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Cost Analysis: Electric Uses and How Much do Electric Fireplace Spend

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If you are like many homeowners, you have dreamed of having an electric fireplace in your own home, but you might be wondering how much electricity do electric fireplaces use. This is an important question that deserves some thought before investing in one of these beautiful and functional pieces. You want the look of a traditional fireplace as well as the warmth, but is it affordable? We will explore all of the factors related to an electric fireplace’s energy use so that you can make an informed decision that suits your needs and budget.

In This Post, You Will Learn the Following:

  • What is an Electric Fireplace?
  • Types of Heaters
  • Understanding Zone Heating
  • How Much Electric do Electric Fireplaces Use?
  • Savings with an Electric Fireplace
  • Other Considerations
  • MagikFlame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide

What is an Electric Fireplace?

An electric fireplace is a wonderful way to get the look and feel of a real fire without the hassle of a traditional wood burning fireplace. Many houses were not built with a fireplace, but homeowners love the ambiance they provide. This type of fireplace allows everyone to enjoy a cozy fire within their own home in an affordable and easy to care for way. Fireplace uses include heating, using as a TV stand, and as an electric fireplace insert to convert a wood or gas fireplace.

The look of a real flame is created by using a mechanical system or a holographic image. Mechanical systems include a row of reflective pieces that rotate above LED lights. The reflected light is projected onto a back screen where it gives the illusion of flickering flames. Holographic technology is another way to create flames by using images of a real fire for one of the most realistic experiences available.

The effect is further enhanced by a sound system that many electric fireplaces now include in their design. This sound system allows you to hear the crackle and pop of a burning log while watching the flame effects. Some manufacturers take it one step further by offering scent modules that provide the scent of fresh cut pine.

The main purpose of having a fire is for home heating, and these fireplaces do not disappoint. Heating units are built into the design to provide the warmth you are looking for. This makes the entire piece a functional item as it can provide you with a supplemental heating that can help lower your energy bills.

Types of Heaters

There are many types of heaters to choose from when shopping for a supplemental heat source. Some of these are found within the electric fireplace while others are used as an independent piece. The costs to operate these heaters vary, but this will give you an idea of what types are available and how much you can expect to spend when operating them.

Infrared Quartz Heater

An infrared quartz heater utilizes infrared heat technology to create warmth. They generally provide you with a more instantaneous heat than you will get with a fan-forced heater.[1] It warms without drying out the air and it is used on high-end electric fireplaces such as those by MagikFlame.

These heaters have no smoke or carbon monoxide to worry about. This makes them a great alternative to wood burning or gas fireplaces. They are energy efficient and have the lowest average operating cost of all major types of heaters.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are ideal for occasional use in small spaces. You don’t want to use them all of the time. This could be quite expensive. Costs will vary depending on the make and model, but on average, you can expect higher operating costs to run a space heater 24/7. 

Fan-Forced Coil Based Electric Fireplace

Several manufacturers, like Dimplex and Touchstone, have a fan-forced coil based heating unit in their fireplaces. They work just the way they sound. The heating element is heated, and the air is warmed as a fan forces it over it. The fan can be loud, and you have to make sure all flammable items are kept back from the fireplace. These work best in small spaces. 

Gas Fireplace

It may cost less to operate a natural gas fireplace in most areas due to natural gas being less expensive than electricity. 

Propane is slightly more expensive. While gas is currently the cheapest method for heating, keep in mind that natural gas prices fluctuate.

Traditional Fireplaces

A wood-burning fireplace is beautiful, but it is inefficient and costly to use. Most of these fireplaces burn at 10% energy efficiency. This means that your heat loss is substantial. Most of it is escaping through the chimney. If you cut your own wood on your own property, your heat is free. If you have to pay for cut wood, it can easily cost as much as $3,000 per year.

Central Heating

The average home’s HVAC system monthly expense to operate. Again, this price can fluctuate, but it is still the most expensive way to heat.

Understanding Zone Heating

Many homeowners are using zone heating for their homes because of the energy saving opportunity. Traditional forms of heating will bring warm air to the entire house. With this traditional heat, all of your rooms are kept at one designated temperature, even if you aren’t using a room.

Zone heat divides the house into specific areas. You will focus on heating only the rooms of the house you use the most frequently like the living room, kitchen, and bedrooms. Places like a guest bedroom are not kept as warm as the rest of the house. Using an electric fireplace in the rooms you use the most allows you to warm them without adding additional strain to the main heating system.

For example, you could keep your house at 65 degrees Fahrenheit. The electric fireplace can be put in the living room. That fireplace can be turned up or down according to whether or not the room is in use, or you could use just the flame effects for ambiance when the heat isn’t necessary.

You can also invest in a smart thermostat for additional savings. This allows you to set each room to heat at a designated time. You can set this from your smartphone while at work to ensure a warm space when you get home. Also, they have included features such as scheduling, maintenance reminders, and the ability to diagnose problems.[2]

How Much Electric do Electric Fireplaces Use?

When you hear terms like BTUs and amp, it sounds like it would be confusing to try to calculate how much energy your fireplace will use. Fortunately, MagikFlame has a utility bill calculator on their website that makes it easy to estimate your energy costs when it comes to using your electric fireplace. Before calculating these energy costs, there are a few things you will need to know. Start by looking at your most recent electric bill to find out your cost per kilowatt-hour. It is usually somewhere between 10 to 13 cents in the United States, but this varies from place to place.

Next, you will need the wattage of your fireplace. MagikFlame uses a standard 1500 watt heater. Think about how many hours you will use the fireplace each day. The more you use it, the more it costs.

To understand the cost difference, consider running your 1500 watt fireplace on high when a kilowatt-hour costs $0.13. This will cost roughly $23.40 per month. Run that fireplace on low and the cost drops to $7.80 per month. If you operate the flame effects without the hater, expect to pay $0.47 per month. To understand your overall energy use, you need to realize that the less you use your fireplace, the more you will be using your main heat source.

Savings with an Electric Fireplace

We will use a MagikFlame electric fireplace for this example. They cost ranges per year to operate. It should be less expensive than central heat. These electric fireplaces should be more efficient when compared to using a space heater. 

Consider using the MagikFlame utility bill cost calculator tool for a custom estimate of costs. 

Other Considerations

In addition to knowing how much electricity do electric fireplaces use, there are other considerations when it comes to the operating costs.

The Purchase Price

The purchase price depends on the model and market. Once you begin shopping, you will find that costs can range from $200 for a simple Duraflame log set to more than $13,000 for a top-of-the-line model with all of the bells and whistles. Some freestanding units such as those by Duraflame come with a mantel and surround while other inserts like those from Touchstone are designed to fit inside of the firebox of an existing fireplace.

Installation

Installation cost depends on whether you install the unit yourself or not. When it comes to electric fireplaces, some are ready to go as soon as you unbox them. You only need to plug it in. If you need to add an outlet or wish to have the unit hardware into your home’s electric system, you will have to pay a licensed electrician. Regardless, this is cheaper than putting in a gas fireplace which requires running a gas line into the house.

Maintenance

Each type of fireplace requires a different approach to maintenance. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you will be hiring someone to routinely clean the chimney and flue. Electric fireplaces do not require this type of maintenance. You don’t have venting to worry about. The most your electric unit will require is an occasional dusting.

MagikFame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide

All you have to do is read the MagikFlame reviews to know that people love how MagikFlame is built in the United States with quality materials. The result is an electric fireplace heater with the look of a real flame.

The MagikFlame flame-effect is created with a patented state-of-the-art holographic technology that provides everything from glowing embers to a roaring fire. You choose from among the 30 ultra-realistic flames to create the perfect look for your home. If you use the flames without the heat, it will be less expensive due to the energy-efficient LED lights. Crackling log sounds add to the realism, and when you just want relaxing background noise, try the rain or ocean wave sounds that are also included in the sound system.

The heat output is provided by a built-in heater with 5,200 BTUs. This easily warms up to 1,000 square feet depending upon the heat setting. It is the perfect supplement to your main heating system, and it can help you keep those energy bills low. 

A cost-effective option, MagikFlame offers payment plans and financing to make it easy to have an electric fireplace in your own home. Operating the fireplace is simple with the MagikFlame app. Instead of a remote control, you can change the settings on your fireplace with your smartphone or another favorite device.

The MagikFlame Story

Howard Birnbaum started the MagikFlame company. It is a successful, family-owned business, but he didn’t exactly set out to manufacture electric fireplaces. Instead, an interesting series of events has helped him create one of the most realistic fireplaces available.

Mr. Birnbaum was shopping in a Costco when he first discovered electric fireplaces. He loved the idea, but upon a closer look, he was not satisfied with the look of the flames. With a background in special effects, he was convinced that there was something better out there. After searching for a more realistic fireplace, he realized he would have to make his own flame effects. After experimenting with videos of an actual fire, he was able to produce a much more realistic flame.

Mr. Birnbaum teamed up with a company in Florida that designs movie sets. Together they created a fireplace with realistic flames set inside of a beautiful surround and mantel. Once he placed it in his own home, people were asking where they could purchase one for themselves. The first MagikFlame fireplaces were sold on Amazon with great success.

An avid entrepreneur and tech geek, Mr. Birnbaum was inspired further during a trip to Disney. While watching the ghost effects on the Haunted Mansion ride, a new idea was formed. He started using holographic technology to create the most realistic flame effect ever. Today, you can take advantage of his patented HoloFlame technology in your own home with a beautiful MagikFlame fireplace.

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a way to reduce your energy costs, an electric fireplace is a beautiful option. If you are wondering how much electricity do electric fireplaces use, you will be happy to know that these units provide plenty of heat while helping you save money. Their energy-efficient heaters cost very little to operate and are an ideal supplemental heat to your main system. Use your fireplace for zone heating, and you will immediately see the savings. In addition, you will have the look of a real fire without the hassles associated with a traditional fireplace.

Additional sources:

1. https://fireplaceuniverse.com/infrared-electric-fireplace/

2. https://www.digitaltrends.com/home/what-is-a-smart-thermostat/

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