Whether you are working with an architect or home builder to design your new home, you are doing a remodel of your existing home, or you just want to come up with some new interior design ideas, in the end, heating options should be important to you. These days, many people are getting away from traditional fireplaces that burn wood and focusing on more modern takes like electric fireplaces to warm their homes. You can put electric fireplaces in so many rooms in your home. You can obviously put one in the main living room. However, you can also put a small electric fireplace in your bedroom, your dining room, your game room, your home office, and more. However, is it safe to use an electric fireplace as a bathroom heater? What are the benefits of using one there? What concerns about safety should you be aware of? Is an electric fireplace better than a space heater?
PLEASE NOTE: Although an electric fireplace can be used in a vented bathroom environment with excellent airflow, MagikFlame does not suggest or recommend this application for your home unless it has been professionally installed and meets all local and federal fire and safety requirements for this specific application. Moisture and electricity, when mismanaged, can potentially result in a harmful outcome.
In the article that follows, we are going to thoroughly cover all of these questions and much more. Let’s jump right into it.
Why Are Electric Fireplaces So Great For Home Use Anyway?
If you still aren’t quite sure if electric fireplaces are actually a good solution for your home, especially when compared to wood or gas fireplaces, you couldn’t be more wrong. While wood and gas fireplaces should be completely avoided in bathrooms altogether, let’s cover why they aren’t good for home use at all compared to high end electric fireplaces. First, here are the basic types of wood fireplaces:
- Open Hearth Fireplace
- Enclosed Fireplace
- Fire Pits
- Wood Stove
- Fireplace Insert
Here are many of the downsides that come with wood fireplaces:
- Fire safety is a huge concern due to an exposed flame and soot buildup inside of the flue and chimney.
- Both smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning can be a serious concern.
- It is a lot of work to build a fire, maintain it, and take care of a fireplace in general.
- A lot of the heat is lost through the ventilation of the chimney.
- The smell of smoke will always fill your home and make you smell like smoke when you leave.
- The smoke leaves stains and yellows your walls over time.
- Hanging a TV above a wood fireplace will ensure damage to it.
- You need space to store wood.
- They are very expensive and time consuming to build onto an existing home.
Some people think gas fireplaces are great too, but they still have their issues. Here are the common gas fireplace types:
Here is why you should also avoid gas fireplaces:
- The flame is still exposed therefore a house fire is still a risk.
- Even without smoke, they still produce harmful carbon monoxide.
- Many of them have inconsistent blue flames.
- The flames are often weak and don’t flicker like a real fireplace.
- They are expensive to install and you will likely need a professional’s help.
On the other end of the spectrum, electric fireplaces are an excellent modern choice. Here are the basic electric fireplace types:
- Electric Fireplace Mantel Package For a Flat Wall
- Electric Fireplace For a Corner
- White Fireplace TV Stand
- Corner TV Stand Fireplace
- Wall Mount Electric Fireplace That Can Be Installed Into Wall Recessions
- Electric Fireplace Insert To Convert Wood Fireplace To Electric
- Freestanding Electric Fireplace Heater
- Electric Stove That Look Like Wood Stoves
Here are all of the reasons why you should always choose an electric fireplace over a wood or gas fireplace:
- With an electric fireplace, there is nothing that is actually burning. This means that you are not going to have to worry about any additional chance of a house fire due to an exposed flame.
- Since there is nothing burning with electric fireplaces, you have the benefit of not having to worry about any kind of harmful emissions. An electric fireplace is just blowing out clean, warm air. There is no smoke or carbon monoxide for you to worry about.
- The lack of smoke also means you really don’t have to worry about that awful smell lingering around your home or your furniture, your carpets, your walls, or your curtains yellowing over time.
- Electric fireplaces are often incredibly easy to install. Once you have one at your house, it is really just a matter of choosing a spot you like, setting the fireplace down, and then plugging it into an electrical outlet.
- They are very easy to use. You don’t have to worry about building fires or maintaining them. Just turn the thing on, choose your temperature, and let it do the work for you.
- You can install these into any room in your home since they don’t need any kind of ventilation installed with them. This makes them great for things like an electric fireplace in the dining room.
- Without ventilation to leak all of the heat out, the heat stays in the room for much longer to keep the room warm. On top of this, most electric fireplaces use infrared heat that uses very little energy, keeping your heating bill nice and low.
- Supplemental Zone Heating – If you have a really large home, you can set up zone heating by installing multiple fireplaces and only turning them on whenever people are using that zone of the house. This actually saves even more money because you aren’t heating your large house all at once.
- Remote Control – With a remote control that comes with most electric fireplaces, you can work your fireplace without the need to get up.
- It is totally safe to hang a TV above an electric fireplace compared to a wood fireplace.
- If your fireplace has holographic flame technology, it can capture the ambiance of a real fireplace so well that it looks like the real thing.
Now that you understand that an electric fireplace is clearly a good choice, how do they even work? Read the next section to find out.
How Does an Electric Fireplace Work To Produce Heat?
Electric fireplaces typically use infrared quartz as their heating element. This type of heating is incredibly efficient. Air will be pulled from the room and into the electric fireplace before it is pushed back out through the blowers. In this split second where the air passes by the heating coil, the infrared quartz instantly warms the air before it is blown back out. Due to this efficiency, you can usually feel warm air coming out of an electric fireplace right after it is turned on, and you can expect it to warm rather quickly, depending on its size.
The heater in an electric fireplace will automatically change how hard it works to match the temperature you set on the thermostat. Whatever your heat settings are, the fireplace will work harder to warm more air, or work less to warm less air, so that the temperature of the room stays consistent at your desired temperature.
Is It Safe To Use an Electric Fireplace As a Bathroom Heater?
While the bathroom isn’t the most typical place that you would normally see an electric fireplace in your home, the trend is catching on. This is especially true with some sort of wall mount or electric fireplace insert that can easily be built into a recessed where it doesn’t take as much space. Surprisingly, in most cases when installed professionally, it’s safer to use an electric fireplace in your bathroom.
That being said, sections below will go into some more details about safety related features you should have included with your electric fireplace in the bathroom, and some other things you should consider as well when you heat up such a small space with an electric fireplace.
What Are The Specific Benefits of Using an Electric Fireplace In a Bathroom?
One of the best benefits of having an electric fireplace in your bathroom is simply that it can make your bathroom nice and warm. Too often, bathrooms are left much colder than many other rooms in the house, and this is usually because bathroom doors so often remain closed to the heat sources in other rooms.
Another great benefit is that it adds a lot of atmosphere and relaxation. This is especially great if you have a large bathtub that you use regularly and you want to increase the mood. It is also great if you have a home layout where the master closet is attached to the master bathroom. This is a trend that is becoming increasingly more popular with newer homes on the market.
With an electric fireplace, it doesn’t need to be a large piece that is sticking out of the wall and taking up valuable space. You can easily mount it and build it into the wall so that it sits flush. Even if you have one that needs to be on the floor, due to an electric fireplace’s natural thinner profile, you can still build it into a recessed wall so that it is flush with the baseboard.
Having a convection heating system in your bathroom is a great way to quickly warm the area while saving money on expensive heating bills due to the efficient nature of infrared heaters. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the thermostat to high heat, you can set the thermostat to low heat, or you can set the thermostat to anything in between. Since electric fireplaces tend to have an automatically adjustable thermostat as well, the fireplace will know exactly how hard to work to bring the temperature up, or to work less for the temperature to fall back down. This will ensure that you can easily maintain an exact temperature in your bathroom for maximum comfort. This also contributes to how energy efficient they are.
What Are Some Things To Be Aware of When Using an Electric Fireplace or a Space Heater as a Bathroom Heater?
One concern that you should be aware of when using an electric fireplace in your bathroom is that bathrooms get very humid. This isn’t always the best thing for electronic devices. While electric fireplaces can often handle a little bit of humidity decently, you should still have a good ventilation ceiling exhaust fan or window fan with adequate oscillation and airflow to make sure the room remains relatively dry, even when using your shower. This should keep the electric fireplace from building up unwanted moisture and causing problems.
Another thing to consider is the spacing around the blower. Since electric fireplaces push the warmed air out through the blowers, you want to be sure that the blowers remain free from any obstructions such as a hanging towel. Blocking the blowers in any way can result in overheating in your electric fireplace, electric heater, or portable bathroom heater.
What Safety Features Should Be Included With an Electric Fireplace or a Space Heater For Bathroom Use?
When it comes to features included for safety, they are very important for bathroom use. For starters, you want to make sure your portable space heater or electric fireplace is ETL certified. ETL listed means that the electronic device has been approved regarding safety compliance for use in North America.
You should have overheat protection both for your electric fireplace or portable heater. Automatic overheat protection is vital. If you are using a portable heater that is a freestanding fireplace, you want to make sure it has tip-over protection so that it will shut off automatically. This is especially important for a tower heater or a radiator heater, but it may not be as important for something like a wall heater since a wall heater will generally be mounted to the wall with little chance of it tipping over.
Keep in mind that while an electric fireplace or even the best bathroom heater can be plugged into a standard 120-volt electrical outlet, since it is in the bathroom with additional moisture, it should be plugged into a dedicated outlet with a “kill switch” to immediately shut off to that outlet if there is a surge or a short in the device. Consider something similar to how a fuse box works and consult your installer for more safety options.
If you have something like a ceramic space heater, make sure it has a protective grille so you aren’t burning yourself when stepping out of the shower and you bump into it. This is another example of when an electric fireplace built in the wall will be a better idea.
What Are Some Brands of Heaters To Consider For a Bathroom?
Whatever you do, don’t jump onto Amazon and buy generic heaters for your bathroom. You will end up getting something that does a bad job, is unsafe, will cost a lot in energy usage, and will stop working after only a year or two.
Instead, invest in a good brand. There are plenty of good brands out there like Honeywell, Delonghi, Opolar, Stiebel Eltron, Nutone, , Alci, Broan, Lasko, and more. While these brands are trusted and make somewhat reliable heaters, they tend to specialize in specific types of heaters. Some make a wall heater, some make a ceiling heater or fan heater, while some make them upright portable devices like a Lasko CD08200. A ceiling heater or a fan heater is great if you want something that is a combo device and serves two different functions at once. Whatever type you end up going with, buying from a good brand will help ensure it is energy-saving, can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet, and has a good warranty.
What Is The Most Realistic Electric Fireplace On The Market Today?
If you think that an electric fireplace is the best solution for your bathroom and you want a premium electric fireplace that has the absolutely most realistic flame effects on the market, then there is no better choice than a MagikFlame electric fireplace. Here are the reasons that people love Magikflame:
- 30 Ultra-Realistic Holographic Flames – Inside the firebox of MagikFlame fireplaces, 3D holographic flames are projected onto the physical log set inside. There are 30 different flame styles you can cycle through depending on what mood you are in. All of the flames beautifully dance and flicker around. Most people who are at your house will think it looks like the real thing.
- Crackling Log Sounds – To add to even more realism, the MagikFlame electric fireplaces include the sounds of crackling logs. This elevates the realistic flames to an entirely new level. The fireplaces also come with nature sounds that you can play if you choose, further adding more relaxation and enjoyment.
- 5,200 BTU Heater – Inside of every single different MagikFlame fireplace is a powerful and extremely efficient 5,200 BTU infrared quartz heater. This heater can quickly warm a home of up to 1,000 square feet without any issues and maximizes energy usage to keep your heating bill very low.
- Smartphone App – While many other electric fireplace brands have a remote that requires battery changes and is easy to lose, with MagikFlame fireplaces you can just control your fireplace right with your smartphone or tablet. You can set the temperature, turn it on or off, and even change the flame and sound effects.