It is no secret that many people are choosing to go with electric fireplaces these days. Both wood burning and gas fireplaces have a long list of disadvantages. Electric fireplaces have advanced to a new level of realism in recent years and smart consumers are catching on.
Of course, some people that are new to electric fireplaces might have some questions about how to operate their new fireplace. How do I install an electric fireplace? How do I change the temperature on my electric fireplace? How do I change other options that my fireplace includes?
This post is going to cover all of these common questions that new electric fireplace owners tend to have. Even if you don’t yet own an electric fireplace, this post will explain all you need to know including how to operate one of these fireplaces when you decide to get one for your home.
Here Is What You Will Learn In This Post:
- What Are The Different Categories of Traditional and Gas Fireplaces? – A list of the four kinds of wood fireplaces and the two kinds of built in fireplaces that use gas.
- Are There Major Downsides To Using A Traditional or Gas Fireplace? – In order to truly understand the upsides of using electrical fireplaces, it’s necessary to highlight all of the downsides that come with fireplaces that aren’t electric.
- How Do You Change The Temperature On a Traditional or Gas Fireplace? – We talk about how to change the temperature with these older styles of fireplaces.
- What Are The Different Categories of Electrical Fireplaces? – There are four main categories of home fireplaces that run on electricity. We highlight those four different types.
- Why Are Electric Fireplaces A Great Choice? – It’s important to mention all of the amazing benefits that come with choosing electric fireplaces over more traditional ones.
- How Do I Install An Electric Fireplace? – If you are purchasing your first electrical fireplace, here are the steps needed to install it.
- Do All Electric Fireplaces Include A Remote? – Here we talk about remote controls when they come to electrical fireplaces.
- How Do Electric Fireplaces Make Heat? – We explain how electrical fireplaces work a little differently than other fireplaces.
- How Do I Change The Temperature On My Electric Fireplace? – Here we answer the question that many first time electrical fireplace owners have: how do I change the temperature on my electric fireplace?
- How Do Electric Fireplaces Create Visual Flame Effects? – There are several different technologies available pertaining to the flame effect on an electrical fireplace. We talk about a few of them and how good they are compared to the real thing.
- How Do I Change The Visual Flame Effects on An Electric Fireplace? – We show you how you can cycle through different visual flame effects if you have a high end electrical fireplace.
- What Other Features Can Be Controlled On Electric Fireplaces? – Here are a few more features you can change on a quality electrical fireplace.
- Is It Okay To Save Money By Purchasing A Cheap Electric Fireplace? – We talk about bargain hunting in regards to electric fireplaces.
- What is MagikFlame? – Leading the electrical fireplace industry, we highlight some of the best features that MagikFlame products have to offer.
What Are The Different Categories of Traditional and Gas Fireplaces?
Essentially, there are four different categories of traditional wood burning fireplaces that people commonly have in their home:
- Open Hearth Fireplace – When someone mentions the word “fireplace,” this is usually what you will picture in your head. This is the standard fireplace that has a large open area against a wall for a fire to be built. A screen is usually placed in front for a bit of safety. Smoke and other emissions rise out of the chimney.
- Enclosed Fireplace – One fundamental difference between this and an open hearth fireplace is all that separates them, they are a completely enclosed system. The fire is set behind glass doors or some other strong enclosure. These fireplaces work slightly more efficiently than the regular open hearth ones mentioned previously.
- Fireplace Insert – This is an insert kit that goes into the firebox of an open hearth fireplace. This turns an open heart style fireplace into one that is an enclosed style. Usually, this kind of thing is done when people own one of the open hearth fireplaces but want it to be more efficient and a little safer.
- Wood Stove – Technically, these aren’t fireplaces, these are stoves. However, they serve the same purpose. You place wood into these stoves and it’s burned. The stoves radiate a lot of heat, warming the room. The hot surfaces on top of the stove can be used for some basic cooking, however temperature management becomes an issue. You’d usually only see these kinds of things in cabins or old country houses. They can also cause a problem with overheating in smaller cabins.
Some people who don’t want the wood style fireplace might choose one that uses gas instead. Regardless of which gas fireplace you go with, they will usually be a completely built-in system. The two main categories of gas fireplaces are:
- Vented Fireplaces – This is a gas fireplace system that needs to have venting of some kind installed with it. The ventilation can be a pipe that makes it way to the roof. These systems can also be installed into an existing open hearth fireplace, allowing you to use the ventilation that is already present. This category of gas fireplace usually has flames that glow a bright orange or bright yellow.
- Ventless Fireplaces – These fireplaces are more or less the same as a vented fireplace. However, these use a different type of gas that gets a complete burn. This means that they don’t need venting of any kind. However, the gas that you utilize in these kinds of fireplaces usually has a bluish color to it.
Are There Major Downsides To Using A Traditional or Gas Fireplace?
There are absolutely some major downsides to using both traditional and gas fireplaces.
The first major downside is the higher risk of fire. Anytime you are burning anything in your home, it increases the chance of a house fire. This is especially true with a wood burning fireplace because the soot build up inside the flue can easily catch fire if it is not cleaned by a professional multiple times per year.
You can’t have anything combustible near the open flame of a fireplace. Even things like throw rugs or carpeting could be a problem. A random ember sparking off of the fire can singe the dry cloth of your curtains, leading to a possible fire.
On top of having the chimney cleaned, you have to clean out the bottom of the fireplace regularly.
Burning wood results in carbon monoxide and several other harmful emissions being released into the air. Gas fireplaces burn much more cleanly compared to wood fireplaces, but they are still capable of releasing carbon monoxide when used.
Smoke from wood burning fireplaces can stain everything in your home and cause them to smell smoky. It can even cause a smoky smell to your person if your bare skin is exposed to the smoke of a fireplace for a few minutes or more.
The cost to heat your home with both of these types of fireplaces will be more than fireplaces that use electricity.
How Do You Change The Temperature On a Traditional or Gas Fireplace?
When it comes to fireplaces that use gas or burn wood, you can’t really set an exact temperature like you can with electrical fireplaces. You can turn the gas up a bit more or you can put more logs on the fire and stoke the flame, but the temperature will vary wildly. You don’t have a thermostat that can have a set temperature that is perfect for you like you can with an electric fireplaces.
Keep in mind, a wood-burning fireplace can only be stacked so high before it becomes dangerous. Likewise, a gas fireplace can only be set to work so high. If you have too large of a home or it is particularly cold in the winter, they still might not be enough to warm your entire home.
What Are The Different Categories of Electrical Fireplaces?
Commonly, there are about four categories when it involves electric fireplaces that people decide to get:
- Electric Fireplace Mantle Set – These two piece sets are the electric fireplaces that tend to look the most like the real thing. The mantle usually comes separate of the actual fireplace unit so that people who buy them can choose from different mantle styles that they want. You can find these as simple wall units or even corner units if that fits your needs better. There are some media centers that have these kind of fireplaces built into them to save additional space.
- Electric Fireplace Inserts – If you take the mantle set above and remove the mantle, what you have left is basically what these inserts are. With one of these you can convert your traditional fireplace into an electric one. You can also install these under a mantle you already have, or build your own mantle if woodworking and workmanship are your thing.
- Wall Mounted Electric Fireplaces – If someone wants a fireplace that is raised up higher and mounted, or even recessed into the wall, they would get one of these fireplaces. This wall mounting fireplaces usually include brackets for mounting and other stuff needed to do it yourself.
- Electric Fireplace Heater – These heaters can be moved easily into any room when it’s being used. Unfortunately, they are usually the electric fireplaces with the most problems. They often don’t work as well as the larger ones, and they usually look really tacky.
Why Are Electric Fireplaces A Great Choice?
One of the absolutely best things about electric fireplaces is that when it comes to heating your home with a fireplace, they are one of the most cost-effective ways. Electric fireplaces usually run on about 1500 watts to warm your home. Since it is 120 watts per a single amp, you’re looking at 12-13 amps.
A lot of electric fireplaces that are on the market come with great safety features. For instance, if the blower is blocked somehow and the fireplace begins to overheat, the main power switch is automatically shut off. If the user checks the troubleshooting guide in the owner’s manual, they can see the error code and see that it is simply a problem with a blocked blower. They can easily remove whatever is blocking it. If you do this, make sure not to open the back of the fireplace yourself or you risk electric shock. You should call an electrician or someone that fixes electrical appliances.
How Do I Install An Electric Fireplace?
Compared to wood or gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces are super simple to install. When you want to install one in your home, just clear the location where you want it to be. Make sure it is near a standard 120 volts wall outlet. You want to plug the power cord directly into the outlet, you don’t want to use an extension cord because of the safety hazards that come with it. Also, check and make sure that the cord is not damaged. A damaged cord can prevent your fireplace from working properly and even cause damage to your home.
If you don’t have an outlet in the location of your fireplace, you may need to contact a qualified electrician to install one for you.
Do All Electric Fireplaces Include A Remote?
Most electric fireplaces will have some way to control the fireplace remotely. If they don’t use a remote control, they likely have their own smartphone so that you can control the fireplace with your phone or tablet.
How Do Electric Fireplaces Make Heat?
The main way that electric fireplaces warm your home is by heat convection. Electric fireplaces will have a cold air intake, where air from the room is pulled into the fireplace. Inside of the fireplace, a heating element will warm that cooler air. The warmer air is then cycled back into the room to warm it.
How Do I Change The Temperature On My Electric Fireplace?
So, now to an important operating question: how do I change the temperature on my electric fireplace? On your remote, you should see buttons that allow you to change the thermostat to one’s desired temperature. The fireplace will then only warm the room whenever the temperature drops below the temperature you choose. Let’s assume you feel like setting the room temperature to 67 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you set it, the heater inside of the fireplace will turn on whenever it drops below that. It will turn off whenever the temperature rises above it. This is similar to how most central heat and air systems work.
If you don’t have a phone but instead use a smartphone app to control your fireplace, you should see the same temperature setting in the control panel.
How Do Electric Fireplaces Create Visual Flame Effects?
The real variety between different companies that offer electric fireplaces is the technology they use to produce the effects necessary to simulate the flames of a real fireplace. Some of these are bad, really bad.
The worst kind of visual flames are basic ones that use flashing LED lights or light bulbs with a colored screen. They look completely fake and tacky. These are usually cheap, low end fireplaces you can pick up from any retailer like Amazon.
It’s better to go with a much better company that uses better visual flame technology. There are some that use LCD screens that play videos of fireplaces on a loop and others that shine colored lights onto streams of water vapor. While this last one gives a slightly better 3d effect, it still isn’t the best on the market.
For fireplace visuals that do an amazingly convincing job of looking like the real thing, you need holographic technology like the kind that you find in high end MagikFlame fireplaces. These are way more futuristic. They project actual 3D holograms of flames and embers onto a real physical log set. People visit your home likely wouldn’t even realize they are sitting in front of an electrical fireplace in the first place.
How Do I Change The Visual Flame Effects on An Electric Fireplace?
Changing the visual flames of electric fireplaces is done in much the same way that you change the temperature. Simply use the remote control or smartphone app. However, not all electric fireplaces have a range of flame effects to choose from. Many of the cheaper ones only have one set way that they simulate flames. If you want a selection of realistic flames to choose from, make sure to purchase a high end electrical fireplace that has this option.
What Other Features Can Be Controlled On Electric Fireplaces?
On top of temperature and the flame effect, you can also toggle the power button of an electric fireplace with the remote or fireplace. This is really useful if you want to warm a room before you get to it. Or, you can turn the fireplace off in the living room after you’re already bundled into your bed for the night in the bedroom.
Some fireplaces will have other features you can change like audio sounds that accompany the visuals of the fireplace.
Is It Okay To Save Money By Purchasing A Cheap Electric Fireplace?
It’s easy to think you can go bargain hunting and find the cheapest electrical fireplace that you can. The problem with this is that it is definitely going to cost you more in the long run after you regret your purchase and need to buy a better one anyway.
First, cheap electrical fireplaces usually don’t have the best heaters built into them. They will end up costing you more on your electric bill than if you invest in a luxury electrical fireplace with a powerful, efficient heater.
Second, you will end up hating the visual simulation of the flames. Guests will think it looks tacky and cheap, even if they are too nice to say so. By going with a high end electrical fireplace the first time around, you will save yourself the hassle and embarrassment of needing to replace your cheap fireplace. Not only that, the savings on your electricity bill will be more than noticeable. Eventually a good quality electrical fireplace ends up paying for itself.
What is MagikFlame?
MagikFlame is the leader in realistic electric fireplace technology. They have three main area where their products excel:
- Realistic Visual Holoflame Technology – As mentioned before, MagikFlame electric fireplaces are the only ones where you can get Holoflame technology. Each unit allows you to select between 30 different ultra-realistic moving flames and embers that are holographically projected onto a real log set. The level and detail and realism will completely make your living room feel like it has a real fireplace in it.
- Atmospheric Crackling Log Sounds – To compliment the stunning visuals, MagikFlame fireplaces have crackling log sounds to choose from. By adding this auditory element to the fireplaces, it gives it the realistic ambiance as if you were burning real logs. There are also options included if you want to play calming nature sounds too.
- A Powerful and Efficient Built-In Heater – Proper heating is one of the most important aspects of any good fireplace. The heater inside of each MagikFlame puts out an incredible 5,200 BTUs of heat. This is plenty of power to make sure you’re feeling incredibly warm and comfy despite how cold it is outside.
As a bonus to all of these great features, MagikFlame has an app so that you can easily control your fireplace from your smartphone or your tablet. The app has a simple design and large buttons. You will have an easy time with the app because of an intuitive layout.
If you are interested in MagikFlame electric fireplaces, here are some additional resources:
- How MagikFlame is Built: Learn how these high quality fireplaces are made.
- The MagikFlame Story: The interesting story of how MagikFlame technology was developed.
- MagikFlame Reviews: Real testimonials from customers that have a MagikFlame fireplace of their own.
- MagikFlame Warranty: Due to a great warranty, you’ll be confident that your fireplace will stand the test of time.
- Payment Plans and Financing: MagikFlame offers financing and payment plans so you can order one today.