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1. What are the Reasons to Buy an Electric Fireplace?

Electric Fireplace decor ideas

People purchase electric fireplaces for many reasons. The main reason is for the atmosphere and mesmerizing mood they create. They are decorative for your home and office providing supplemental heat to any room.

With an electric fireplace, you will not have to clean ash messes or create chimneys or vents to put combustion materials into the outdated masonry fireplaces that used wood logs or gas. They are eco-friendly never putting pollution into the environment. You simply switch them on and control the heat and faux flames. The heat is circulated throughout the room with a very quiet heater for immediate warmth.

They are available as wall- or corner-mounted, and are portable, meaning they can be moved easily from one room to another. Freestanding models are offered with a console stand for adding a television and components to the top and cabinets for CDs and media on the sides of the main firebox cabinet.

2. How do Electric Fireplaces Operate?

Electric fireplaces are powered by electricity only. Plug them into a 3-prong grounded 120-Volt outlet and they are ready to go!

These units are highly efficient and are 99% cost effective. You can turn your central heat thermostat down and save money.

3. What are the Best Brands to Purchase?

A fireplace is very personal for each individual’s taste, décor, and what they want to achieve with the fireplace. Presented here for your evaluation and consideration are impartial and fair reviews to help you in your selection process.

Some electric fireplaces use LED long-life lights for the flame effect and others use infrared, incandescent bulbs, and a simple illumination process. Current technology has evolved so that electric fireplaces are more efficient and beautiful now. LED lights are the best present-day method in today’s marketplace; however, all electric fireplaces work well.

4. How Much Area do They Cover

The most widespread electric fireplaces will heat an area of 400-square feet. Infrared electric fireplaces will heat a 1000-square foot space. Since neither type is a primary heat source, they will efficiently provide supplemental heat to the square footage stated in the descriptions.

5. How do I Adjust the Heat?

Less expensive electric fireplaces provide low and high heat levels. They utilize a fan-forced/blower to circulate the warmed air throughout the room. Some fireplaces feature electronic thermostats where you can control the temperature at the degrees you prefer and that temperature setting will be maintained.

6. Do the Faux Flames Look Real?

The electric fireplaces with today’s technology look very authentic. The flame effects are hypnotic similar to wood logs burning. The flame colors range from yellow, orange, red, blue, purple, and a combination of these colors. See the descriptions for the many fireplace types and flame colors and judge for yourself what you would like to have in your home. You can see a video for a real-life viewing experience of the fireplace flickering faux flames as below:

7. Do Electric Fireplaces Require Maintenance?

You might need to replace incandescent bulbs every two to three years. LED lights never need to be replaced.

Regular dusting and vacuuming is all that needs to be done for your fireplace to operate and look beautiful.

8. What About Installing Electric Fireplaces?

Electric fireplaces are very easy to assemble by usually only one person with a Phillips or flat head screwdriver or an Allen wrench. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions with an Owner’s Manual included in the box. After assembled, simply plug into a standard 3-prong grounded 120-Volt outlet and turn it on. How easy is that?

9. Will I Need a Contractor or Electrician to Install the Fireplace?

All electric fireplaces today are plug-and-play. If your circuit breaker is not 150-Amp, and most are, you might need an electrician to do moderate wiring. If you are electrical-savvy, you can do this yourself. If you need an extension cord, it must be 14-AWG and 12 is even better to handle the load requirements. Never use a thin extension cord not electrically rated to safely attach to the existing fireplace cord. Never use a 2-inch 3-prong receptacle; it is not grounded for an old-fashioned 2-hole outlet, even though it has a ground plug-in on the end. Never plug other items into the same outlet or your circuit breaker will trip to the off position.

10. Can Electric Fireplaces be Moved Once Installed?

Electric fireplaces are called “portable,” meaning they can be unplugged and moved to other rooms. Fireplaces with mantels and surrounds can be easily moved as well, since there is no venting. Unplug, and move it. A wall-mounted unit can be moved too, but you would have to move the mounting also.

11. Are Electric Fireplaces Safe for Children, Pets, and Elders?

The electric fireplaces are very safe. The flame effects are created by reflected light projected on a screen. Touching the unit is the same as touching your television. The emitted heat from the heater is no hotter than the heat from a hair blow dryer. Be cautious and watch the little ones and pets, including seniors.

12. Do Electric Fireplaces Have a Remote Control Unit?

Depending on the fireplace you purchase, most units come with a remote control. Some remotes only turn the unit on or off. Other fireplaces have features for levels of heat, flames, and other qualities programmed into it. The more high-end electric fireplace you purchase will have more features on the remote.

13. Will the Fireplace Operate Without a Remote?

Electric fireplaces can be manually operated. As an added convenience, remote controls are provided. If the remote should malfunction, the manufacturer for a small cost can replace it.

14. Do I Need to Add a Chimney or Venting Ducts?

No chimneys or venting is required or needed! They are electric self-contained fireplaces and are environmentally friendly. They do not emit carbon dioxide (CO2), smoke, or any pollutants into the atmosphere.

15. Are Electric Fireplaces Cost-efficient?

Electric fireplaces are inexpensive to operate because you do not need to buy real wood logs or burn expensive natural gas as with an old-fashioned masonry fireplace. Electric fireplaces cost pennies to operate each hour. The heat generated stays in the room; it does not go up in smoke through a chimney or vent. With electric heat, there are no risks due to carcinogens and no irritants as from wood logs or gas burning fireplaces.

We hope we answered your questions and concerns for purchasing the perfect fireplace just for you.

Thrifty homeowners are always on the lookout for saving energy heating their homes in the cooler months of fall and the colder months of winter. Have you considered an electric fireplace or insert for an existing masonry fireplace that you no longer use because of EPA rules for emitting toxins into the air?

Electric units are cost-effective and very efficient. They will heat from 400- to 1000-square feet as supplemental heat and you can turn your central heat’s thermoset down. Some states have massively high gas rates for a gas forced air furnace. Electric fireplaces will cut that price down when you use it as additional heat while turning down your main heat source.

Tips to Save Heating Costs in the Winter

Myth

A home heating myth is the fireplace woodstove fallacy. Yes, you enjoy the wood smell, the crackling sounds, and the ambience by the roaring fire. However, you are not saving! A fireplace or woodstove is, above all, a bad way to heat your house. You will have to buy the firewood, usually by the cord starting at about $150 per cord depending on what part of the woods you live in. Wintertime usually will burn up about 6 to 8 cords. Urban areas have fewer trees to be logged for selling. It has to be driven in from who knows where the trees grow.

The fireplace has a huge appetite for oxygen using the already paid for heated air inside the house, that immediately races up and out of the chimney to pollute the atmosphere. Therefore, you have not saved on fuel costs and have not saved our air from carbon dioxide, Sulphur, and who knows how many other noxious pollutants.

Natural gas fireplaces are no better. They suck up gas like no tomorrow and the gas bill is not cheap!

Alternative

You can always have solar panels installed for almost fee heat. Of course, if your budget can pay for the panels, the boiler to heat the water, and all the piping, and expensive installation—you might want to consider an inexpensive electric fireplace or insert for an existing no longer used masonry fireplace.

Tips to Save Heat

Caulk windows, doorways, gaps, cracks, and any place precious expensive heat is escaping from.

Do not use the programmable feature on your central heat thermostat. It’s not too smart. Go over to it and turn it off or down to 62 degrees. Wear a sweater, socks, and warm slippers and you will not be too uncomfortable with 62 degrees heat. It is wintertime. In fact, it’s healthier for you! A 10-degree drop in temperature could be a 10 savings. Set the thermostat to 60 degrees while sleeping. You will sleep better in a cooler room. An electric blanket uses little energy when sleeping, so use it or buy one.

Close the doors to rooms that do not need to be heated. Use ceiling fans to push the warm air down from the ceiling. Newer ceiling fans have a switch at the top on the outside of the motor that change from summer to winter setting. Bet you didn’t know that—it’s addressed in your User’s Manual and the simple switch function works!

These are common sense ways to save on the expense to heat your house and anyone can do it.

Read more: A Guide to Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling

Your cure for the common cold room is a smart heating guide for safely supplanting heat to your home. Zone heating is a theory where supplemental heat is used when it is needed in specific room(s). This empowers homeowners to keep their central heat thermostat lower in the greater part of the house where most of the living occurs.

For a greener standard of living, consider an electric fireplace, stove, insert, or infrared electric heater with electric fireplaces for realizing energy savings while having sufficient heat with comfortable wintertime temperatures. These are energy efficient and magnificent!

Cost-Efficient Zone Heating

Zone-Heating-Saves-–-Heat-Only-The-Rooms-Youre-In.jpg
One of the most effective and efficient ways to heat a home while reducing energy costs is zone heating. Heat only the rooms you use most and close the doors to the rooms used less.

During the daylight, close off the bedrooms and the laundry room (does it really need to be heated with the dryer in there?). Close off the kitchen when baking or cooking; it creates its own heat. The bedroom does not need to have greater heat when you sleep, since a cool bedroom provides better sleeping anyway. Turn on a low-cost electric blanket if you feel too cold and tuck yourself under the blankets.

Electric zone heating allows the main heating thermostat to be turned down and you will still be comfortable. Electric heat is more economical in that gas or oil furnaces cost about 20 cents per hour to operate and electric fireplaces cost pennies per hour at about 12 cents. Natural gas prices are dependent on your local utility service rates, so will be based upon your location. In the Midwest, natural gas is expensive. Therefore, with zone approaches, you can heat high living spaces with supplemental heat from electric fireplaces, stoves, and inserts. A huge cost savings to you!

Infrared Heaters are Efficient and Powerful

Infrared heaters in electric fireplaces use infrared quartz technology creating instant heat by simply pushing a button. These units will heat up to 1000-square feet. Typical electric heaters heat up the room’s air temperature and infrared heats objects and people directly so that they absorb the heat. Infrared is a safe and soft heat that does not waste energy while keeping the room temperature at a constant heat level. These units can be moved to different rooms and most have thermostat controls. A homeowner can do zone heating all year.

The advanced technology with electric fireplaces, electric stoves, and heaters permit realistic flickering flame effects while providing supplemental heat. They look great and the electric energy is a cost savings to homeowners. Used as the zone heating process you will be warm and save money at the same time.

Heat Where You Live, Not the Entire House

Zone heating provides up to 20-40% in energy savings to heat your house. The beautiful, trendy, and stylish electric heaters, stoves, and inserts are not the ones of years gone by. They are not the former dreary or bulky metal squares producing a heat source. Present day units provide warmth and atmosphere to any home environment. They are appealing, attractive, enchanting, and captivate everyone’s attention with their beauty and allure. These units add value to your home too.

A central furnace recycles constantly—when you feel the cold coming on, it comes on. With supplemental heat using an electric unit, you will not have your furnace coming on constantly eating up costly fuel. Your home will stay conveniently warm with the settings you have chosen. The powerful heaters are a perfect solution for cold living rooms, offices, and other rooms that are colder than normal.

Keep your home toasty and warm during the cold wintertime this year and for years ahead. These electric fireplaces are wonderful in the warmer months to operate without heat with just the wonderful faux flame effect for a great ambience and mesmerizing fireplace.

Don’t buy any Electric Fireplace until read my guide HERE !

Safety and Maintenance Tips

Electric fireplaces are safe when you follow the manufacturer’s instructions—especially the section about cords and electrical outlets. This article will demystify electricity for you to be safe and gain knowledge about electrical energy.

Electric fireplaces are installed in homes, offices, school dorms, RVs—any place there is a need and desire for the beauty and features of a fireplace, or as an efficient way to provide supplemental heat where you will have the aesthetics of the fireplace rather than a small space heater.

Safety Awareness

Safety AwarenessElectric fireplaces are a wonderful addition for adding supplemental heat to an elderly person’s living area, a baby’s nursery, or any one room when it’s not efficient to heat only one room with your central heating. Sometimes people sensitive to cold need additional heat without heating or overheating the entire house. It’s more cost-effective to supplement insufficient heat.

The heaters in electric fireplaces typically use a unit of energy known as BTU (British Thermal Unit). That means the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of one pound (~ a pint) of water by one degree Fahrenheit.

Most heaters operate by circulating the air in a room (convection). Some use radiant heat (infrared) that heats people and objects within the heater’s line of sight. Infrared fireplaces are more efficient when heating a room for lesser time. They are energy saving by heating the immediate surroundings and occupants rather than the entire room.

Hundreds of thousands of fires and deaths are reported due to residential fires and safety is a huge priority. Read on.

Installation Guidelines

  • Purchase only newer models of electric fireplaces that have all of the current safety features. Be sure the electric fireplace cord and heater has the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) label.
  • To avoid energy waste, select only a thermostatically controlled heater.
  • Do not purchase oversized heaters for your room area. Most units have a general sizing description at the website if you shop there.
  • Be sure to locate the fireplace on a level surface away from foot traffic. These surfaces include carpeting, hard wood floors, and tile. Most electric fireplaces in the marketplace today offer cool-to-the-touch surfaces so that children and pets will not be burned.
  • If new electrical circuits are necessary, consult a licensed electrician. If you are electricity savvy, you know the drill.

Ventless Electric Fireplaces

These are electrically more expensive to operate than combustion units, yet they have no vents or chimney requirements and are safe to operate inside your house. Concerns to air quality are not an issue, although they still present burn and fire hazards and should be used with caution. There is no real fire.

 

Ventless Electric Fireplaces

When you buy and install an electric fireplace, follow these general safety procedures:

  • Electric fireplaces should be plugged directly into a standard 3-prong grounded to earth 120-Volt outlet. However, the cord is usually only 6-feet long and it won’t reach. If an extension cord is needed, use the shortest possible heavy-duty 14-AWG (America Wire Gauge) or larger gauge wire rated at no less than 1875-Watts.
  • Follow exactly what the manufacturer’s instructions state regarding the use of extension cords.
  • Never use a 3-prong adapter (about 2-inches big) from the hardware store to plug the fireplace into a 2-prong receptacle. It will not ground the fireplace to the earth since there is no ground wire inside. You are defeating the system and can cause a fire. The fireplace must be grounded!
  • Most single circuit breakers are 15 Amp. The breaker will trip if overpowered, indicating too much power is being drawn. Never plug other electrical items into the same wall outlet with the fireplace. It will cause it to overload tripping the breaker and can cause a cord fire at the wall outlet.
  • Purchase your fireplace that has an anti-tip over safety switch plus an anti-tip over bracket made of metal that screw into the wall or floor, similar to an electric cook stove. The bracket is normally attached at the lower back. The anti-tip over switch will shut down the heater automatically if the unit tips over.
  • Do not have curtains, throw rugs, or any other flammable objects near the heater. Do not put any flammable object on top of the fireplace, even though it is cool to touch. Keep all combustibles such as furniture, bedding, and pillows, at a safe distance of at least 3 feet (0.9 meter) away from all sides and top of the electric fireplace.
  • When switched on, the heating element is hot. Avoid bare skin from touching the hot surface. The trim surrounding the heater outlet can get hot during heater operation.
  • Never block the fresh air intake or vents discharging warm air. Air must move freely at all times.
  • Always unplug the electric heater when not in use—do a double check when leaving.
  • Never operate an electric fireplace with a damaged cord or plug, or a bad outlet. When the heater has been dropped, damaged, or functioning improperly, return it to the authorized service agency for mechanical or electrical repairs. Do not use it.
  • The cord or cable coming from the electric fireplace must never be run under carpet, throw rugs, floor runners, furniture, or any appliances. Cable covers are available at home centers, but be sure no one will trip over those. Cords must not be used in high traffic areas.
  • Certain electric fireplaces can be used outdoors, in a bathroom, laundry room or any place where there is water. Be sure to check with the manufacturer to determine safety. Water and electricity do not mix.
  • Be sure children or adults do not poke foreign objects into the electric fireplace anywhere including through air return vents, or the heater vent. This can cause electrical shock or damage the unit.
  • Never block the air intake or exhaust opening; this can cause a fire.
  • Never have flammables close to the fireplace, such as paint, thinners, turpentine, lighter fluid, or the vapors from these. Do not store flammables near the fireplace. These can cause a fire.
  • Never burn paper or anything in the electric firebox; it is not meant for that and can cause a fire, electrical shock, injury, or death.
  • Never try to lift the electric fireplace by the glass. Always lift the fireplace by the firebox. Do not strike the glass panels at the firebox or side panel media storage units with glass doors.

You Ask, Do the Flames Get Hot?

You Ask, Do the Electric Fireplace Flames Get HotNo is your answer. Because you are not burning combustible fuel (wood logs, gas), and no open flame, your electric fireplace will need no venting to the outside air. The electric log set and fireplace inserts are safer and more efficient. The realistic flame effects are only an image or projection of flames provided by LED lights. When you touch the screen, it is as cool as touching your television when it’s on.

The only warm or hot areas are near the heating element or warm air blowing from the heater. It’s the same as holding your hand near a hair blow dryer. Nothing you touch will burn you like a wood burning fireplace or stove.

Even though usually safe for children and pets to be near, use care near the heater if it is close to children and those with physical disabilities or the elderly when the heater is in the on mode and left unattended.

Fire Extinguishers are Not Created Equal

Fire Extinguishers are Not Created EqualWhen you buy an electric fireplace, buy a fire extinguisher at the same time. You can never be too safe with any electrical device or appliance. An extinguisher next to your hearth could save your life and house. Each year, fires cost millions in damages and kill hundreds of people.

Be sure to buy the right type. Electrical fire extinguishers have no effect on a wood fire.

Purchase from these five types. The first three apply to standard home uses:

  • Class A: for ordinary combustibles (wood, paper, cloth)
  • Class B: for flammable liquids (grease, oil, gasoline)
  • Class C: for electrical equipment (tools, appliances)
  • Class D: for combustible metals (mostly in factories)
  • Class K: for cooking combustibles (animal oils and fats, vegetable oils most often found in commercial kitchens)

The fire class is marked on each container. Choose an extinguisher for an electrical appliance, since that is what an electric fireplace is.

In addition to the letters indicating class of fire, fire extinguishers have numbers before the letters. Keep your extinguisher near your fireplace. Don’t like the looks? There are lovely boxes made specifically for extinguishers.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions, and have the extinguisher charged and checked at least every 5 years. Regularly check the pressure gauge. Shake the canister often to keep the contents mixed and ready to use.

Maintenance Tips

Maintenance TipsTo care for your electric fireplace, remove dust and vacuum inside and out of the firebox, including the control compartment inside. Use a mild dishwashing liquid to clean the glass when it is cold. Use nothing abrasive that will scratch the surface. Use a damp cloth immediately to clean up spills. Furniture polish and oils with lemon are not necessary since the faux wood is usually a laminate on the top finished surface. Do not use polishes on the faux rock fireplace cabinet.

Once again, never operate an electric fireplace with a damaged cord or plug, or a bad wall outlet. When the heater has been dropped, damaged, or functioning improperly, return it to the authorized service agency for mechanical or electrical repairs. Do not use it.

Enjoy your electric fireplace, follow the electrical requirements, and with proper maintenance and care, it will last for many years.