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Is an Electric Fireplace the Same as an Infrared Patio Heater?

infrared patio heater

When you want to heat your home or an outdoor patio where you spend time, it’s important to find the right feature to use to ensure you can stay warm when the temperatures drop. Some of the top options include an electric fireplace and an infrared patio heater, making it necessary to compare both options. You may be unsure of which heater delivers the most heat or is more energy-efficient.

In this post, you will learn:

  • Is an Electric Fireplace the Same as an Infrared Patio Heater?
  • What Types of Fireplaces are Available?
  • What to Consider When Selecting the Right Electric Fireplace
  • How to Reduce the Risk of Repairs with an Electric Fireplace
Is an Electric Fireplace the Same as an Infrared Patio Heater?


Electric fireplaces are energy efficient and can immediately heat the surrounding environment in minutes, making it easier to maintain a comfortable temperature in the colder seasons. They only cost one to eight cents per hour to operate, which means you won’t notice much of an increase in your electric bill each month.
 
Infrared patio heaters from brands like Bromic and Solaira differ because they only heat certain objects in your space instead of the entire surrounding. The radiant heat can also take longer to warm up, requiring that you wait longer to get warm. Electric fireplaces heat the surrounding air and can work more effectively than outdoor patio heaters that use propane. The lack of real fire used also offers increased safety compared to fire pits without using too much energ.
 
Compared to a traditional patio heater, 120 volt electric fireplaces don’t use propane or natural gas to heat the outdoor space like a Fire Sense or Bromic patio heater, making them an eco-friendly option. The weatherproof materials also make them ideal for outdoor use and don’t feature stainless steel materials like an Infratech patio heater, which means it won’t show signs of rust.
 
The overall design and stylish look of electric fireplaces also make them more attractive to display in your outdoor setting. Compared to a Tungsten patio heater that sits on a telescoping tripod stand or a clunky gas patio heater, an electric fireplace can look like a real wood-burning fireplace and will look beautiful in a gazebo or on a patio when you need reliable outdoor heating. The electric patio heater doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb compared to propane heaters sold by Infratech. They blend in with the design and architecture of the building instead of looking like commercial equipment that doesn’t blend in with the house, which is what you’ll get if you select a Solaira patio heater that delivers infrared heat.
 
There are also a variety of electric fireplaces to choose from for more versatility. You can choose a wall mount electric fireplace to install on a wall, which takes up less room than outdoor patio heaters. It’ll emit more heat than a space heater for larger patios with more square feet and can even be useful for indoor/outdoor use if you want to move it inside in the future. It won’t take up as much room as a Hiland or Infratech patio heater and is slim enough to place on a tabletop.
 
An electric fireplace also comes with a built-in shut-off feature to prevent it from overheating compared to a Hiland heater. You can have peace of mind knowing it’ll automatically turn off even if you forget to shut it off manually.

What Types of Fireplaces are Available?


When you’re ready to buy a small electric fireplace, there are many options to consider that deliver a sufficient amount of heat and show off an attractive design. You can spend time looking around to ensure you have confidence with your selection after discovering what’s available on the market. Each type of fireplace is different, depending on the brand, technology, and overall style.
 
You can consider purchasing a freestanding electric fireplace if you want something eye-catching with beautiful crown molding that matches the rest of your home. It can be a great addition when you plan to move into a new home and need something that is the focal point in your living room or dining room. You can request a larger wall to be built if you’re designing your new home with an architect or home builder and have a specific area you want to place it.
 
Once you’re ready to start a remodel project, an electric fireplace insert will enhance the visual appeal of the redesigned setting. Consider adding an electric fireplace insert into a cavity in the wall if you want a recessed design that doesn’t take up any space. This will allow it to look sleek and upscale while also boosting your home’s value the moment it’s installed. It’ll be easy to plug into a wall, or an electrician can quickly hardwire it.
 
You can even select a fireplace TV console if you want to add a fireplace in a small room where there isn’t much space available. There are a variety of 70-inch fireplace TV stands, which have different features like adjustable shelves and cabinets. You can have a place for storing your board games, electronics, and blankets while keeping everything organized. It will allow your family members to access important items to use in the living space without creating a cluttered setting. The built-in fireplace insert will also look gorgeous as it’s on display right below your television.
 
There are many styles of fireplace TV consoles to select, which can complement your home’s interior design. Rustic and farmhouse consoles are among the most popular choices when you want something that has a worn look, which can add character to the room. This option often includes a barn door and black hinges. Those looking for an upscale TV console can select a product with LED lights and glass shelves. If you want something classy and elegant, opt for an electric fireplace TV stand with an espresso finish.
 
Electric fireplace stoves are also available on the market for those who want a unique, vintage look while searching for a reliable heating element. These types of stoves are small enough to use in tiny homes or apartments for added convenience.
 
Spend time researching the different types of technology available with electric fireplaces when you want something that doesn’t require gas, fire, or wood. Some of the top technologies in the industry include:

●      Gel Fuel
●      Holographic Technology
●      LED Lights
●      Water Mist



Gel Fuel
 
Gel fuel requires purchasing cans of the fuel to use, which lasts four hours per can. They don’t emit any pollution or contaminants, which means your health and indoor air quality are protected every time you have a fire. This technology allows you to enjoy the relaxing glow of the fireplace without using real flames. Unfortunately, gel fuel cans don’t release much heat, which means you may have difficulty staying warm in a colder climate.



Holographic Technology
 
Holographic technology recently emerged in the industry by MagikFlame and is patented, making MagikFlame the only brand to offer it to consumers. It’s popular because it creates the most realistic flame effects by using a screen that displays a real fire burning behind the wood logs. The holographic technology is an important part of the MagikFlame story and uses some LED lights to create the effects.
 
LED Lights
 
LED lights are popular to use because they create the look of a 3D flame in different shapes and sizes of electric fireplaces. LED bulbs are more popular than halogen bulbs because they can last six times longer and have excellent illumination. Different mirrors are used with the LED lights to create the look of the faux flames.
 
Water or Mist
 
Some brands like Dimplex opt for using water or mist to make it look like a real fire burning. The water is tinted an orange color, and you have to fill up the water reservoir when it gets too low to maintain the look of the flames.

What to Consider When Selecting the Right Fireplace?


There are many different factors to consider when you’re shopping for your new fireplace. Consider the price, dimensions, style, features, brand, operation, and reviews to determine which one will be most convenient to use long-term in your personal space.
 
Price
 
The cost of your new fireplace is the first factor to consider to avoid looking into fireplaces that you may not be able to afford. Although it’s tempting to buy the fireplace with the lowest price, this can mean you end up spending thousands of dollars on a product that isn’t reliable. You’ll end up spending more on repairs long-term, which can become a headache and cost just as much as a higher quality electric fireplace.
 
Shop around for a fireplace that is competitively priced but isn’t too good to be true with what it costs. The price tag is influenced by the manufacturer’s overhead costs, including the skill level of their team. The price is also based on the type of materials to ensure they don’t wear down easily and have a longer lifespan. Spending slightly more on an electric fireplace that has a solid build will allow you to get more use out of it in the coming years without worrying if it’ll encounter a lot of issues.
 
The location where the electric fireplace insert is built is another factor that contributes to its price. Many brands manufacture their inserts overseas to offer a lower price to consumers, but this also means the quality of the product is compromised. Other brands like MagikFlame construct our inserts in the U.S. to ensure they last longer and operate better. Our team takes pride in how Magikflame is built and the quality of our inserts. You can learn more about the different models we offer by checking out the MagikFlame best electric fireplace buying guide. The buying guide also includes photos and specs.
 
Don’t forget about a warranty that may be included when researching payment plans and financing. The brand you select should stand behind the quality of the parts and include a one-year warranty with the fireplace you select. This offers peace of mind because your investment is protected, and repairs and replacements will be provided if you deal with any issues the first year you own it. Extended warranties are also optional if you want to buy them on your own.
 
Dimensions
 
Consider the size of the electric fireplace as another factor that will influence how much you like the product. It should be the right size for a room you want to use it in, whether you plan to place it in a corner or on a large wall in your office. Measure the area where you plan to install the fireplace. You also need to think about the ceilings and if they’re high or low. Inserts are the best option if your ceilings are lower and you don’t want to buy something that can overcrowd your living space. A fireplace TV console will also have a smaller size that isn’t as large as a freestanding fireplace and will pair well with lower ceilings.
 
Style and Design
 
There are many styles of electric fireplaces, whether you’re in search of something rustic or contemporary. The style of the product should pair well with the architectural features in the building, as well as the color scheme. You also want to consider if you plan to change the decor or style of the room in the future when making your selection.
 
Features
 
A long list of new features has recently emerged in the industry to offer more accommodation and convenience. Many of the models include back-lit touchscreens that are easy to operate and more advanced than using a remote control. There are even features that allow you to change the color of the flames to change up the look of the product. The touchscreens often include clear graphics with high resolution to make it easy to use the various controls.
 
Brand
 
Consider the top brands available in the industry to ensure you can find something reputable on the market. The brand will determine if it’s a quality product and if it lasts an average of 20 years or more. Some of the top brands you can consider in the industry include Dimplex, MagikFlame, DuraFlame, PureFlame, and Touchstone. Research the background of each brand and how long they’ve been in the industry to ensure you find something versatile, functional, and attractive. You can also look into the types of materials used.
 
Operation
 
The mechanisms and operation of each electric fireplace also need to be considered, which determines how easy it is to turn on and off. The product should have a control panel or remote control. Our brand, MagikFlame, even offers an app that you can download on your tablet or phone to make it easy to operate the fireplace remotely. This will make it easier to adjust the flame colors or brightness settings without much effort.
 
It’s also necessary to research how many BTU each fireplace offers to ensure it’ll deliver enough heat for the room’s size where you need to install it. Multiply the square feet in the room by 20 to determine how many BTU you need. Most MagikFlame products are built with 5,200 BTU, which is enough heat for large rooms and is more than what you’ll get with a space heater.
 
Reviews
 
Online reviews are one of the best resources available as you shop around for your new fireplace. Online reviews allow you to get an honest look at each product and what it offers from other customers to ensure you learn more than what the description offers. You can check out the pros and cons of each product to determine if the customer recommends it to other shoppers.
 
Reviews are easy to find on Amazon and the manufacturer’s website. You can even read our MagikFlame reviews on our website under each model we sell. This is where you can also look at the dimensions and features of each product, as well as photos posted by customers.
 

How to Reduce the Risk of Repairs with an Electric Fireplace?


Electric fireplaces have a reputation for reliability with their operation because of how advanced they’ve become over the years. They have an average lifespan of 20 years and don’t require too much maintenance to continue operating reliably. You still need to spend some time caring for the parts to reduce the risk of repairs over time.
 
Although you don’t have to clean an electric fireplace after each use compared to a wood-burning fireplace, it’s still necessary to clean the internal components every few years. Use a dry, clean cloth to remove dust and grime that has settled onto the parts. Unplug the product and turn it off to allow everything to cool down. Remove the access panel with a screwdriver to access the inside logs. Avoid using harmful chemicals and cleaning products that can take off some of the finish on the parts. A vacuum cleaner can allow you to clean out dirt in hard-to-reach places where small crevices are present.
 
Cleaning the parts also means the glass doors need to be wiped down on the inside and outside of the material. Glass cleaner is a great product to use to prevent any streaks from being left behind. Don’t secure the access panel back onto the fireplace until all the glass cleaner dries to prevent water spots from drying on the glass.
 
The owner’s manual will also provide you with additional guidance on how to maintain your electric fireplace. They may recommend tips on how to operate it safely or when it requires an inspection. A professional electrician should check out the parts at least once each year to find any areas that need attention. Some of the internal components may become worn down with frequent use and need to be repaired. This will prevent the unit from breaking down in the dead of winter when you need the heat. Lubricating the parts is also included in the inspection to ensure everything operates smoothly.
 
Replacing light bulbs is also necessary from time to time. Check out the type of bulbs your fireplace uses, which includes halogen or LED bulbs. Halogen bulbs tend to burn out after two years, and LED bulbs need to be replaced every 11 years. LED bulbs also use a lot less energy.
 
Fortunately, you don’t need to hire a professional to replace a light bulb in the fireplace. Remove the access panel on the fireplace by using a screwdriver and wear gloves when handling the new gloves. If the oil on your skin has contact with the bulb, it can affect its brightness and cause it to burn out sooner.
 
When removing the old light bulb, unscrew it in a counter-clockwise direction without applying too much pressure to avoid breaking the glass. Once you toss it out, wrap it in paper or cloth to prevent the materials from shattering. Screw the new bulb in and turn on the unit to ensure there’s enough illumination and the bulb. If the bulb doesn’t illuminate, contact an electrician to inspect the parts and diagnose the problem.
 
Knowing the difference between an electric fireplace and an outdoor space heater can allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to finding something with enough heat output for your backyard. It will enhance the quality of your outdoor setting and allow you to stay warm to ensure you can spend more time outdoors in colder climates.

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