An architect designs your new home and a home builder builds it. Your interior designer works with you to make interior design choices. At what point do you make decisions about fireplaces? Whether you are doing a simple remodel of your home, or you have just built a new one, a proper fireplace adds charm. Many people are opting out of wood and gas fireplaces, instead choosing electric fireplaces to be the main room focal point. Of course, this makes you wonder what the best brand of electric fireplaces even is. Within the article that is to follow, we will compare two brands of electric fireplaces. We will examine Napoleon’s electric fireplaces and MagikFlame’s electric fireplaces. By examining these two brands, we hope to show you the main differences and which is best for your home. Let us jump right into it.
Difference Between Napoleon Fireplaces and MagikFlame
Surprisingly, a good number of people don’t quite understand the issues that you face when you use a wood fireplace in your home. Furthermore, they aren’t quite sure exactly what makes electric fireplaces so special. To truly understand the benefits of electric fireplaces, you have to know why traditional fireplaces are a bad choice. Wood fireplaces come in these common types:
● Open Hearth – Here we have the most common type of fireplace you will find. These are fireplaces with an open hearth connected to a chimney. Fires are built into the fireplace opening. In older times, the ember bed was also used for some basic cooking. Now, you will usually place a metal screen in front of the fire to help with safety concerns.
● Enclosed – Whenever somebody wants a wood fireplace but they want one that is a little safer and more efficient, they choose an enclosed fireplace. Your burning wood is enclosed behind a glass door to protect your room from the flames. Vents are used to capture the heat and push it out into the room.
● Insert – Let’s say your home came with an open hearth-style fireplace. Inserting one of these units allows you to transform it into an enclosed version. Even though this is definitely a bit safer, you’ll see why an electric insert is a better option later on in the article.
● Wood Stoves – Stoves that burn wood are common in rural places like log cabins or hunting lodges. Deposit wood inside of the stove and as it burns, the stove itself radiates heat. Radiating heat from the stove will warm the room. Cooking can be done on the top of the stove if it is a flat-top design, which most are.
● Fire Pit – Backyard fireplaces are mostly limited to these fire pits. Because you can only warm a limited area in the open area, these aren’t very heat efficient. Typically, these are more of a novelty for backyard gatherings rather than a regularly used fireplace.
Understanding what types of wood fireplaces there are is only the first step. Problems frequently arise when you use these fireplaces to warm your home regularly. Luckily, many of these problems are very obvious to many people. Unfortunately, some of these problems are much less obvious and that’s why we are listing them here:
● Safety is a big concern with wood fireplaces because they are one of the most common causes of tragic house fires. Flames being exposed to flammable items in your home is just the start of the safety problems. In addition to this, you also have to worry about soot accumulation. Although you can’t see it from your living room, soot builds up on the inner wall of the chimney. Soot, when it builds up this much, is a big fire hazard because of how flammable it is. Professional chimney cleaners need to be called several times per year in order to sufficiently clean it out.
● Emissions produced from burning wood are extremely harmful. Smoke is the obvious culprit in many situations and can result in smoke inhalation issues. Carbon monoxide is just as harmful, but the real issue is that you can’t actively see carbon monoxide. Regardless if you have a wood fireplace or not, make sure to use smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
● Saying that wood fireplaces are a hassle to use might be a bit of an understatement. First, if the wood is not yet split, you have to split it yourself. Before you even build your fire, you have to make sure all of the leftover ash is cleaned out of the fireplace. After you have successful built your fire, you are then required to keep an eye on it all day for safety. Eventually, the fire will begin to die down and you will have to stoke the flames.
● There is a heat loss problem with wood fireplaces that might not be as obvious. As smoke and other dangerous emissions rise through the chimney and leave the home, heat goes along with it. On top of this, it is common to crack a window to allow a draft of air to keep the fire supplied with much-needed oxygen. Crackling the window this way allows a cold draft. Burning wood is very heat inefficient for these reasons.
● Are you interested in having your home always smelling like smoke? That is what will happen when you use a wood fireplace to keep your home toasty. Smoke permeates throughout your home and gets deep into furniture, curtains, and more. Clothes you wear and your own hair aren’t even safe from the lingering smoky smell. People will notice the smell when they come to your home. It’s likely you will get so used to the smell that you may not realize you wreak of a smoky fireplace when you leave your home.
● White walls are not safe from the smoke of a wood fireplace. Yellow stains will occur all over your home from using your wood fireplace over time. Repainting walls will become a more frequent project. Stains on walls aren’t the only thing that you have to be worried about. Light-colored furniture, carpets, and curtains are going to suffer the same fate as the walls, and they will need frequent cleaning.
● Considering how convenient it would be to have a TV over your fireplace, it isn’t surprising if this is something you want to do. With a wood fireplace, this is a terrible idea. Rising heat and smoke will get deep inside of your TV and destroy any internal electronics. Your TV will eventually stop working and need repairs or a replacement. Warranties from TV manufacturers don’t usually cover this specific type of damage.
● Storage space is going to be required for enough wood to last winter. If you don’t have enough storage space, you will then have to deal with frequent wood deliveries. Deliveries of wood can be inconvenient to deal with if you have a busy schedule.
● Building a new wood fireplace in a home is hard to get approved for in many US regions. Once you get approved, expect a very time-consuming and expensive home project.
A fireplace that uses gas can be a decent alternative to wood fireplaces. Gas fireplaces come in two common types:
● Direct Vented – Ventilation is needed because these use a gas that has more dangerous emissions.
● Ventless – Ventless gas fireplaces use a slightly safer gas, therefore they don’t need a typical venting pipe.
Gas fireplaces are proving to be cleaner and safer, but still have some serious drawbacks:
● Despite flammable soot not being an issue with gas fireplaces, an exposed flame still is. House fires can still start if something flammable makes contact with the flames.
● Carbon Monoxide poisoning remains to be a concern because gas fireplaces can still release it from an incomplete burn of the gas.
● Flames of gas fireplaces have an ugly flame color. Expect to see dull colors if it is trying to look normal, or bright, awkward blue flames in most gas fireplaces.
● Consider that gas fireplace burners are nothing more than a row of slightly larger Bunsen burners. Weak flame streams are common for this exact reason.
● A costly installation can be expected with gas fireplaces. Professionals will have to run gas lines, install the fireplace, and install ventilation if it is required.
Electric fireplaces don’t suffer from all of these common issues, and have additional benefits as well:
● The risk of a house fire becomes less of a worry since electric fireplaces don’t actually burn anything within them. No flames are present in any way at all, making them much safer.
● Harmful emissions aren’t something you need to think about at all. Air quality is much better because electric fireplaces don’t produce carbon monoxide, smoke, or anything else.
● Smells and stains can’t occur with electric fireplaces since they don’t burn anything or produce smoke.
● The operation of an electric fireplace is much easier than a traditional fireplace. Turn the fireplace on and set the temperature to your liking. An electric fireplace will then work to regulate the room temperature and keep it there.
● Installation is effortless. All you need is a nearby plug in outlet.
● Plug in your electric fireplace within any room. You aren’t limited with room choice.
● Since the blower faces forward, they are safe if you want to mount a TV above them.
● Efficiency when it comes to heating is what is great about electric fireplaces. Expect to have a low heating bill due to efficient infrared heating coils.
● Supplemental zone heating can help you warm a much larger home with the use of multiple fireplaces.
● Frequently, electric fireplaces come with remote control.
● The ambiance of a real fireplace is captured if you have an electric fireplace with realistic holographic flames.
Finding a fireplace that fits your specific situation can prove difficult. Allow this guide to help you in your search. Below you will find some of the most common types of electric fireplaces. Some of these types will be great for your home. A few of these will only be useful in certain situations. At least one of these should be avoided completely. Read carefully so that you invest wisely in your next fireplace:
● Flat Wall Fireplace Mantel Package – Looking the most traditional, you have mantel package fireplaces built for flat walls. These electric fireplace combo units tend to come as separated pieces. By coming in two different pieces that are installed together as a single unit, manufacturers can offer several mantel varieties.
● Corner Fireplace – Designed for the corner of your room rather than a flat wall, you have a corner fireplace. Functionally, these are no different than a fireplace built for a flat wall. Considering their shape, they are great for saving space. Place them in the corner of the room to save space and give the room an asymmetrical focus.
● Fireplace TV stands – Once in a while, you will come across TV stands that have an electric fireplace built into its body. Fitting an electric fireplace into the body consolidates two furniture pieces into one. Of course, this will have its drawbacks. To begin with, the fireplace may perform worse than full-sized versions both in heating ability and visual flame effects. Additionally, space is severely limited when it comes to cabinet space and shelving.
● Corner TV Stand Fireplace – Because these units are so similar to the standard TV stand fireplaces, they suffer from many of the same problems. Downsides may prove to be more severe because of further space limitations. If you are considering one of these, you may want to try a standard corner fireplace. Although a standard corner fireplace lacks shelving, it will perform better. TVs can be placed on top of standard corner fireplaces depending on the TV size.
● Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace – Mounting a fireplace is achievable with these types of fireplaces. Special mounting brackets are used to secure the fireplace to the wooden studs found inside of the wall. Securing it in this way allows the wall to handle the higher weight of a quality fireplace. Installing these in-wall recessions is also possible, for a flat, modern look to your home.
● Electric Fireplace Insert – Does your home have a traditional fireplace like an open-hearth style fireplace? With these electric fireplace inserts, you are able to convert your original wood-burning fireplace into an electric one. Simply place the insert into the opening of your old fireplace and enjoy having a cleaner and safer fireplace experience.
● Freestanding Electric Fireplace Heater – Portable space heaters already have a problem properly warming significantly sized areas. These problems are even more present when you add fireplace effects and aesthetics to a portable space heater. Because these fireplaces find themselves trying to do too much in a small device, you are better off avoiding them. It is common for these to look cheap and tacky while not putting out enough heat.
● Electric Fireplace Stove – Assuming someone wants a log cabin type of aesthetic, electric fireplace stoves are available. Basically, just a simple electric fireplace made to look like a wood stove, these look out of place in modern homes. Unless you are someone who truly loves this aesthetic style, you may want to avoid these fireplaces.
Making all types of fireplaces, wood, gas, and electric, Napoleon has a wide variety of products with many color options. They have many linear wall mount electric fireplace options. A linear wall mount electric fireplace is one that spans a wide portion of a wall. Wall mount electric fireplace units from Napoleon are commonly shown installed in wall recesses. Recessed wall installations for a wall-mounted electric fireplace is good if you want a modern look where the fireplace sits flush to your wall.
Some of these wall-hanging electric fireplace models are the Allure, Alluravision, Allure Phantom. You can notice how the Allure line, which includes the Alluravision and the Allure Phantom are all units that are only seen from one side. Napoleon Allure Phantom, Alluravision, and other Allure fireplaces are like traditional fireplaces in this way. For something where the firebox can be seen on both sides, there is the Clearion. Being a wonderful two-sided electric fireplace, the Clearion linear electric fireplace allows you to see right through it. See-through linear electric fireplace units are good for a dividing wall within a room.
For the Napoleon Allure and Napoleon Alluravision linear electric fireplace variations, you will notice it lacking a firebox log set. Log set inserts to add to an authentic look. Instead of an electric log set, the Napoleon Allure and Napoleon Alluravision come with a glass ember bed. The Napoleon Allure and Napoleon Alluravision feature LED lights for flames.
Other models include the Napoleon Cinema and Napoleon Stylus. Stylus units are avant-garde while the Napoleon Cinema units attempt realism. Various other units are the Napoleon Ascent, Napoleon Element, Napoleon Trivista 60, and Napoleon Woodland. Different models are suited for different home decor styles.
Model numbers of many of their fireplaces:
Between MagikFlame and Napoleon, it is clear that MagikFlame is more focused on realism and authenticity. 3D Adjustable flame styles of MagikFlame fireplaces absolutely look much more realistic. Each variety of Napoleon fireplaces has flames that look flat and fake. Rarely do they attempt any kind of realism. It is true that 3D flames are less common. Dimplex with the Dimplex Opti-Myst is one such example. However, MagikFlame flames can honestly be mistaken for the real thing.
Heat output is a concern with many Napoleon fireplaces. Compared to your average Napoleon fireplace, infrared heating coils in the MagikFlame fireplaces tend to be more powerful. By having a powerful heating device, MagikFlame can actually help keep your heating bill lower. This is because they don’t need to work as hard to warm a room.
Aesthetically, MagikFlame fireplaces look much more traditional, but with luxurious and modern mantels. Personal preference comes into play, but a MagikFlame electric fireplace mantel tends to look much better. Many Napoleon models have a modern look, but they lean towards a tacky and cheap look.
Regarding MagikFlame fireplaces, premium quality is the standard. Boasting realistic flames, gorgeous mantel package designs, and more, here is what to expect:
● Holographic 3d Flame Projection – Beautiful 3D Holographic flames are projected within MagikFlame fireplaces. Flames are accompanied by sparking embers for realistic depth. 30 flame styles are able to be cycled between. These additional styles can alter the mood to your liking.
● Crackling Log Sounds – Enhancing the atmosphere, MagikFlame fireplaces include crackling log sounds. Sounds like crackling logs help make the fireplaces feel even more realistic. Nature sounds are also available.
● 5,200 BTU Heater – Efficient and Powerful, the 5,200 BTU heater can warm 1,000 sq. ft. People who have homes larger than 1,000 sq. ft. can benefit from zone heating with multiple fireplaces. Supplemental zone heating allows for lower heating bills.
● Smartphone App – Use your touchscreen smartphone or touchscreen tablet to control MagikFlame fireplaces. Set the thermostat. Change the flame style. Control the audio.