Although a masonry or real fireplace is known to be large and robust, not everyone can fit this type of fireplace in their setting. Those who live in smaller condos or apartments can feel limited or unable to enjoy the benefits of a fireplace. Fortunately, electric fireplaces come in smaller sizes to ensure you can use them in an entryway, dining room, and even in your master bedroom.
In this post, you’ll learn:
- Do Electric Fireplaces Come in a Smaller Size?
- Ways to Install Your Electric Fireplace
- How to Make Your Fireplace Last Longer
- Safety Tips When Operating Your Fireplace
- What to Consider with Different Manufacturers and Models in the Industry
- Do Electric Fireplaces Offer a Lot of Warmth?
Do Electric Fireplaces Come in a Smaller Size?
One of the main reasons electric fireplaces appeal to different types of consumers is because of their slim profile if you have a small space. They can be placed in any room of the home without taking up too much space or blocking areas where there’s a lot of traffic. For those who may not have a lot of room and don’t want the space to look overcrowded with furniture, there are electric fireplace models that come in smaller sizes. This is ideal for those who live in condos and apartments. It’s also easy to find a small electric fireplace that can fit in tiny homes. Some of the fireplaces are even built into a TV stand for more multi-purpose use.
The typical size of an electric fireplace is 28 to 36 inches wide and 20 to 24 inches tall. A lot of electric fireplace inserts even come with trim kits to ensure they’re the perfect fit in an existing fireplace or wall. If you’re shopping around for a small electric fireplace for a new home you’re building with a home builder or architect, there are several options to consider.
A Duraflame 3D Electric Fireplace Stove sits low on the ground and is small enough to fit in the corner of the room. It measures 24″ W x 23.4″ H x 12.9″ D and is small enough to fit in a closet.
The MagikFlame Electric Fireplace Insert measures 28 inches x 32 inches x 12 inches and doesn’t take up too much room when you choose to install it on the wall. You can find this product in the Magikflame electric fireplace buying guide on the brand’s website.
The website is also a great place to learn about how MagikFlame is built, payment plans and financing, and MagikFlame reviews.
The Dimplex 28 Premium Electric Fireplace Log Set features an electric log set you can set directly into an existing fireplace. They’re easy to use and can create the look of a real flame. You can find this model on Amazon. Additional brands you’ll find on Amazon include Southern Enterprises, and Turbro, which are CSA-certified.
The Jasmine Electric Fireplace Mantel Package is an additional consideration because it measures 27.5″ in Width x 30.9” in Height x 11.9” in Depth. It comes with a powerful heater that can heat rooms up with more square footage.
You can also consider investing in a corner electric fireplace, which is a great option if you don’t have a lot of wall space. You can select a freestanding electric fireplace that includes a fireplace mantel and can still look decorative without protruding too far out into the room.
Different Features to Use with Your Electric Fireplace
Electric fireplaces date back to 1912 when they were built in American playhouses to heat the interior setting and provide warmth in the winter seasons. They reemerged on the market in the 1950s when consumers were looking for a reliable way of heating their homes. The classic design and realistic flames contributed to their popularity and appeal and have continued since. In the 1980s, electric fireplaces started to become more advanced when technology progressed to make the flames look more life-like. They continue to surge in popularity because more people are looking to find ways of making their homes greener and more energy-efficient, according to statista.com. They also offer renters more advantages and can offer extensive savings throughout the year without limiting how much heat output they deliver.
The flame effect used in the firebox of electric fireplaces is one of the main reasons they have a high level of appeal without any real fire used. There are a lot of details that contribute to the overall look and design of the flames, which include burning embers near the faux wood logs and smoke that moves upward from the log set. The adjustable flame effect causes many people to believe the fireplaces are burning real wood and have real flames.
There are even different colors of flames to enjoy to match your personality and taste. You can choose a different flame color every time, depending on the season or the interior design of the room. Blue, orange, green, red, and purple flames add a modern and sleek touch to your living space. Some fireplace models also allow you to adjust the brightness of the flames depending on the time of day and how much illumination you desire.
You also have the option of controlling the heat settings because your electric fireplace or electric stove heater will come with built-in thermostats. You can set the temperature instead of only having one level of heat in the room. The warm air will quickly heat the interior setting without making the room feel dry. You can use it more frequently without feeling like the room will get too hot. Whether it’s a windy day or has a slight chill, you control what you want the indoor temperature to be set at as the heating element is operating. The included remote control or touch screen will also make it easy to operate from across the room without getting out of your seat. Top brands like MagikFlame can also allow you to download an app on your smartphone or tablet to control the unit from your devices. There are even models with touch screens that are easier and more advanced than control panels.
There are also a variety of ember beds available, depending on the look you want to display. There are many electric fireplace inserts with rocks or stones, which creates a contemporary and modern style. The ember beds are available in different colors if you want to select something that is more unique than a wood log set.
The plug-in design of this type of fireplace is also convenient and unique. You can plug it into a wall when you’re ready to enjoy having a fire without burning wood or turning on the gas. You can also choose a fireplace with a hardwired design that is built into the building. This doesn’t require a lot of electrical work and can boost the value of the house once it’s installed by a certified electrician.
The versatile design of electric fireplaces makes them convenient to install in a variety of spaces without any hassle involved, depending on where you want to enjoy the heat or create a focal point. You can add it to the entryway to fill in a bare wall and make a statement. Some indoor fireplaces are even designed to be installed in bathrooms because they’re resistant to moisture. You can enjoy the warmth of the feature while getting ready on chilly mornings. They also continue to operate well in humid conditions.
How to Make Your Fireplace Last Longer
Similar to other items you own, an electric fireplace requires maintenance and care to continue operating over time. Fortunately, electric fireplaces last an average of 20 years before they need to be replaced, which is longer than a gas fireplace. They also are low-maintenance compared to a gas or traditional fireplace, which can save you time, energy, and money. There are still a few maintenance tips to follow to extend the lifespan and reduce the risk of repairs.
Cleaning the fireplace is needed every few months, depending on how much you use it or when you notice dust present in the fireplace. Start by turning off the fireplace or shut off the circuit breaker to protect your safety. Wait for 10 to 15 minutes for everything to cool off before you remove the access panel on the front or back of the unit. Use a dry or damp cloth to wipe off the dust on the fireplace log. Don’t use any strong cleaners that are abrasive because they can take off some of the paint on the parts. When cleaning small crevices, use a vacuum cleaner with an attachment to remove dirt that is hard to reach with your hands.
The glass doors also need attention because they can become dirty and show streaks over time. A glass cleaner will work well to ensure the glass remains clear and transparent. Allow the moisture to completely dry to prevent any water spots from forming.
Read through the owner’s manual to learn additional tips for cleaning the electric fireplace to add more years to its lifespan. Each model is different in the care it requires to keep it running well over time.
The light bulbs that are used in the unit also need attention at times to ensure they continue to appear well-lit, which will ensure the flame effect is always realistic. Many halogen bulbs that come with electric fireplaces start to burn out after two years, depending on how frequently you keep it running. LED lights are known to last longer and don’t need to be replaced for 11 years.
If you notice one of the bulbs has burned out, shut off the circuit breaker or unplug the fireplace for a few minutes. Unscrew the access panel on the unit with a screwdriver. Wear gloves while handling the bulbs because your skin’s oil can affect the illumination of the item. The bulbs can become dim and have a shorter lifespan if you have direct contact with the glass.
Gently unscrew the old bulb in a counterclockwise motion without using too much strength to avoid damage to any parts. Wrap the bulb in a piece of paper or towel before you toss it to prevent the glass from breaking in the trash can. Add the new bulb by screwing it into the fireplace in a clockwise direction. Place the access panel back on and turn on the fireplace to look at its illumination. The light bulb should be lit and bright while blending in with the rest of the bulbs. If the bulb still doesn’t illuminate, you’ll need to contact a certified electrician to perform an inspection. They’ll be capable of looking for signs of damage or wear that may need attention to restore the operation of the fireplace unit.
You can also schedule an inspection every year to keep your fireplace TV stand running well and identify potential issues before they become more advanced. They’ll be qualified to take a close look at the parts, mechanisms, and components of the fireplace. The inspection is a small price to pay to avoid costly repairs. It can also help the fireplace to have more reliability and will prevent it from breaking down in the middle of a cold day when you need the heat. Lubricating many of the parts are also included in the inspection to reduce wear that occurs and prevent some of the components from rubbing together.
Safety Tips When Operating Your Fireplace
Electric fireplaces are the safest type of fireplaces in the industry because of their design and advanced technology. After buying an electric fireplace, you still need to follow a few safety tips to prevent electrical problems from developing. It’s important to always unplug the fireplace when you’re done using it to prevent the electricity from still being in use. This will not only reduce your energy usage but can prevent electricity from always running through the cord, even when the unit is shut off. Experts also recommend avoiding using a surge protector or extension cord, which can cause it to overheat.
There are many safety features that come with electric fireplaces. You can utilize the built-in timer included with the product, which will automatically shut off the device after an hour or two. This is a reliable safety feature that prevents the fireplace from operating for too long if you accidentally fall asleep while watching television or reading a book. Manufacturers also recommend that you never leave the fireplace unattended as it’s in use.
Don’t walk out of the room when it’s still operating. You also don’t want pets or children to get too close to the unit or leave them unattended with the feature. Avoid using any fireplace with signs of wear and damage on the cords, which can trigger electrical issues. Inspect all the electrical components when you unbox the fireplace insert to ensure it’s safe and ready to be used. If you notice any signs of damage, contact the manufacturer or seller for repairs or replacements to avoid putting your safety at risk.
It’s also important to avoid making any modifications to the electric fireplace heater after it’s delivered. Even if you have experience working as a contractor or electrician, modifying the design can compromise its safety and can be dangerous if it’s outside of the manufacturer’s guidelines. If any problems start to develop, read through the owner’s manual to get an idea of the type of repairs or maintenance that may be needed to get it up and running again.
When designing your interior setting, don’t place any items or furniture too close to the vents, which can cause them to become blocked. Everything should be a few feet away from any venting in the room to promote proper circulation and prevent issues from developing.
All the cords and wires should also be out of sight and hidden away after you install the fireplace. Children and pets in the home shouldn’t have contact with the electrical components, which can put their safety at risk and can cause the cords to become frayed if they’re tampered with or chewed.
What to Consider with Different Manufacturers and Models in the Industry
The number of electric fireplaces that are available in the industry can make it easy to feel overwhelmed when trying to select the best brand and model. The reviews of each fireplace should be taken into consideration because consumers are often honest with their input. Look for models with the most reviews and the highest reviews, which means they’re a popular choice.
MagikFlame is one of the main manufacturers in the fireplace industry because they have the most realistic flame effect. The fireplaces all come with holographic technology, which features a screen that sits behind the wood logs and features footage of a real wood-burning fire and flickering flame effect. The technology was invented by the founder of the company and is an important part of the MagikFlame story. The company is a lot newer than competing brands in the industry, but the quality of the inserts has caused MagikFlame to become successful and stand out in recent years. Each fireplace the brand sells has a total of 30 flames and features crackling log sounds to give you the ultimate experience that makes it easy to forget there aren’t real flames used.
Many of the fireplaces sold by MagikFlame feature 110 volts and 5,2000 BTU to heat most sizes of rooms. Consumers favor the MagikFlame Trinity Large White Electric Fireplace due to the beautiful crown molding and detailed side posts to create a classic and stylish design. The insert is unique because it’s five inches higher than most freestanding fireplaces, making the fireplace stand out more and look like it’s built into the wall.
Those who want something with a clean, modern look can choose to purchase The MagikFlame Artemis White Wall Mount Package. This model stands out because it’s built with quality wood materials and advanced technology, contributing to the overall value and construction. The advanced infrared technology heats the room in minutes without making it feel dry. You can enjoy using the feature daily without noticing much of an increase in your electric bill.
If you want something smaller to install, The Churchhill Corner White Electric Fireplace has a slim profile and can be placed in the corner of the room. Even when the feature isn’t turned on, it still stands out for its decorative and intricate exterior. It can even be used for your TV or home decor you want to display when turning on the realistic flame technology.
If you want a recessed wall fireplace, the Touchstone Sideline 50-inch Recessed Electric Fireplace is a popular model. It comes with different colors of flames and is built with a heating vent that sits on the front of the unit. It’s designed to warm rooms up to 400 square feet. However, it doesn’t offer as much warmth as MagikFlame fireplace models because it has fewer BTUs.
If you have a modern home or want to spruce up your home office, the Winslow 48-inch Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace is available on websites like Amazon. The ember bed consists of glamorous white rocks for those who want a regal style of fireplace they can show off. This insert is versatile because you can install it in the wall and have it sit flush. The touchscreen controls offer added convenience because it’s easy to operate, whether you’re adjusting the heat settings or the color of the flames. The warm glow of the fireplace creates a cozy ambiance in the room, but the flame effects lack as much detail as MagikFlame fireplaces because they use LED lights and don’t have holographic technology.
DuraFlame is a popular brand because it sells CSA-certified electric fireplaces that add a relaxing ambiance. The Duraflame Electric Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove DFI -8511-01 is one of the most popular models for its compact size. Consumers also favor PuraFlame because both brands offer wall mount, linear, or recessed fireplaces that come with remote controls. You can choose between a long list of options if you want something with an entertainment center or a wood surround. There are many models to consider, but the brands don’t come with holographic technology because the patented technology is only utilized by MagikFlame. This means consumers have to compromise with the look of the flames and risk owning a product that may not look as realistic.
The reliable control panel and crackling sounds of the Puraflame Western Electric Fireplace Insert make this fireplace model easy to use. The product is easy to install and works well for anyone who is renting their home and can’t use something that has to be built into a wall. The plug-in design makes it easy to install instead of hardwiring any of the components into a masonry fireplace or wall.
Do Electric Fireplaces Offer a Lot of Warmth?
Electric fireplaces continue to become more common in households because of how much heat they generate in climates with freezing temperatures. This type of fireplace uses 100 percent of the heat they create to avoid wasting any energy. Fireplaces that burn wood are known to lose an average of 50 to 80 percent of the heat they create, which can make it take hours to heat the room. Electric fireplaces also lose a lot of energy and only use 60 percent of the heat they produce. With a wood fireplace, you also have to make room for a vent. You don’t have to open any of the windows and allow cold air into the room with a wall-mount electric fireplace.
There are different types of heat to use with your new fireplace, which include fan-forced heating and infrared heat. Your infrared electric fireplace will have a fan-forced heater with a blower that releases air into the room from the unit. With an infrared heater, the room can stay warmer during the day without turning the fireplace back on an hour or two later because of how effective the blower works.
A freestanding fireplace model with an infrared quartz heater uses infrared light technology, which delivers heat quicker than you may expect. You can get warmer in minutes and increase the comfort in the room without any effort required. You can opt for this option if you plan to install the quartz fireplace in a room that has an open floor plan or has more square feet.
Forced air heat is another option that takes in the cold air in the room and blows it back out after it moves over a heating element. This type of electric fireplace heater is a safer type of heat because it’s advanced with the technology used.
If you want to enjoy zone heating, a fireplace with infrared heat is a great option. The heat stays in the room where the fireplace is installed without heating other rooms in the home where you may not be spending time. You can get the heat you need without spending more to increase the temperature in unused spaces in the building. This leads to added energy savings when the temperatures drop. The heat also won’t rise to other floors that may already be warm to avoid disturbing residents who can get too hot. You can supplement your main heating system and the adjustable thermostat to reduce how much electricity you use. The supplemental heat will still offer a significant amount of comfort in the environment
The infrared heat makes use of a quartz feature to increase the temperature of items in the home instead of adding warmth to the air. It works best for spaces up to 1,000 square feet.
There’s also a sufficient amount of heat delivered from a wall-mounted electric fireplace that comes with a thermostat on the product. The amount of heat to expect is similar to the heat of a blow dryer or space heater when putting the thermostat on the max setting.
Additional factors need to be considered when you’re getting an idea of how much heat you should get from your new fireplace. The top factors include:
- The height of the ceilings
- The quality of your windows
The Height of the Ceilings
If you have higher ceilings in your home, you’ll have more space to heat. Lower ceilings mean the room can get warmer quicker. Convection heating is more ideal for smaller rooms that have ceilings less than eight feet high because the heat takes longer to get to different parts of the room and circulate. If you have a room with ceilings higher than eight feet, select a fireplace with more watts.
Start by measuring how many square feet are in the room and multiply the number by 20 to determine how many BTUs will be sufficient. Fireplaces with 1,200 BTU heaters work well in rooms that are 12 x 12 feet.
Think about the quality of insulation that is present in the walls of your home, including the basement and attic. Older homes that haven’t been updated often have poor insulation with a lot of drafts present and have half the recommended R-value. Newer homes often need fireplaces with fewer BTUs because they don’t allow as much cold air to transfer into each room from the outside.
Electric fireplaces that you plan to use in a garage or attic can work too hard to operate if there isn’t any insulation present. They can spend more time attempting to increase the temperature in the building, which can put unnecessary strain and wear and tear on the parts.
Consider how many windows you have in the living room or home office where you place to use your new fireplace. Windows does a poor job of insulating the building and can allow too much cold air to transfer into the space. You may experience up to 25 percent of heat loss even though the windows are only a small part of the house.
Think about when the windows were originally installed. Older windows are known to have a single pane of glass and low-quality materials with drafts present. New windows feature double panes and allow less cold air to transfer into the building. This can allow you to use a fireplace with fewer BTUs.
The quality of the materials installed on your house and their age also need to be considered to get an idea of how much heat loss occurs at the end of the year.
Consider where you live and what the climate is like each season when selecting your electric fireplace. If you live in a cold climate, look for a fireplace that has an average of 5,200 BTUs for a sufficient amount of heat.
By learning about the different sizes of fireplaces available, you can discover more options that are available and find something like a small electric fireplace that fits seamlessly with the size and layout of your interior setting. The variety of models available makes it easy to find something specific to what you want to own.