All About Electric Fireplaces
All About Electric Fireplaces
Electric fireplaces mimic a wood burning fire with flame effects and a glowing ember bed that are created by light bulbs that are placed inside of the log set. They can be installed virtually anywhere since they do not require a chimney or venting system and they do not produce real flames so they don't require any clearances to combustible materials like furniture and drapes.
Electric Fireplaces simply require a plug and a wall to start providing instant heat and ambiance. They are a great choice if the typical amount of space required for a wood burning or gas fireplace isn't available, for those who want convenient, no maintenance warmth and the romantic glow of a fire. They also tend to be less expensive overall then traditional fireplaces which make them a popular option for those who are conscious about their budget and rising home heating bill.
How do electric fireplaces work?
Electric Fireplaces consist of two key components. They have a heater section which includes a fan and heating elements, and the electric light flame effect section. Most have separate switches that allow you to operate them in three different modes. If you want to enjoy the beauty and flame presentation without the heat, there is a flame only, no heat option. There is also a flame effect with heat option for those quiet, chilly nights when you want both the warmth and visual effects of the Electric Fireplace. Electric fireplaces can also be operated with a heat only option without the flame effects.
Electric Fireplace Installation
The installation of an Electric Fireplace can be as simple as placing the fireplace where you want it and plugging it into an existing electrical outlet. You should however plug your Electric Fireplace into an outlet by itself on a dedicated breaker or fuse. Plugging the electric fireplace into an electrical outlet that shares one circuit breaker or fuse with several other outlets and light fixtures could overload the circuit and trip the circuit breaker which could create a safety hazard.
Before plugging an Electric Fireplace into an outlet in your home, you should make sure that it is not on the same circuit as any other significant appliances or lights. If a new outlet and wiring from a dedicated circuit breaker or fuse in the electrical panel is required, you may need to consult a licensed electrician. If the Electric Fireplace is a hardwired variety, a new circuit breaker and wiring will be required. Never plug in your Electric Fireplace to an extension cord and always follow the manufacturer's operating instructions.
Electric Fireplace Maintenance
One of the most appealing features of Electric Fireplaces is that they require very little maintenance. From time to time you will have to replace the bulbs within the log set when they burn out and it may need to be dusted or vacuumed periodically as it collects dust.
Electric Fireplace Heating Capacity
The typical BTU range of an Electric Fireplace will range from 4000 to 5000 BTUs per hour or 1175 to 1440 W. This is why they are effective zone heaters but are not recommended for applications where the primary purpose of the appliance is to heat the entire home. The electric light effects in Electric Fireplaces consist of a single or multiple light bulbs or light emitting LEDs that consume less than 100 watts depending on the fireplace model and design. Electric Fireplaces that are hardwired are likely to have higher heating capacities.
Electric Fireplace Styles
Electric Fireplaces are available in a variety of styles and designs that are guaranteed to add warmth and ambiance to any home's interior. They create a romantic glow using light bulbs that are placed within the log set and circulate heated air throughout the room using a blower. Most Electric Fireplace models come with a conventional 120 volt electrical plug-in however, some are available for permanent installation in an electrically hardwired version.
Some Electric Fireplaces integrate home entertainment pleasures into their style with designs that are built into entertainment centers so you can enjoy your favorite movie by the cozy light of the fireplace. Electric Fireplaces also come in styles that come complete with a fireplace mantel or a full faux stone surround to simulate a traditional masonry fireplace.
Electric Fireplaces are also available in free-standing units that are designed to resemble a wood burning stove. Free standing Electric Fireplaces offer 3D glowing flame presentation that reflects a welcoming atmosphere from behind the glass doors. Free standing Electric Fireplaces resemble the look of a true cast iron wood stove but are made out of composite materials and medium density fiberboard for a lightweight, manageable fireplace design.
Electric fireplaces are also available as inserts for use in existing wood burning fireplaces. These inserts are designed to be placed directly inside of an existing traditional masonry fireplace and are operated with a handheld remote control. Electric Fireplace inserts offer a life-like fireside experience with believable flame presentation, realistic detailed logs and glowing ember beds.
If you are willing to sacrifice a little bit of the realism for simplicity and convenience, an Electric Fireplace is the perfect fireplace to fill your home with warmth and ambiance. Electric Fireplaces require virtually no attention at all as far as maintenance is concerned and they are completely safe since they don't require any clearances to combustible materials. Electric Fireplaces allow you to select the level of the flames that you want from the electric log set provided with the fireplace and they provide cool to the touch operation which is great if you have curious children that might be curious and touch the exterior of the fireplace.
Electric Fireplaces are fairly inexpensive to use costing about 3 cents per hour if you use the flame only option and about 8 cents an hour when operated with the heat and flame option. These figures will vary from model to model but overall, Electric Fireplaces are a low-cost, no-maintenance home heating option that will add beauty and a warm welcoming atmosphere to your home.