Will an Electric Garage Heater Increase My Energy Bill?
If you spend a lot of time out in your garage, you are well aware that it can get quite cold in the winter. Garages usually aren’t hooked up into the same heating system as the rest of the home and need a heating system of their own. Whether you use your garage as a shop or you’ve converted it into a new room like a game room or home office, there are several great electric heating options. Electric garage heater that are electric come in a variety of forms. However many of them will drastically increase your energy bill, so it is important to know which ones are cost effective and will help save you money. One of these options is to install a high end electric fireplace. In many situations, these will be a much better option than your typical garage heater.
This post is going to cover many of the different types of fireplaces that people tend to get in their homes: wood, gas, and electric. It will talk about why some of these are really bad for your garage, and finally it will explain what the best electric option is to heat your home garage.
What Are The Different Categories of Typical Wood Fireplaces?
There are many types of wood fireplaces, but they can be organized into these four basic types:
- Standard Open Hearth – This is the standard type of fireplace with a large opening to build a fire. It is connected to a chimney and flue, and there is usually a metal grate in the firebox to build the fire on. A screen is usually placed in front of the fire for added safety.
- Enclosed – An enclosed fireplace is one that looks the same as the open hearth accept the entire front is enclosed. This helps it to burn wood more efficiently and makes it a little safer.
- Wood Fireplace Insert – For people that have an open hearth fireplace, they can convert it with these inserts that turn them into enclosed fireplaces.
- Wood Stove – These are typically installed in cabins or other wilderness type dwellings without utilities. They radiate heat when wood is burned inside and the top can be used for some basic cooking.
What Are The Different Problems With Wood Fireplaces?
There are several downsides to owning and using wood fireplaces, these are just the most common ones:
- Safety – Between all of the flammable soot that builds up in the chimney, the random fiery logs and embers that can make its way into the home, and the possibility of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning, there are plenty of safety concerns with wood fireplaces. When it comes to putting wood fireplaces in garages, you should never do it unless you have completely converted your garage to just another room in the house. Between the car in a garage and certain chemicals that can be stored in the garage, flammable fumes can fill the garage. Any flame present can end in a terrible fire that engulfs your entire garage and then spreads to the rest of your home.
- Hassle – Wood fireplaces are a big pain just to use. You have to build a fire, stoke the flames and put on logs when it dies down, clean out ash from the bottom, and generally just keep a close eye on it for safety reasons.
- Professional Cleaning – Because of all of that flammable soot that builds up inside of the chimney, you have to call a professional chimney sweep a few times per year to make sure your fireplace is safe to use. Not cleaning out this soot will result in a house fire, and people with traditional fireplaces are at the greatest risk of house fire because of this.
- Inefficient – Burning logs for heat isn’t very efficient at all. It takes a lot of wood to keep your home warm. For most people, piles of wood cost quite a lot and you also have to find a place around your home to store all of that wood without it being a fire hazard itself.
- Smoky Smell – The smell of smoke is bound to be always present in your home when using a wood fireplace, even if you have good venting. The smell gets into the curtains, furniture, your carpet, and your clothes.
What Are The Different Categories of Typical Gas Fireplaces?
There are really only two types of gas fireplaces. Keep in mind that they need natural gas lines or some other gas source instead of natural gas.
- Direct-Vent Gas Fireplaces – These are gas fireplaces that need ventilation or they will release too many harmful emissions in the air. The flame color is a bright yellow or bright orange.
- Vent-Free Gas Fireplaces – These don’t need ventilation due to the slightly cleaner burning bas that they used. As a trade off, they burn an unrealistic blue color.
What Are The Different Problems With Gas Fireplaces?
Gas fireplaces are without a doubt a better option than wood fireplaces for homes, but they still aren’t quite as good as electric fireplace options. They are also just as bad for garages. Here are some reasons they aren’t a good choice:
- Safety Concerns – Carbon monoxide is still released by gas fireplaces, even if smoke isn’t. On top of this, you still have a flame present. A flame can ignite fumes present in a garage the same way they can for a wood fireplace.
- Limited Design – Gas fireplaces are much more limited in their design and typically need some kind of stainless steel housing for them.
- Unauthentic Flames – The flames of gas fireplaces are always very weak looking and usually feel like slightly better Bunsen burners. They don’t flicker like the flames of a wood fireplace. They just continue in a steady stream. The color of these flames never quite look as good as they should. The more natural colors of direct vented systems still look off and too bright. The blue color of vent-free systems looks very fake and isn’t at all good if you want a more authentic fireplace experience.
What Are The Different Categories of Typical Electric Fireplaces?
- Mantle Wall Unit – The most typical form of electrical fireplaces are electric fireplace mantle wall units. These are electric fireplaces that get installed on the floor against a flat wall, and it has a mantle that is installed around it. These combo sets usually come with both the fireplace and the mantle, however, it comes in two pieces with the mantle separate. This is because some companies offer a wide variety of mantles to choose from, and by keeping them separate, it makes it easier for the homeowner to choose the exact mantle style that they want. These mantles can be different colors, use different materials, or use completely different architectural styles. Some can be more minimalist why others can be more ornate. It all depends on the preferences of the buyer.
- Corner Unit – An electric fireplace corner unit is very similar to the mantle unit above. Instead of being designed to lay flat against a wall, these units are designed to rest snugly in the corner of a room. This is perfect for people who need their flat wall space for other things, or if they just need to save some space. The corner units have a triangle shape to fit into the corner, and the top has a bit more space than a standard wall unit. This means you can place small items on top, like decorated art pieces, or even small TVs if there is enough clearance for them on the left and right side.
- TV Stand – An electric fireplace TV stand is a TV stand that has an electric fireplace built into the bottom of it. While the electric fireplace takes up a good portion of space, many of these TV stands still have plenty of room for shelving, cabinetry, and other features to store your media devices and media contents. Keep in mind that with electric fireplace TV stands, due to the size and nature of them, they are going to be more limited in both their heating capacity and their ability to realistically simulate flames.
- Insert – An electric fireplace insert is similar to the wood insert mentioned in an above section. Instead, with this insert, you install it into your existing wood or gas fireplace to convert it into one that is completely electric. The beauty of this type of electric fireplace insert is that you can still use the aesthetics of your existing fireplace instead of having to wall it off to make room for your new electric fireplace.
- Wall Mount – Wall mounted electric fireplaces are ones that are made to be securely attached to a wall using a mounting bracket or two. The bracket is first secured to the wall by connecting it to the studs behind the drywall. Once the bracket is secure, the fireplace is then attached to the bracket. There are many different types of these wall mounted electric fireplaces. They can sometimes be installed into a recession in the wall. These fireplaces can be installed either partially or fully within a wall depending what kind of look you want to go for. Of course, this will depend on the depth of the wall, depth of the fireplace, and if the fireplace will fit in between the existing studs inside of the wall. There are more options to get around some of these issues, but they are more advanced and you might want to ask a professional for help.
- Freestanding Space Heater Fireplace – A portable heater like this is essential the same as any other space heater you might get for your home. The big difference with these is that they are made to look like a fireplace. The problem you usually run into these is that they tend to be bad at both of their jobs. To keep it portable, there is only enough space to work with, and you have to fit both a heater and fireplace flame effect technology into a small package. The heater needs to be smaller, therefore it won’t usually be as powerful as a regular space heating device. And the visual flame effect technology has so little space that it usually can’t come anywhere close to the realistic quality of a standard electric fireplace. If you need a portable heating device like this, you are better off using one of the standard electric fireplaces listed above like one of the wall mantle units. Use that as your main source of heat for your home, and then just purchase a standard space heating device that isn’t trying to mimic a fireplace. You can keep that one stored away and only pull it out when you think you may need it for some extra heat in rooms that are used much less frequently or on a particularly cold day.
What Are The Various Benefits of Owning Electric Fireplaces?
- No Fire Hazard – Both wood and gas fireplaces can be incredibly dangerous due to the risk of a house fire. This is just when they are placed inside of your home. When placed in a garage, they are at an even more dangerous risk of a house fire. Luckily, with electric fireplaces, you don’t really have to worry about this safety hazard at all. There is no flame present, therefore the risk of a house fire isn’t there like it is with wood and gas fireplaces.
- No Dangerous Emissions – One of the more subtly dangerous parts about wood and gas fireplaces are the emissions. Wood fires cause smoke and carbon monoxide emissions. Gas fireplaces, while they don’t have some to worry about, can still produce harmful carbon monoxide emissions. Neither of these things are an issue with electric fireplaces. The only thing that will come out of your electric fireplace is warm air to keep your home warm. They are incredibly safe for your health, and safe for the environment in this way.
- Installation Is Easy – Despite some of the fancier ways you can choose to install an electric fireplace, the installation is rather easy. For most electric fireplaces that you get, you simply have to place it on the ground in the location where you want it, plug it into a standard house outlet, and then it is ready. There are some additional steps you can take. For one, you can easily secure it to the wall so it doesn’t fall over, similarly to how you might secure a bookshelf to the wall. Also, if you decide to go with a wall mounted electric fireplace, especially one that you want to install either partially or fully recessed in the wall, this will of course be a more involved installation. However, even this can be done without calling a professional if you are already proficient at most home improvement skills necessary for an undertaking like this. The only thing you might need to call a professional for is if you need a new outlet ran to the location of your fireplace because there isn’t one within reach. Just be sure to never use an extension cord or a power surge protector. Electric fireplaces should always be installed directly into the wall outlet, just like any other major appliance. Despite the more difficult installations like wall mounts, they are certainly easier than installing a new wood or gas fireplace. They also tend to be the easier installation since most people go with one of the electric fireplace mantle units over a wall mounted electric fireplace.
- Operation Is Easy – Operating an electric fireplace is even easier than installing them. With a wood fireplace, you have to put in so much work just to start warming your house. You have to go out to your wood pile, grab some wood, split it if the wood isn’t split already, take it inside, stack it properly, add kindling, light it, and then keep an eye on it while it takes 10-20 minutes before it even begins to start warming your home. With electric fireplaces, you simply turn it on and set the thermostat to whatever you want if it wasn’t previously set to your preferred temperature. On top of how easy it is to work, it heats up much faster than a wood fireplace. Electric fireplace heaters usually begin heating the air almost immediately. If you have a high end electric fireplace and stand in front of one, you should feel warm air blowing out of the front almost immediately after turning it on. There is also no maintenance you have to worry about with electric fireplaces. Just keep it free from dust and don’t put anything in front of either the cold air intake or the air blower if you want to ensure it keeps working properly.
- You can install TVs above them – One great feature that is often overlooked is that you can install your flat screen TV right above electric fireplaces. You can’t do this with a wood fireplace. Even with good ventilation, smoke will fill the TV, harming components and eventually breaking it. Also, because the heat of a traditional fireplace goes directly up instead of being blown out into the room, heat can also begin to melt cords and components of the TV. For electric fireplaces, you won’t have any of these issues, it is perfectly safe. Just mount it above on the wall instead of setting it on the mantle if you want the most secure location.
- Works Efficiently To Save Money – Electric fireplaces will save you a lot of money on your heating bill due to how efficiently they work compared to traditional fireplaces.
- Remote Operation – With a remote or a smartphone app, electric fireplaces can easily be controlled from wherever you are sitting.
- Realistic Fireplace Simulation – High quality electric fireplaces, like MagikFlame, can perfectly capture the experience of real fireplace visuals.
How Do Electric Fireplaces Heat Your Home?
While traditional fireplaces tend to use radiant heat to warm a room, electric fireplaces don’t usually use radiant heat. Instead, they use convection. This method of heating requires a constant airflow into the machine. Cold air is sucked into the electric fireplace, it is then rapidly warmed. The warm air is then dispensed back into the room by quiet blowers. To make sure this constant cycle of airflow isn’t hampered, electric fireplaces usually have one or more safety features. These safety features include things like overheat protection and automatic shut-off. If the sensor detects any overheating due to the blowers being blocked, the fireplace will then shut-off, saving it from unnecessary damage to the unit.
How Do Electric Fireplaces Create Visual Effects?
The way that electric fireplaces create their visual flame effects is as varied as the amount of brands and models there are. Not all visual effects are equal, so it is important to make sure that you go with a fireplace that has the visual effects that you prefer.
Some cheap electric fireplaces on Amazon simply use lights that shine on a sinning, reflective, mechanical device. Other brands get a little better. Some have LED lights or looping videos of fireplaces. Some companies like Dimplex have an interesting way to make visual effects. A Dimplex Opti Myst shines colored lights onto streams of water vapor that mimic a flickering flame.
However, for the absolutely most realistic visual fire effects that will make you feel like you are sitting in front of the real thing, you need to go with 3D holographic technology like you find in MagikFlame electric fireplaces.
Will An Electric Garage Heater Increase My Energy Bill?
Having a strong BTU heater is vital to keeping a large space warm. However, many people don’t realize that a heavy-duty electric garage heater is usually overkill. They tend to produce much more heat than is actually needed and cost a lot doing so.
There are many types of electric garage heater. Brands like NewAir, Dyna, Fahrenheat, Dr. Infrared, King Electric, have a variety of different ways they produce heat for your garage, and individual features for each model they make. NewAir has a portable garage heater with adjustable louvers and it can be attached to the ceiling with a ceiling-mount. Others are large units on tripods that take up a lot of precious garage space.
There isn’t just electricity. You also have propane heaters. A gas garage heater is usually a bad idea, as fumes can quickly fill your garage. This isn’t just an issue with breathability, but also it is a fire hazard due to the combustibility. Any kind of propane or liquid propane should only be used for large spaces like a backyard area. Propane does just fine outdoors, that’s why many outdoor BBQs use propane in the form of propane tanks that need to regularly be chanced. For an indoor garage or workspace, just avoid any kind of gas heaters, even for large garages.
As for an electric garage heater, there are more eco friendly options like Dr. Infrared that uses an infrared heater via convection heating. Of course, because most of the time an electric garage heater has a higher wattage requirement, and usually requires a 240-volt outlet, you can expect your heating bill to be much higher than it needs to be.
Dyna has the Dyna Glo wall heaters. With the Glo, you have something that is out of the way, but is a lot more limited in how well it can heat the garage. Something like the Fahrenheat FUH electric garage heater might be a little more heater and can be found on Amazon, however these still aren’t the best option for your garage heating needs.
Surprisingly, an electric fireplace like MagikFlame is one of the best electric garage heaters you can get. Because a high watt electric garage heater like a forced air heater is just simply too much for the square feet area of most garages, you need something that fits the comfort zone properly. MagikFlame electric fireplaces are the best choice because they perfectly fit this temperature comfort zone at a cost effective rate that will add up to big savings on your heating bill. These fireplaces are also particularly great for garages that have been partially or completely converted into additional family rooms, game rooms, or even a home office. A shop heater just doesn’t look nearly as nice in these settings.
Why Are So Many People Switching To MagikFlame Electric Fireplaces?
Since MagikFlame electric fireplaces are usually a much more effective way to heat your garage than a traditional garage heater, let’s see exactly why so many people are choosing to go with them. They have several benefits that make them one of the best electric garage heaters:
- Ultrarealistic Flame Effects – To get super realistic fireplace visuals, MagikFlame fireplaces uses their unique Holoflame technology. This technology allows them to project realistic 3D flickering flame and ember holograms directly onto an authentic physical log set. This is perfect if you use your garage as a game room, a family room, a home office, or even a converted movie theater.
- Relaxing Crackling Log Sounds – Visuals aren’t enough. MagikFlame fireplaces all have realistic crackling log sounds that play for a more immersive cozy fireplace experience. They also include the option to put on some calming nature sounds if that is more your mood.
- Powerful 5,200 BTU Infrared Heater – The 5,200 BTU heater with an infrared heating element that comes inside of every MagikFlame fireplace is enough to heat up to 1,000 sq ft of space. This can easily keep an entire apartment or reasonably sized home warm all winter long. If you have a large home with many rooms and a lot of square feet, you can easily install more than one fireplace and set it up for an even more efficient zone heating system. The adjustable thermostat on these heaters means you can reliably set the temperature to your liking and the heater will work efficiently to keep the room at that temperature.
- Smartphone App Operation – A remote control to control the thermostat is boring. Instead, you can control your MagikFlame fireplace thermostat with their easy to use intuitive app that can be used on your smartphone or tablet. With this app, you aren’t limited to just controlling the thermostat and heat settings, but you can also turn it on or off from any room, change the visual options, change the auditory options, and more.
If MagikFlame is sounding like something that might be a good fit for your home, here are several more resources that can help you:
- This engaging MagikFlame story explains how their holographic flame technology came from time working on special effects for Hollywood productions.
- If you want to learns what existing customers are saying, check out some MagikFlame reviews.
- Knowing how MagikFlame is built will help you understand why these fireplaces are so reliable.
- If you need more info about MagikFlame fireplaces, the MagikFlame electric fireplace buying guide can help you out.
- There isn’t a need to wait with the great warranty, payment plans and financing MagikFlame has to offer.