of a fire can be enjoyed all year long, no matter the climate. Whether you choose a mantel, media console, or wall mount electric fireplace, you are choosing a work of art that’s sure to make a statement in your home, 365 days of the year. Follow these steps to find the right electric fireplace for your space!
Step By Step Guide
1. Measure Your Space
Before you decide which type of fireplace you would like, you first need to measure your space. If you will be using your electric fireplace as a heat source, make sure to measure the square footage of your room to ensure the fireplace you choose will heat your entire room. Whether you want a built-in, wall mount, mantel, or media console, know what size you are looking for so you can narrow down your options.
2. Estimate Your Operating Cost
If you're looking for an efficient source of heat, electric fireplaces are the right choice! Depending on your electrical rates, most electric fireplaces have an operating cost around 3 cents per hour without heat and 8 cents per hour with heat. For homeowners who are seeking a green lifestyle, electric fireplaces are also a great choice; there are no harmful emissions to worry about.
3. Choose Your Style
Built-In: Built-in electric fireplaces save valuable floor space by being built into an opening in your wall. Since this will require professional hardwiring and creates a permanent fireplace, we suggest a built-in electric fireplace only if you own your home and are not renting.
Wall Mount: Wall mount electric fireplaces are ideal for small apartments or smaller rooms in your home where floor space may not be available. Simply hang your electric fireplace on the wall and plug in, instantly brightening and warming your room. There are also semi-recessed and fully recessed wall mount electric fireplaces, which are more permanent options. Semi-recessed electric fireplaces are partly recessed into your wall, but have a few inches protruding out. Fully recessed electric fireplaces are flush mounted in your wall, and the blowers are located on the front so your room will still be heated. No matter which one you choose, you will have a beautiful work of art on your wall in no time.
Mantel Package: Electric fireplaces with mantels are the perfect solution if you like the look of a traditional fireplace. Mantel packages include the mantel and firebox insert. All you have to do is place the firebox inside the mantel, plug it in, and you are ready to enjoy the ambiance and warmth of a fire. There are several options of electric fireplace mantels including stone, traditional wood, and modern white finishes, with media options of logs, embers, and fire glass.
Media Console: Electric fireplace media consoles are a great option if you want the ease and convenience of an electric fireplace with added functionality. By choosing a media console, you are saving space by combining the hearth and media areas of your room. Not only will your electric fireplace provide décor and warmth for your room, but it gives you a place for your TV and storage space for movies, books, and more.
4. Discover Features
Now that you’ve decided on the style, you can check out all the cool features that electric fireplaces have to offer. Most electric fireplaces include a remote for you to control the temperature and features such as flame brightness and speed, but there are a few features that truly stand out to us. Read below to find out more!
Changing Flame Colors: Some electric fireplaces from brands such as Amantii, Modern Flames, and Napoleon fireplaces feature changing flame colors with just the touch of a button. Flame colors can include blue, orange, yellow, purple, multi-color, and depend on the brand. This is an easy and cool way to customize the appearance of your electric fireplace each time you use it.
Cool to the Touch Glass: Cool to the Touch Glass is featured in electric fireplaces with fire glass, such as ClassicFlame’s. The glass remains cool to the touch whether the heat is on or off, making this safe for children and your whole family.
Smoke Effect: Featured in Dimplex electric fireplaces with the patented Opti-Myst technology, a fine water mist that reflects light is produced, resulting in an extremely realistic 3D flame and smoke effect. This is achieved with the easy-to-fill water tank that allows for 12-14 hours of operation when full.
Purifire Air Filtration System: Dimplex’s electric fireplaces with Purifire not only warm your house, but filters the air for a healthier living environment. The Purifire Air Filtration System cleans the air of allergens such as pollen, dust, dander, mold and more about four times per hour.
5. Expert Reviews
We're here to help you through the process of shopping for your electric fireplace. We know you may not necessarily have time to compare every electric fireplace and learn all of their features. To make things easier, we've taken the time to test and review our most popular electric fireplaces, and you can view them at our Electric Fireplace Expert Reviews page.