Fossil fuel is getting scarce day by day and emissions from gas driven power generators are filling up the earth’s atmosphere with greenhouse gases adding to the rapid global warming. That’s why there’s an international drive to save on electricity as much as possible. At home, you can do your part by making sure that electrical appliances are as efficient as they can be.
The heating system in your house comprises a large part of your electric bill. When you reduce the electricity consumption of your heating system, you save a lot of money. One way to do that is to invest in an electric fireplace. This heating system is becoming more and more popular mainly because it has a few advantages over traditional fireplaces and heating systems. Its number one plus is efficiency.
How Efficient Is an Electric Fireplace?
An electric fireplace uses a heating component that converts electricity to heat. Efficiency is pegged at 99%. An electric fireplace does not need a chimney venting or flue to blow out the smoke, so the heat generated is expelled directly into the room and heat is not lost outside. Heat production is also instantaneous. The flick of a switch immediately activates the heating component and so heat is instantly produced.
Is It the Ultimate Heating System?
Electric fireplaces are very efficient. No argument about that. But they may not be the heating solution for all the areas in your home. Save for some exceptions, electric fireplaces are not usually thought of as a house’s main heat source. They should only act as supplemental heating systems, and not the primary heat workhorse.
With that said, electrical fireplaces can help in keeping the overall heat inside your house at comfortable levels so you can walk around without bundling up on robes, sweaters, and blankets.
Electric Fireplaces as Zone Heaters
Zone heating is basically putting heat in areas where you want or need it. This is where electric fireplaces shine as they are best used as zone heaters. You can save a lot on electricity by turning down the thermostat of your central heating system and use electric fireplaces to provide supplemental heat to areas you use most.
An average household is said to spend around 45% of energy cost in heating systems alone. Operating the furnace that provides central heating inside your house costs you a lot of dollars. If you can run your central heating at a lower temperature, you save a great deal on electricity consumption. By approximation, you save 1% on your energy bill for each degree reduced in your central thermostat settings.
A large house has areas that are not frequented, and using heating on these rooms is a waste of electricity. Centralized heating heats all the areas in your home. If you frequent a couple of rooms in the entire house, you can save on electricity by using a supplemental heat source like electric fireplaces on these areas instead of turning up the thermostat to heat the whole house.
Portable electric fireplaces allow you to carry the heating system with you in areas where heat is needed. Strategically placed stationary electric fireplaces provide warmth in frequently used rooms so central heating is not much needed.
How Much Does It Cost to Operate an Electric Fireplace?
Electric fireplaces have two modes of operation – with heat and without. Obviously, the former consumes more electricity than the latter. One good thing is running an electric fireplace is inexpensive with either mode.
Operational cost of any electric appliance will largely depend on the electricity cost in your area. States like Hawaii, Alaska, and New York have electricity cost that is higher than the average in the United States.
On average, electricity cost is around $0.12 per kilowatt used. The ordinary electric fireplace will consume 1.5 kilowatts per hour. Multiplying these two values will show you that the electric fireplace consumes around $0.18 for each hour of operation. If you use it in high heating mode 2 hours per day, your monthly electric bill will increase by $10.80. If you set it to flame effect mode, consumption will only be $1.20 per month.
To know the electricity cost in your area, take a look at your bill. The cost for every kilowatt should be indicated there. There are also sites that list the energy cost per state. You can use this amount to compute your electric fireplace’s energy consumption using the procedures stated in the previous paragraph.
Is it Worth Buying?
If you want to save on heating costs, it’s definitely worth considering at least a couple of electric fireplaces inside your home. Wall mount, portable, insert, or standing, they are cheap to operate. Save on electricity costs for central heating by using them as zone heaters. These electric fireplaces are also decorative and add beauty to your house’s overall look.