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Sizing an Electric Fireplace: What Do I Need?

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An electric fireplace can be a beautiful addition to any home, but it is important to find one that is the right size. A fireplace that is too large can overpower the area. It goes from being an attractive focal point to looking like an out of place piece of furniture. Too small and it will be lost in the room. You also want it the right size in order to enjoy the warmth that these wonderful fireplaces provide. A little careful planning before you begin your search for the best electric fireplace will ensure that you find one that will suit your needs perfectly and answer “what size electric fireplace do I need?”

In This Post, You Will Learn the Following:

  • Why Choose an Electric Fireplace
  • What Size Fireplace is Best?
  • Heater Styles
  • Types of Electric Fireplaces
  • Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace Guide
  • Media Console Fireplace Guide
  • Electric Fireplace Insert Buying Guide
  • Free Standing Magikflame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide

Why Choose an Electric Fireplace

An electric fireplace provides the look of real flames as well as heat in one convenient unit. Many homeowners decide to purchase an electric fireplace as a replacement for their existing wood-burning fireplace or as a new addition to a home that doesn’t currently have any type of fireplace.

These affordable fireplaces come in a variety of styles and sizes, but they all share common benefits. They are quite inexpensive to operate, and they don’t require any routine maintenance. Without the need for venting, they are quick and easy to install, and they are an excellent supplement to your current heating system.

When it comes to ambiance and comfort, an electric fireplace offers all of this in a safe and effective manner. They are ideal in homes with small children and pets, as there are no actual flames. This also means that they promote a healthier environment, especially for those suffering from chronic breathing issues.

What Size Electric Fireplace is Best?

When asking yourself “what size electric fireplace do I need?”, you first have to decide where you will want to place your fireplace. This could be in the main living area of your home, a dining room, or even a bedroom. After determining where to put it, you need to consider the size of that room.

This all helps you find an electric fireplace that is just the right size for your home. For example, if you pick the living room for your fireplace, chances are you can go with a larger unit. A small bedroom or a corner of the dining room would be better served by a smaller fireplace.


Measure the room you have chosen for your fireplace carefully. Along with thinking about the exact spot where it will sit, consider what you will be placed around it. Details like whether it will rest on the floor or be recessed in the wall will matter as well as which pieces of furniture it will be near.

In addition to the room size and the scale of the furniture, you will want the dimensions of the fireplace you have in mind to buy. Measuring all of this ahead of time will keep you from purchasing a fireplace that is either too small or too large.

The Perfect Size

A fireplace that is too small won’t heat the room properly, and it will feel like it disappears. A bigger fireplace will heat larger rooms to your desired temperature easily. It will also hold its own against other furnishings. Save small units for tiny areas like the bedroom.

The room needs to be able to handle the electric load of the fireplace too. Depending on the size of the fireplace you choose, you might need to hire an electrician to install a dedicated circuit for the unit so that you can avoid overloading the existing circuit. It may be worth your time and money to hire a professional regardless. They can give their opinion on all of your electrical questions before you make a final decision on the best electric fireplace for your home.

Heater Styles

There are two types of heaters found within electric fireplaces. This includes the fan-forced heater and the infrared heater.

Fan forced heat is the most traditional design when it comes to the heater in an electric fireplace. These units are capable of heating up to 400 square feet. They are the perfect supplemental heat source. It functions by using a circulating fan to force air over the heating element and then out into the room.

Infrared heaters can warm larger areas up to 1,000 square feet. The infrared heat warms objects in the room in addition to the air, much as the sun would. This heater uses infrared quartz tubing, a copper heat exchanger, and a fan. These heating units are highly efficient and distribute the heat evenly.

Types of Electric Fireplaces

There are four types of fireplaces to choose from. Each comes with its own set of attractive features, styles, and designs. Finding the perfect electric fireplace depends on how you wish to use your new fireplace.

Freestanding Electric Fireplace

These versions feature two main parts. This would be the fireplace mantle and the surround that is home to the firebox. The firebox itself is ventless and includes the look of a real flame. They plug into a standard 120-volt wall outlet. The mantels come in various colors and finishes.

Wall Mounted Electric Fireplaces

These are electric fireplaces that are offered in hanging models with a modern look and a realistic flame color. Some can be inserted directly into the drywall for a flush finish. Wall mount fireplaces usually include all of the hardware you need to hang it along with a manual that has easy to follow instructions. You could hire a professional for the installation if that would make you feel more comfortable.

TV Stand Electric Fireplaces

Some electric fireplaces serve double duty as your entertainment center and TV stand. The mantels can hold your TV, and there is typically ample shelving for cable boxes, DVD players, and other equipment. You might even find ones with a closed cabinet where you can hide clutter.

Fireplace Inserts

Inserts are designed to be housed inside of your traditional wood fireplace. An inner glowing LED electric log is used to create realistic flames and glowing embers. Installation is simple. You need only to center it in the fireplace opening and plug it in. Just like a freestanding unit, these can be enjoyed with or without the heat.

Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace Guide

When it comes to a wall-mounted electric fireplace, you need to think about how much space you have in order to pick a model that allows enough clearance around it for safety purposes. You should ideally have three to six feet of space around your wall-mounted unit. This includes the floor, ceiling, and other objects hanging on the wall.

The size of the wall-mounted fireplace is best determined by thinking about how it will look in your room. In addition to enough clearance space, the wall needs to be capable of supporting the weight of the unit. Typically, you want it to be the size of an average TV.

Just as important as the physical size of the fireplace is the amount of power it produces. The overall size of the room will tell you what size electric heater you need. Count on roughly ten watts of power per square feet. A heater that is too big will waste energy while one that is too small won’t give you the results you are looking for.

Once you start shopping for a wall-mounted fireplace, you will find that there are two main styles available through Amazon from manufacturers like Dimplex, Classicflame, and PuraFlame. The first style is flush. These sit flat against the wall. The other is recessed. These fit into a cut out in the wall, and they are slightly harder to install.

Media Console Fireplace Guide

The flat-screen TV has become the main gathering spot in most homes. It is where you binge your favorite shows, watch movies with family, and play video games with friends. It only makes sense to combine this new gathering spot with a more traditional one.

People used to gather around the wood fireplace to visit, tell stories, and play games. Why not combine the cozy look and feel of a real flame with the entertainment the TV provides? Electric fireplaces that work as an entertainment center create one impressive focal point that everyone can enjoy.

When wondering what size electric fireplace do I need, homeowners need to think about how large the TV is that they need to accommodate. You don’t want the width of the TV to extend past the edges of the fireplace. Keep in mind that a corner fireplace doesn’t allow for any extra room. Measure your TV carefully, and be sure to check the weight limit of the console before making a final purchase.

Corner units are wonderful for small spaces and apartments. Corners are usually unused spaces that you can utilize with your fireplace. If you have a medium-size home or larger, a traditional design will fit nicely.

Know ahead of time exactly how many electronics you will be dealing with. You don’t want accessories scattered about the floor around your fireplace. Knowing what you need room for in your entertainment center will help you narrow down your options.

Electric Fireplace Insert Buying Guide

An electric fireplace insert provides an affordable way to convert an existing wood-burning or gas fireplace into a safe and energy-efficient version. They come in three types. This makes it easy to find one that will perfectly fit and answer what size electric fireplace is needed.

A log set is a quick and easy fix. Simply slide it into the fireplace opening and plug it into the nearest electrical outlet. If you want to hide the cord, an electrician can install an electric outlet within the fireplace.

Log sets are constructed of a 3D pile of logs with the look of real wood with rear projecting flame effects. The images are either projected onto the back wall of the fireplace or onto a backplate. They often come with a fan-forced heater that can handle an area up to 400 square feet with its heat output.

A plug-in fireplace insert is also easy to use and install. They can be square or rectangular in shape, and they are a fully encased box that is used in your existing mantel, fireplace, or cabinet. They plug into a standard outlet. A glass front covers either a realistic log set or a more contemporary glass ember bed. They are available with both forced fan heaters or infrared heaters.

Built-in Inserts are the hardest of the three to install. Designed to be permanently inserted into the existing fireplace, most people prefer to have them hard wired rather than plugging them in. Depending on the unit’s voltage, built-ins are able to produce more heat because of their larger circuit capacity.

sizing an electric fireplace

Freestanding Magikflame electric fireplace buying guide

Magikflame electric fireplaces provide convenience and safety in a fireplace that includes a realistic flame and excellent heat. The Magikflame story begins with a high-quality piece that you will be proud to have in any room. It has the look of a traditional fireplace with the benefit of easy installation. It plugs into any nearby outlet and is immediately ready to use. Visit their photo idea gallery for placement ideas as well as to get an idea of what size electric fireplace do I need.

Magikflame’s flame gallery on their website showcases their flame effects and natural flame color. State-of-the-art holographic technology is used to produce 30 ultra-realistic flames that range from a soft glow of embers to the look of a roaring fire. Crackling log sounds add to the ambiance for the most believable experience. You can even add the scent of fresh-cut pine to further enhance your enjoyment.

These electric fireplaces come in a variety of sizes and styles that are ideally suitable for apartments and small houses. The built-in 5,200 BTU heater provides ample heat in order to warm your room effectively and safely. There are no harmful fumes emitted since there isn’t a real fire to worry about, and without a real flame, you don’t have the routine maintenance that you do with a traditional wood or gas fireplace. There is no need for venting, so there is no chimney or flue to clean.

Magikflame reviews boast of how affordable these fireplaces are. With payment plans and financing available, you can save money on your initial investment. Magikflame also offers a one year warranty to further safeguard your investment.

Quality craftsmanship and materials are how Magikflame is built. They have a beautiful fireplace mantel and surround that looks stunning with many home decor styles. They are a perfect solution for anyone that doesn’t have a traditional fireplace but wants the look and feel of a real fire. For added convenience, you can use your smartphone as a remote control for the flames or heat.

In Conclusion

When it comes to finding an electric fireplace you can enjoy for years to come, it is important to find one that is the right size for your space. You want it to blend in beautifully with its surrounding. Achieve this goal by measuring your room carefully and visualizing your new fireplace in the space you have chosen.

Size isn’t limited to the physical space the fireplace will encompass. You need to make sure the heater within the fireplace is capable of warming the room effectively with a high enough BTU rating. Look for conveniences like a built-in thermostat or remote control capabilities.

Once you have used these tips to find the proper size fireplace for your home, you will have the warmth and charm of an actual fire in a unit that blends in nicely with your existing furnishings and decor. It will be a balanced piece that you and your family can enjoy throughout the year.

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