Everyone enjoys their fireplace for different reasons. Fireplace enthusiasts appreciate warmth and aesthetics a fireplace provides, while others may prefer the look and feel of a fire.
Unfortunately, a traditional wood-burning fireplace requires lots of work, including routine maintenance. If you find yourself wanting the ambiance of a real flame, but want to avoid the hassle, consider converting to an electric fireplace.
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Is It Possible to Convert a Fireplace to Electric?
Is it possible to convert a traditional wood fireplace to electric? Yes, and it may be easier and more affordable than you think. If you want warmth, safety, and convenience without sacrificing the beautiful look of a conventional fireplace, an electric conversion may be the answer.
An electric insert that can be installed into your fireplace will give you the ambiance of a real wood fire that you want and an authentic-looking glow combined with the warmth of a high-grade heater. The heat it provides can work along with your current HVAC system to keep you comfortable all winter long.
Benefits of a Conversion
Converting to an electric fireplace has many benefits. An electric fireplace unit is cost-effective and easy to operate. This is especially true if you take advantage of specials and promotions offered by companies like Dimplex on their linear electric fireplace inserts.
Your electric conversion will be perfect for heating specific areas of the home, and the quiet fan helps distribute that heat evenly. You can also rest assured that there are no flames that can cause injury to small children or pets. The convenience continues with the ability to operate your new electric fireplace with your smartphone (no need for another daily remote control) on many models such as those from MagikFlame.
How Difficult is the Conversion?
Electric fireplaces don’t give off any toxic byproducts like carbon monoxide or any smoke from real flames. This means that no chimney, direct-vent, or venting is required for installation, and you don’t have to worry about the hassle of local building codes and zoning. They don’t have a real flame, so they are quite easy to install within your existing fireplace.
Today’s modern inserts fit nicely into your fireplace opening. There is no need to drill holes into the brick, and you won’t have any deconstruction or reconstruction labor fees to deal with. Electric firebox inserts come from the factory ready to use.
All you need to do is remove the grate from your wood-burning fireplace and clean out the ashes and old wood. Once it is clean and ready, simply slide your electric insert into the firebox. Plug the unit in, and you are ready to sit back and enjoy your new fireplace.
How Much to Convert Fireplace to Electric?
Your traditional fireplace that burns wood or uses gas logs can be converted to an electric fireplace for a labor charge of roughly $150 to $200 if you hire a professional to do the work for you. This is in addition to the cost of the electric insert.
The average price of one of these inserts ranges from $110 to $1,035. This is an average and can vary by model or manufacturer. Look for specials and promotions to save money. If you do not already have an electrical outlet nearby where you can plug-in the unit, you will have to have a new outlet installed for $200 to $750.
When asked how much to convert fireplace to electric, one has to look beyond the initial costs. The money an electric unit saves you, in the long run, can help justify your initial investment.
Consider maintenance costs of your existing fireplace. Electric versions won’t require maintenance like a chimney sweep to clean the chimney and flue. You also won’t need to worry about cutting or buying wood as you do with a traditional fireplace or wood stove.
Using your fireplace as an electric piece also saves you time and money over having a natural gas fireplace. Again, there is no maintenance. You won’t have gas logs, a gas line, or propane to worry about, and you will never have to fuss over keeping a pilot light going.
Homeowners enjoy the energy-efficient electric fireplaces as well. They use anywhere from 5,200 BTUs to 8,900. They convert all of their energy into heat. This means you are only paying an average of $25 per year to operate the unit. Compare this to a gas insert fireplace that requires 7,000 to 16,000 BTUs. Gas units are only 70 to 90% efficient when it comes to converting energy into heat. This costs approximately $60 per year to operate.
Does It Make Sense to Convert to an Electric Fireplace?
Knowing how much to convert fireplace to electric helps you decide when it comes to costs, but does it really make sense to do the conversion? Assuming you already have an existing mantel and conventional fireplace, electric is an easy alternative. Keep in mind that with electric fireplaces you will be able to enjoy all of the warmth it produces. Wood burning fireplaces tend to lose the majority of the heat through the chimney. You also have to sit close by, while electric units include fans that distribute the heat evenly throughout the living room.
Electric provides you with a couple of options to pick from when converting. An electric fireplace insert like those from Dimplex set inside of the fireplace opening, or electric log sets can be set inside of the firebox to give you the look and feel of a real fire.
Save Money by Purchasing an Electric Fireplace
Now that we have discussed converting the fireplace you have into an electric one with inserts, we are going to look at buying a freestanding electric fireplace, complete with a mantel and surround, versus converting your wood or gas fireplace. It may make more sense for your individual needs.
Electric fireplaces come in a variety of sizes and styles, and it is the perfect solution if you don’t have a working fireplace in your home already. Even if you do, these electric fireplaces are ideal for recreating that warmth and glow in other rooms such as a dining room or bedroom.
These ventless fireplaces simply plugin. You can place them anywhere you like within your room. If you decide to move it, all you have to do is unplug it, relocate it, and plug it back in. You will also save on fireplace installation costs. It is truly a DIY project.
It will last you for many years to come. When you aren’t dealing with venting and gas lines or chimneys and a flue, there are no parts to corrode or wear out. Typical electric fireplaces use mylar, mirrors, and LED lights to create the look of a real flame. There are no combustible fuels involved. You will be able to appreciate the appearance of a real fire without worrying about harmful fumes such as carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide. It is ideal for those with allergies or asthma, and the flames won’t get hot so there is no risk of burns.
We can’t forget the real reason to have a fireplace or fireplace insert in your home. They are an excellent heat source. Most electric fireplaces offer on-demand zone heating. This means you can turn it on or off. Many people like this feature because they can have the look of real flames anytime they want, even in the warmer months, without getting overheated. The typical electric heater will have a high, medium, and low setting. Some will even come with a thermostat you can set for an even heating experience.
Electric fireplaces will heat anywhere from 400 to 1,000 square feet. There are two types available. This includes fan-forced coil heaters and high-end infrared heaters.
A fan-forced coil heater is great for small rooms. These heaters can support between 400 and 500 square feet. The simple design is easy to produce, which keeps the cost down. Fan-forced coil heaters are common.
High-end infrared heaters are also referred to as radiant heaters. A benefit includes efficiency compared to the fan-forced coil heater while warming an area up to 1,000 square feet. They work much like the sun. More specifically, they emit a UV light that warms up a space. This creates a natural feel of heat without drying out the air.
The MagikFlame story begins with an extremely realistic fireplace that gives you the look of lifelike flames without the work and expense involved in operating a natural gas or wood-burning type of fireplace. MagikFlame uses patented state-of-the-art holographic projection technology to bring you a safe alternative to a real fire. The result is 30 ultra-realistic flames so that you can have everything from glowing embers to a roaring fire.
Your experience is further enhanced with the sound of a crackling fire for a truly authentic immersion. MagikFlame has thought of everything. You can even use a scent module to recreate the scent of fresh-cut pine.
No Venting Required
The MagikFlame electric fireplace does not need any chimney or other type of vent. This is because there are no actual flames involved. Without the real flames, there is no smoke. As an added benefit, this means that your electric fireplace from MagikFlame will provide you with better air quality than another type of fireplace will. You won’t have any harmful fumes escaping. If you or a family member suffers from any type of breathing issues such as asthma or allergies, this could be the perfect solution when it comes to enjoying the look and feel of a cozy fire.
Exactly How MagiFlame Provides the Look of Flames
Not all electric fireplaces are the same. Some offer a cheap look to their electric log that immediately shouts fake. MagikFlame’s realistic flames are developed with the use of a motor and a rotating shaft. Mirrors reflect the LED lights through a panel located behind the logs. All of these components work together for a beautiful flame that will fool you and your guests into believing it is real.
Some electric fireplaces use water or even a steam-based method to create their flame effects. They rely on burning gels or other fuels for the same look. MagikFlame’s methods do not rely on anything actually burning. The entire unit remains cool to the touch. You won’t have to worry about toddlers playing near the fireplace, which makes these fireplaces the perfect solution for families.
Finding a fireplace solution that fits your budget is important. MagikFlame allows you to have a beautiful piece that will instantly be the focal point of any room without draining your bank account. When compared to how much to convert fireplace to electric, buying a freestanding electric fireplace is quite affordable.
Without routine maintenance costs, the expense of replenishing a fuel source, or replacing parts as they corrode and age, your MagikFlame will easily fit into your home’s operating costs. While it does require electricity to work, the average cost for using it throughout the year is quite reasonable. Use the MagikFlame utility cost calculator to help determine annual operation costs.
Even the initial price of your MagikFlame electric fireplace is within reach when you take advantage of their convenient payment plans and financing. Whether you are looking for an alternative to your current fireplace or want to add the experience of a real fireplace to additional rooms in your home, you will find many sizes and styles available. There is sure to be one that suits your needs beautifully.
While the look and sound of an authentic fire is important when buying an electric fireplace, you can’t forget the real reason for a fireplace. Electric, gas, or wood-burning, your fireplace is a great source of heat. Whether you need it to heat an extra room or simply want to give your current heating system a little boost, the heat your electric fireplace provides is important.
MagikFlame understands that the cozy feel of a fire is just as important as the look of the flame. Your MagikFlame electric fireplace comes with a built-in 5,200 BTU heater.
Converting your current wood or gas fireplace into an electric fireplace can be the ideal solution to many of your fireplace issues. It is an affordable option that still allows you to enjoy the look and feel of a real fire with an insert or log sets, and it immediately eliminates much of the maintenance that you have been having to invest your time and money into. Best of all, you will have cleaner air for all and a safer environment for small children.
Another great option is to purchase an actual electric fireplace that can replace your wood fireplace or even be used in a room that didn’t have a fireplace before. Installation is simple. You don’t need to hire an electrician. Simply plug it in and you will instantly be enjoying the warmth and beautiful appearance of real flames.