If you are have recently purchased are about to purchase an electrical fireplace, you might be curious about what kind of accessories are commonly found around fireplaces. You may also not know which accessories are needed specifically for electrical fireplaces. You also may have some general questions about the advantages of electrical fireplaces, the different types, and the brands that you should look at.
All About Fireplace Accessories Tools Set
● Andirons – This is usually a cast iron or wrought iron fireplace log holder or fireplace grate for a wood fire. A log holder or a log rack like this is placed into the firebox of an open-hearth fireplace so that the fire gets a steady stream of oxygen for a good burn.
● Bellows – Bellows is a fireplace tool that essential works as an air blower. If you want to make the fire burn a little bigger and hotter, you can use one of these to do that, allowing it to start burning the log a little quicker.
● Fireplace Screen – A heavy-duty fireplace screen, like the ones made by Panacea, is typically made out of stainless steel or another sturdy metal. A fire screen protects logs from falling off of the grate and rolling into the room, as well as somewhat protects people, pets, or other material from accidentally falling into the fire.
● Fireplace Tool Set – This would be a fireside set with pokers, shovels, and any other tools that would be useful in the daily use and maintenance of a fireplace. Typically it is a stand with these tools hanging vertically. The stand is placed next to the fireplace opening for easy accessibility.
● Ash Bucket – This is a simple metal bucket to shovel ash into when you need to clean out the fireplace so that you can easily build another fire. These buckets are usually made of a thicker, quality metal in case there is still a small, hot ember or two mixed in with the ash.
● Hod – This is a metal log carrier or tote for you to bring split logs from your woodpile to your fireplace. However, these carriers and ash buckets can both be the same item instead of needing two different pieces.
● Creosote Remover – This is a type of cleaner, like the ones you can get from Rutland Products, that allows you to easily remove the unwanted buildup of this material that is a byproduct of burning wood.
● Fireback – This is a large, thick, metal wall that goes into the back of a fireplace. These reflect heat back towards the room they intend to warm instead of that heat being absorbed by the back of the fireplace. This allows for an increase in efficiency when burning wood for warmth.
● Fire Starter Logs – These are logs like Duraflame that allow you to quickly get a fire going in place of standard kindling. Once the log is lit, it quickly starts to burn, allowing you to begin placing normal wood logs on top of it.
● Fire Sticks – These are similar to a Duraflame fireplace log, but they are smaller sticks that work like more natural kindling. Fatwood is a common brand of these.
● Humidifiers – Because burning wood to warm your home can quickly dry out the air, this helps to bring back some of the humidity. The dry air can cause you to have a sore throat or other issues, and a humidifier helps mitigate that problem.
There are many more types of accessories that people might have next to their fireplace either for a specific function or as an aesthetic accessory. However, these are the most common ones that may be found in a home with a common wood-style fireplace.
No, electric fireplaces don’t need any kind of accessories like the ones listed in the previous section. The glass on the front of an electrical fireplace can be cleaned with any standard glass cleaner you use for your home.
That being said, it isn’t uncommon for people with very realistic-looking electrical fireplaces to include some of these accessories for aesthetic purposes and to add to the authentic fireplace atmosphere. If you invest in a much higher quality electrical fireplace, the flame effects can be so real that your guests won’t even notice that it is electric and not a standard wood-burning fireplace. You may want to include a bucket, fireplace poker toolset, or a bellow just to add to the immersion. Of course, these would be purely for decorative purposes, so you can look for things that have the best visual quality to them and match the current decor style of your home. There is no need to buy these items for how well it works since you will not be using it for its intended purpose.
● Open Hearth – These are the most common type you will think of when someone mentions a normal wood-style fireplace.
● Enclosed Fireplace – These are the same as open-hearth but they are enclosed for better efficiency and safety. They usually have glass doors. The fireplace glass of the fireplace doors allows you to still keep an eye on the flames.
● Fireplace Insert – These inserts go into an open hearth to convert it into an enclosed fireplace.
● Wood Burning Stove – These are commonly found in cabins. They are cast-iron stoves where you burn wood in them. They radiate heat and you can cook on top of them.
● Fire Pit – These are for outdoor use only. These are basic, slightly raised tables with an area for a small fire in the center. These are a more decorated way to have a backyard fire than simply digging a shallow hole in the ground.
● Potential House Fire – Wood fireplaces are notorious for starting house fires. This is partially due to the exposed flame, but another big part of it is the flammable soot that builds up in the chimney. This is the primary reason that chimneys have to be cleaned out professionally.
● Dangerous Emissions – Wood fireplaces put out both smoke and carbon monoxide that is very dangerous to inhale for anyone living in the home. While these fireplaces have ventilation for the emissions to escape, not all of the dangerous stuff makes it out and the rest will fill your home.
● Hassle – There is a lot of work that will go into using a wood fireplace. You have to keep it clean and maintained regularly. You also have to build fires, keep your eye on the fire for safety, and add new logs to the fire whenever it begins to die down. For this reason, it is kind of like having a part-time job.
● Inefficient Heating – Wood fireplaces don’t heat efficiently. Since they have to have ventilation for the smoke to get out, a lot of heat ends up leaving the home along with that smoke. All of that heat loss means that you have to burn a lot of extra wood to make up for it and keep the home warm.
● Smoke Smells and Smoke Stains – Since smoke will always get in your home, there are two things you will have to deal with beyond the danger of smoke inhalation: staining and the smell. The fireplace will yellow all of your white walls and leave soot on the wall above it. The smell will linger throughout your house for days.
● No TV Mounting – You can’t hang flat-screen TVs above a traditional fireplace for the purposes of saving space with a singular living room focal point. The smoke and heat produced by the fireplace are known to destroy the internal electronics of a TV that is mounted above it, resulting in the need for repairs or replacement.
● Costly Construction – If you want to build a brand new fireplace on your home and that is allowed in the part of the country you live in, you are essentially rebuilding a large section of your home. This requires a lot of time, effort, and money that goes into it. Gas fireplaces are a slightly safer and cleaner-burning option than a wood fireplace but they still have plenty of problems with them. Keep in mind, this is talking about built-in gas-style fireplaces, not simple outdoor gas camping fireplaces or stoves like the ones Uniflame makes.
● Direct-Ventilation Gas Fireplace – This is a fireplace that requires ventilation for the gas that is burned. This is usually just a simple venting pipe instead of a larger chimney.
● Ventilation-Free Gas Fireplace – This uses a gas that doesn’t need any kind of ventilation when it is burned inside, but has additional downsides that come along with it.
There are plenty of issues gas fireplaces still have:
● Exposed Flame – There is still aflame exposed, therefore there is still an increased risk of your house catching on fire.
● Carbon Monoxide – Gas fireplaces don’t have any kind of smoke you have to worry about. However, they still have carbon monoxide that is produced when the gas is burned. This carbon monoxide can be even more dangerous because, without the smoke, it isn’t as obvious when it has filled the home, which makes carbon monoxide detectors vital to your safety.
● Flame Color – The color of a standard vented gas-style fireplace looks a little strange. The color is a bit more bright and neon compared to burning wood. The vent-free style fireplaces use a gas that tends to be a bright neon blue and ruins any kind of authentic look whatsoever.
● Flame Flicker – Even with gas logs to try to break up the flame, these tend to have very week flames that don’t look like a real wood fireplace. The flame kind of just streams out like a glorified Bunsen burner.
● Gas Smell – You don’t have to worry about a smoky smell with gas fireplaces but you still have to worry about a gassy smell. While a grassy smell might not be so bad when you are cooking in your kitchen for 20 minutes, it can be very unpleasant when it always lingers in your house.
In contrast to wood and gas fireplaces, electrical fireplaces have a ton of fantastic advantages to look forward to:
● Safe To Use – Electrical fireplaces don’t have all of that additional risk of a house fire like wood or gas-style fireplace has. They are completely safe since they don’t actually burn anything.
● No Emissions – In addition to the lack of a fire hazard, because they don’t burn anything, you don’t have to worry about an electrical fireplace producing any kind of harmful smoke or carbon dioxide that will fill your home. Instead, you get to just enjoy the clean, warm, circulated air.
● No Stains or Smells – The other benefit of not producing smoke is there is no staining of the walls or furniture and you don’t have to worry about that ever-present smoky smell that will be there when you use the wood fireplace.
● Ease of Operation – Electrical fireplaces are super easy to use and don’t come with all of the hassles of using a wood fireplace. If you want to warm your home, just turn the fireplace on. That’s it. If you want it warmer, there is no need to add a log, just turn up the temperature on the thermostat.
● Simple Install – There is no easier fireplace to install. Electric fireplaces only require access to a nearby standard 120-volt electrical outlet. You just place it near one and plug it in.
● Any Room – Since electrical fireplaces don’t need any kind of venting or ventilation like wood or some gas fireplaces need, you can easily put them in any room of your house. You can warm your dining room area, your study, or even put one in the bedroom to keep you warm while you sleep.
● TV Mounting – It is absolutely safe if you want to wall mount your flat-screen TV set over your electrical fireplace’s mantel. It won’t damage your TV in any way. There is no smoke to get in and damage the TV, and the heat that the fireplace produces is blown directly out towards the center of the room.
● Authentic Visuals – If you are smart and invest in a high-end electrical fireplace, you can expect to enjoy super realistic flame effect visuals. Fireplaces that use 3D holographic flames are almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.
There are several brands of electrical fireplaces like Dimplex, Touchstone, MagikFlame, and more. However, the actual type of electrical fireplace is just as important as the brand that you buy. Here are the different types you can find:
● Fireplace Mantel Package – An electrical fireplace mantel package is the most common type of electrical fireplace and the one that most resembles a standard open-hearth style fireplace. These are fireplaces that come with a mantel and are installed against a flat wall.
● Corner Fireplace – There is little difference between these fireplaces and ones that go against a flat wall. For these, the mantel shape is just redesigned so that the fireplace fits into the corner of a room rather than against a flat wall.
● TV Stand Fireplace – These are TV console units with electrical fireplaces that are built into the body of them. These are found in both wall units and corner units. However, because these make room for the shelves and cubby holes that a standard TV stand has, these sometimes have less powerful fireplaces inside of them.
● Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace – These are fireplaces that are mounted up onto a wall of your home rather than being one that rests on the floor. These are also commonly installed into a recessed wall. These recessed wall installations can either have the fireplace still partially sticking out from the wall or completely flush with the wall.
● Electrical Fireplace Insert – One of these electrical inserts is used to convert a standard wood-burning fireplace into an electrical fireplace without the need to stop using your existing fireplace housing and mantel.
● Freestanding Fireplace – Although most electric fireplaces listed above are technically freestanding, these are more referring to the basic portable space heating types that barely look like a fireplace. These are usually small, cheap, and don’t work that well.
● Electric Fireplace Stove – These aren’t really made for authentic cooking most of the time. Rather, they are made to imitate the look of a wood stove that you commonly find in rural-type homes, especially cabins.
Out of all of the brands of electrical fireplaces that are out there, MagikFlame is the most consistently reliable at keeping a home warm while saving money on your heating bill. It also has the advantage of having the most realistic flame effects of any electrical fireplace on the market. Here are the features you can expect with any MagikFlame fireplace model:
● 30 Different 3D Holographic Flickering Flames – The holographic flame technology produces flames that look like the real thing. You can select between 30 different flames depending on your mood.
● Authentic Crackling Log Sounds – On top of the flames, you get authentic sounds of crackling logs. This furthers the immersion of the realistic fireplace ambiance.
● 5,200 BTU Infrared Heater – The heat output of a MagikFlame electrical fireplace can keep a home of up to 1,000 square feet nice and warm while using the least amount of electricity possible. For larger homes, you can set up zone heating by adding an additional fireplace into another zone of the house.
● Smartphone Fireplace Control – In place of normal remote control, MagikFlame can be controlled with their intuitive, easy-to-use application that works on smartphones and tablets. With it, you can control your fireplace features from anywhere in your home.