The electric fireplace has come a long way from its early beginnings where it attempted to usurp the wood burning fireplace in older style homes and log cabins.
The convenience of the electric fireplace is the main selling point. At the touch of a button, the room or studio apartment is slowly warmed up to a comfortable level taking the bite out of a cold winter or a chilly evening outside.
With gas fireplaces, there is always the risk of a leak which can be deadly to the inhabitants or damage the property. Wood log burning is a romantic scene for sure, but the smoke it generates, the need to carry the logs inside the home, and stoke the fire regularly is less romantic than it initially seems.
Electric fireplaces are usually designed to become one of the fixtures of the living space with an elegant fire display during use and an unassuming, yet attractive appearance, when turning off.
The types of electric fireplaces featured in this article don’t need any oil or gas and generate no smoke in the home either, so they are not harmful and won’t set off the fire alarm in the middle of the night.
Depending on the make and model, modern fireplace designs can include brickwork or a metal welded toughened appearance and attractive polished trims to accentuate the craftsmanship that’s gone into the creation of each and every fireplace.
Temperature control systems have also come a long way since their early beginnings. Precise temperatures can be set to warm the home to just the right level. Control panels can be turned on when needed and turned back off to save power. Economy settings are frequently available, as well as a shut-off safety feature, to reduce costs and avoid racking up an expensive electric bill unnecessarily.
What’s Included with The Best Electric Fireplace
Each purchase will come with a main electric fireplace and the surround that helps the unit fit into space on the wall or along the wall where it is situated.
The electrical hookups are relatively easy to arrange and don’t usually need the help of an electrician to install. Instructions will be provided to illustrate and explain how to install the fireplace correctly.
As a general guide, a 750 to 1500-watt heater can supply heat to a room up to 400 square feet.
There will either be a control panel or a remote control (or both) provided with an electric fireplace. The controls system lets the homeowner access all the settings and features of the fireplace installation.
Brightness levels for the fire display are adjustable. Each model will be different for how bright it can be and what increments are available. The visual log burning effect is also sometimes changeable to different styles to suit the user’s preference, but not in every case.
What to Know Before Making a Purchase
Consider the size of the room that is to be heated up and look at the number of watts that the heater uses. Will the heater be able to heat up the room in every corner? Look for guidance from the manufacturer to see what their specifications say in this regard.
Control over the fireplace is via a control panel on the furnace or by using a remote control. With the remote, check to see whether batteries are included in the package or need to be ordered separately.
There are many types of decorative electric fireplaces on the market. Be sure to choose one that will fit in with the current décor of the room. It would be a shame to need to return the purchase because these aspects weren’t considered first. Alternatively, you don’t want to redecorate the space just to suit the installed fireplace.
An overheating thermostat is a good extra to look for with electric fireplaces to avoid them burning out their heating element.
DuraFlame launched in Stockton, California with the development of the California Cedar Fire Log, made with a combination of sawdust and petroleum wax. Over 40 years’ later, the company still makes fire logs and has expanded further into fire starters, lighters and an extensive range of fireplaces.
PuraFlame is a specialist in electric fireplaces with its range of fireplace inserts, electric stoves that are freestanding, and electric fireplaces that are wall-mounted.
Best Choice Products is involved in multiple categories of goods for the home. Outdoor wicker furniture, electric fireplaces, telescopic flag poles, and foldable camping chairs are just some of the items the company makes.
ClassicFlame, from TwinStar, is a manufacturer of electric fireplaces that also function as an integrated piece of the furniture in the room. Corner media mantels, TV stands with electric fireplaces, and wall fireplaces are three good examples of this approach to this portable home heating category.
What Consumers Say
Taking a look at consumers’ reviews, these are a few of the opinions most often voiced by buyers:
Heating time: Most electric fireplaces take 15-20 minutes to heat up a room successfully. The warming of a living area is not instantaneous despite what one might initially expect.
No assembly required: Electric fireplaces are usually fully assembled upon delivery and only need proper installation. For people who are not proficient with DIY, this is an ideal situation. Most install procedures only take 10-20 minutes to complete.
Bulb replacement: Look at how easy it is to access the light bulbs behind the front visual display for when they stop working. Quite often bulbs stop working after a few months, so easy access is needed. It is a good idea to have some replacement bulbs ready for when they’re needed, rather than have to go to the store to buy them after the heater loses its attractive fireplace display.
LED display: Many fireplaces now come with an LED display that emulates a fire burning at a high temperature. Controls for the visuals often let the homeowner change the colors and intensity of the light display to make it more or less attention-grabbing.