How To Choose The Best Electric Fireplace For Your Home
Although a traditional fireplace is a classier and still an efficient way to heat up your home, a lot of families are now shifting to a modern and electric one because it is easier to install and manage.
Electric fireplaces feature realistic-looking flames and a heating fan. This provides a rustic vibe and even warmth to your home, minus the air quality problems that are often associated with traditional fireplaces. There is a vast array of designs to choose from, so you can definitely pick one that will suit your space.
Get the most out of your purchase by reading this modern fireplace buying guide.
Types of Fireplaces
- Wall-mounted – The wall-mounted electric heater comes in two varieties: mounted and recessed. The former is easier to install because you only need a bracket for attaching the firebox. However, some families still prefer the latter, which is to build the unit on the wall. The advantage of both varieties is that they are more portable and they save up your precious floor space. These wall-mounted fireplaces are usually found in apartments and lobbies.
- Corner fireplaces – This one is similar to the first option, except that you do not actually mount it on the wall. True to its name, you just find a corner in your home and place the unit there. Most corner fireplaces come with collapsible panels so you can easily install it against a wall. They also have a mantel so the unit will look more presentable.
- Media consoles – Aside from adding warmth to your living room, this unit also acts as console for your television sets, DVD players, or gaming rigs. These entertainment centers are made from durable materials so they can support the weight of your electronic devices. When buying this unit, you should also consider the available storage space that it offers. Some console fireplaces have cabinets and shelves for storing DVDs, remote controls, and other small items.
- Fireplace inserts – This one is especially made to be installed in a traditional fireplace. They are used for replacing your wood-burning hearth to make it more modern and efficient. These inserts are portable and super easy to maintain.
- Gel fireplaces – This unit uses alcohol-based gel cans to produce heat. This is ideal for families who want to have their own fireplace, but want to save up on their energy bill. This unit produces real flames, but the good news is that they do not produce smoke, bad odors, and/or soot. They can also be used indoors and outdoors.
Style and Finish
Another thing to consider is the style and finish of the fireplace. Most modern models are made from stainless steel that’s polished in chrome, silver, or any other shiny coating. However, you can still go for a more traditional look featuring detailed and classy wooden carvings. Some of the common finishes for wood are mahogany, oak, ivory, and espresso.
This part is considered as the heart of any modern fireplace because this is where the flames “burn.”
One of the things that you should consider is its size. Fireboxes are available in a variety of sizes, but the standard ones measure around 18 to 33 inches wide.
Manufacturers boast different types of technology to make the faux flames more alive. There is the basic flat panel flame design, but you can also find one with 3D flames.
Expensive fireboxes also feature glowing logs and flame beds to replicate a traditional fireplace. This will help add ambience to your living room.
But aside from the fancy flames, you should also check out the special features of the firebox. Most units have filtration devices that remove harmful pollutants from your room.
In order to activate a modern fireplace, all you need to do is to plug it into a socket. The standard plug has 120V to accommodate almost any type of residential area.
These fireplaces can produce 750 to 1500 watts of heat. This can cover up to 400 square feet. Even though a modern fireplace is just a supplemental heat source, smaller homes can use it as their main source of warmth.
As a rule of thumb, the larger the fireplace, the more heat it can produce. Make sure that you know the dimensions of your living room so you can choose the correct unit.
What are the features to look for?
One of the most common special features of a modern space heater is the flame-only operation. In this setting, no heat will come out from your fireplace, but the realistic flames will still flicker.
You should also choose a heater with an adjustable thermostat and flame speed settings. For safety purposes, it will also be nice if you buy a unit with overheat protection. Look for certifications from UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and CSA.