Find the Best Electric Fireplace Insert: Evaluations and Reviews

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READ MORE: Electric Fireplace – the right option for your home

Electric fireplace inserts, whether for a retrofit or to upgrade an existing system, are an excellent choice for either masonry fireplaces or a new build. If you’re on the lookout for the best electric fireplace insert on the market, we’re here to provide guidelines, descriptions, and pictures meant to make the buying process as hassle-free as possible. All you need to do is plug the unit into a standard 3-prong grounded 120-Volt outlet and enjoy the warm atmosphere.

Unlike traditional fireplaces, an electric insert comes with no messy ashes for you to clean and minimal maintenance. At the same time, they offer beautiful dancing and flickering flames year-round, while some also provide heat to boost coziness and enhance the relaxing effect. If you’re dreaming of finally being able to cuddle up next to a fireplace with a good book or a glass of wine, you’re in the right place.

What type of Electric Fireplace Insert is best for you?

Finally warming up (pun intended!) to the idea of investing in an electric fireplace? Start by choosing between three types of inserts – an electric log insert, an electric plug-in firebox insert, or the electric built-in firebox insert. Each comes with pros and cons, so feel free to browse through the info below to figure out which option best suits your needs. As Ned Stark once said, winter is coming.

1. Electric Fireplace Log Insert

Electric Fireplace Log Insert Reviews

This electric insert fits a traditional wood log or gas fireplace without any difficult modifications. You can use it as a retrofit to your existing system or a replacement for an insert you want to change. Generally, they feature a simulated log set that sits on top of a realistic grate, with a heating component located underneath the log set. The best thing is that it enables you to heat a cold room without the downside of combustion fuels. In other words, say goodbye to ashes and pollution venting into the environment. Inserts are eco-friendly and cost effective.

2. Electric  Fireplace "Plug-In" Firebox Insert

Electric Fireplace Plug-In Firebox Insert Reviews

For homeowners, apartment dwellers, or offices, the plug-in electric insert is perfect for an electric console mantel installation. These are self-contained units, fully enclosed on all sides. Shop around and choose from different brands, sizes, and models. Once you’re settled on a certain insert, plug it in and watch your electric faux flame dreams come true.

3. Electric Fireplace "Built-In" Firebox Insert

Electric Fireplace Built-In Firebox Insert ReviewsFor vent-less electric fireplaces, this will retrofit easily into an existing mantel if you’re looking to give your room a makeover. It can also be installed as a standalone into a flat or corner wall at floor level. This unit is a permanent and fixed fireplace. While it can take more time to put together, the stunning end result will definitely be worth the effort.

Reviews for the Top 5 Best Electric Fireplace Inserts

Look through our top picks below and compare features to get a better idea of what to look for when shopping. You’ll find the best electric fireplace insert for you in no time.

1. Dimplex DFI2309 Electric Fireplace Insert

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Dimplex DFI2309 Electric Fireplace Insert is an economical choice, while also providing realistic-looking flames year-round. The insert is easy to install into an existing fireplace, making is a great option for those who want to breathe new life into their living rooms without the mess usually associated with a fire. Plus, you can always move it if you feel like experiencing some real flames for a change. There’s only one flame effect available, but that shouldn’t be a problem if you’re simply looking for a cozy atmosphere.

The faux fireplace comes with a remote control so you can turn it on or off from anywhere in the room. There are two heat settings – high and low; or, you can set it to flame-only if you’re simply looking for ambiance rather than heat.

Product Details

  • Power: 1375 Watts
  • Dimensions: 25.5 x 21 x 13 inches
  • Built-in fan-forced heater distributes heat evenly
  • Cost to Operate: Pennies per hour
  • Easy to install into an existing fireplace opening
  • Full heat, half heat, or flame only for 4-season enjoyment
  • Weight: 33 pounds
  • 1-year limited warranty provided

2. Duraflame DFI021ARU Electric Log Set Heater

Duraflame DFI021ARU Electric Log Set Heater width=
Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This realistic log set and ember bed sits in a black finish fire grate and features rolling, pulsating flames. You can control the insert from anywhere in the room using the included multi-function remote control. It works with or without heat. As extra features, the built-in tip-over safety switch automatically turns off the stove should it get knocked over. Moreover, overheat protection shuts off the unit before overheating. This makes it a safe option to use around children or pets.

The insert is extremely easy to install – there are no hookups or vents required, you simply plug it in and enjoy. The flames are also very eye-catching, which makes it a slick choice. The faux-embers glow randomly to create an appealing hot-coal burning effect, while the LED lights that shine from the back add to the realistic factor.

Product Details

  • Power: 1350 watts
  • Dimensions: 20.5 x 8.7 x 12 inches
  • Overheat protection
  • Heating Area: 400 square feet
  • Cost to Operate: Pennies per hour
  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Weight: 13.86 pounds
  • 1-year limited warranty provided

3. XtremepowerUS 28.5-inch Embedded Electric Fireplace Insert Heater with Remote Control

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

This beautiful embedded electric fireplace will add both warmth and charm to your home or office. It comes with a thermal glass window cool to the touch with faux orange-colored SpectraFire flame effects. A hand-held remote control is provided.

The fireplace insert uses long-life LED lights and you can opt for heat or no heat and flames or no flames; there are two heat settings and adjustable flame brightness. The ember bed is so realistic you can easily trick yourself into thinking that you’re looking at real logs burning. The quiet heater emits warm air from the top front louvered vents. All in all, this one can easily replace a log fireplace firebox. It plugs into a 3-prong grounded standard 120-Volt electrical outlet and the installation process is as smooth as they come.

Product Details

  • Power:700/1500 Watts
  • Dimensions: 28.5” W x 6.75” D x 21” H
  • Heating Area: 400 square feet
  • Cost to Operate: Pennies per hour
  • Adjustable multiple levels of brightness
  • Heat Setting: Low/High
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • 1-year warranty provided

4. Flameline Dannis 50

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful and functional, this built-in electric fireplace provides ultra-realistic flames and sports an elegant design that instantly elevates any room. It can operate with or without heat and comes with three-colors flames sure to dazzle guests. Designed for recessed wall placement, a unit can heat a room as large as 450 square feet.

The fireplace comes with a remote for easy use and operates on 100% energy saving LED technology. You can change the flame speed, the light in the box and the temperature output. As an added bonus, the insert offers an auto over-heat protection switch for safety. You simply plug it into a regular outlet and can sit back, relax, and enjoy the colorful dancing flames.

Product Details

  • Power: 5100 BTU
  • Dimensions: 39.4 x 21.6 x 9.4 inches
  • Heating Area: 450 square feet
  • Cost to Operate: Pennies per hour
  • 3 colors effect
  • Auto over-heat protection switch for safety
  • Weight: 56 pounds
  • 1-year warranty provided

5. ClassicFlame 36EB110-GRT 36

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Our Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

The Classic Flame traditional fireplace insert is wonderful for any home – it fits right in with your décor due to its elegant black finish. This insert provides very realistic flames with long-life LED lights and five brightness settings. It has an on-screen indicator in the upper right corner and is controllable either via remote or manually. The fireplace can operate with or without heat, so you can enjoy it year-round. The fixed panel of tempered glass looks the same as a built-in fireplace. Caution: the front gets moderately hot where the heat blows out, but not hot enough to cause a major burn.

For new construction, this built-in can be installed in interior, exterior, or corner walls before drywall. The unit can be completely recessed or extended out depending on your wall framing. If your wall is framed with 2×4 studs, it will definitely protrude from the wall an inch or so. You can plug the attachable cord into a standard 120-Volt 3-prong grounded electrical outlet or hardwire directly into your electrical panel box with the integrated junction box. The 14 AWG wire should be sufficient for hardwiring; however, if you plan to use the heat function continuously, a 20 Amp circuit (12 AWG wire) should be used.

Product Details

  • Power: 4,400 BTU
  • Dimensions: 36 x 7.6 x 24 inches
  • Heating Area: 400 square feet
  • Cost to Operate: Pennies per hour
  • 5 flame brightness settings
  • Electronic timer function
  • Weight: 67.1 pounds
  • 1-year warranty provided

Features to Consider when Choosing the Best Electric Fireplace Insert

Whether or not you choose to purchase one of the models listed above, there are several things you should keep in mind when shopping for an electric fireplace insert.

First off, make sure that the unit will fit both your needs and your budget. For instance, some might be willing to save for a couple of extra months in order to afford an electric fireplace with special effects, while others can enjoy the ambiance with only one flame setting. Also, make time to read customer reviews to learn if others were satisfied by their purchase.

Next, when looking for the best electric fireplace insert, understand that most are available is a variety of designs, with multiple features. To make a better shopping decision, we’ve listed them all below.

  • Flame Effects

A quality product will look realistic, but some models come with extra effects like dancing or flickering flames. If you’re looking for something like that, check the product description carefully to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

  • Functionality

As the saying goes, you get what you pay for. Extra features an insert might provide include the ability to adjust settings via remote. Think the unit’s flame speed, variable flame colors, an on/off timer, flame dimming and brightness level control. You can also go for a unit that is cool to the touch to keep children and pets out of harm’s way. These additional perks may up the unit’s price a little.

  • Power Considerations

 You might want a unit that puts out heat for a 400-square foot space, or you might need a fireplace that will heat a 1000-square foot area. Electric fireplaces have several heating systems designed to fit your specific requirements. The first is a fan forced directional air system able to heat up to 400-square feet. The second is an infrared (IR) heating system, which works for a larger space. Again, it’s important to check the item’s specifications carefully to make sure if it will be up to the task of warming up your space.

  • Style

There are plenty of designs available on the market, so it’s fine to shop around until you find one that will perfectly fit into your space. Traditional models resemble a classic fireplace, with logs and a warm flames. Meanwhile, contemporary electric fireplaces are more stylish, often with glass or resin embers for an authentic fire look. A number of units provide embers of crushed glass for a more dazzling effect rather than typical log sets.

  • Safety

Safety features to consider are UL listed cords, mandated in the U.S. Thermal overload protectors are standard and some units have more certifications. The biggest safety concern is electrical. These units have a 3-prong grounded plug and they should be plugged into a standard 120-Volt outlet that has 3 holes indicating it is grounded to the earth. Never go around this safety system by purchasing a 2-inch adapter plug that has 3 prongs and then inserting into the old-style wall outlet with only two holes. It will not be grounded, increasing the risk of fire. If you hardwire the unit, be savvy about the wire gauges available (AWG). Never use an extension cord that does not match the cord installed on the unit. It can easily overheat.

  • Size

An electrical fireplace is generally a statement piece, so you might think that bigger is always better. That’s not necessarily the case. An oversized fireplace can look out of place in a small room, regardless of how trendy the design looks. Take precise measurements of the area you plan to place the insert and make sure your chosen model will fit right in. Bonus tip: if you’re placing the fireplace below the TV, the flames can become distracting when watching television, so you may consider a smaller model to enjoy both at the same time.

WARNING TO REDUCE THE RISK OF FIRE

1. Do not place any objects such as furniture, papers, clothes, and curtains closer than 3 feet (0.9 m) to the front of the heater and keep them away from the sides and rear when the heater is plugged in.

2. Do not place the heater near a bed because objects such as pillows or blankets can fall off the bed and be ignited by the heater.

3. Always unplug heater when not in use.

4. Always plug heaters directly into a wall outlet/receptacle. Never use with an extension cord or relocatable power tap (outlet/power strip).

5. Check your heater cord and plug connections. A loose fitting outlet can cause the plug to overheat or cause a fire. Be sure plug fits tightly in the outlet. Check frequently during use to make sure the plug and outlet are not hot. If so, discontinue using the heater and have outlet replaced by a qualified electrician.

Note: Heaters draw more current than small appliances, so overheating of the outlet may occur even if it hasn’t happened before.

Final Thoughts

Electric fireplace inserts are energy efficient and instantly add warmth and style to any room. They can also help you save money in the long run since you won’t have to purchase wood logs or pay for expensive natural gas/gas gel. As long as you’re diligent about doing your research and reading reviews, there’s no reason why you won’t end up with a product that will satisfy you for years to come. Or, simply go for one of our top five electric fireplace inserts and you’re good to go.


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