Getting an electrical fireplace for your home is always a great decision when compared to the alternatives like traditional fireplaces that are wood-burning or gas fireplaces that use natural gas lines, bioethanol, or propane tanks with a ventless system. While a ventless gas fireplace is definitely clean-burning compared to a wood fireplace, even the best gas fireplaces are still disadvantaged compared to electric fireplaces. This is why so many people are deciding to have electric fireplaces installed into their new home or added in a home remodel. While putting a new wood fireplace or even a large gas fireplace may require the help of an architect, home builder, or interior designer an electric fireplace is installed by just finding a place you like and plugging it in.
However, there are a wide variety of electric fireplaces that are out there. One of these types is a portable electric fireplace. If you are someone that is thinking about getting one of these, it won’t be surprising if you have some questions involving them like: what exactly is a portable fireplace? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using one in your living room or other room of the house? What other electric fireplace types are there? What brands of electric fireplaces are worth installing in an indoor space?
In the article that follows, you are going to have all of these questions completely answered and will have a better idea of the best electric fireplace solution for your needs. Let’s get into it.
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To properly understand the advantages of an electric fireplace, you also have to understand the disadvantages of traditional fireplaces like wood and gas. Wood fireplaces come in many types like open hearth and enclosed fireplaces. However, a fire pit is usually for outdoor use only, so a fire pit won’t be considered when looking at indoor wood fireplace issues. Here are the common issues with indoor wood fireplaces:
● Fire Safety – These wood fireplaces are very dangerous when it comes to the extreme risk of a house fire from both having a large, exposed flame and also because of the extremely flammable soot that will begin to build up inside of the chimney.
● Harmful Emissions – These produce smoke and carbon monoxide that are both very dangerous for you to breathe in.
● Problem To Use – There is a lot of work that goes into building fires, maintaining the fire, and keeping your fireplace clean.
● Heat Loss Issues – Because of the ventilation in the form of a chimney needed for these fireplaces, a large portion of the heat is lost with the escaping smoke.
● Smoky Smell – No matter how good of ventilation you have, the smell of a smoky fireplace will linger in your home.
● Staining – The white walls in your home will yellow and soot will accumulate on the wall above the mantel.
● TV Set Damage – If you were to try and mount your TV above a wood fireplace, the smoke and risking heat will destroy its internals, requiring a replacement or repairs.
● Wood Storage Needed – You need plenty of space to store all of the wood needed to keep you warm throughout the winter.
● Expensive Construction – If you wanted to build one onto an existing house and it was allowed in your region, the cost and time of building it are huge.
Gas fireplaces have some advantages over wood fireplaces like being slightly safer and burning cleaner, but they still have some awful issues:
The flames on gas fireplaces are weak and don’t flicker properly.
● Exposed Fire – The exposed flame means the chance of a house fire is still increased.
● Carbon Monoxide – These fireplaces don’t produce smoke but they still produce tons of carbon monoxide that can be deadly.
● Ugly Flames – The color of gas fireplaces often look very weird and sometimes things like bright neon blue.
● Weak Flame – The flames on gas fireplaces are weak and don’t flicker properly.
● Costly Installation – To install one is still a big project and you have to hire a professional to do it.
On the flip side of the equation, electric fireplaces have a ton of advantages:
MagikFlame is the best choice compared to other types of fireplaces.
● No Additional Fire Risk – Since nothing burns inside of them, there is no increase of a house fire.
● No Harmful Emissions – They don’t produce smoke or carbon monoxide.
● No Stains and Smells – The lack of smoke means you don’t have to worry about things like smells or your walls yellowing.
● Easy Operation – There is no work that goes into using them. Just turn it on and enjoy it.
● Easy Installing – Installing one means finding a place for it and plugging it into a normal wall outlet. It couldn’t be simpler.
● Any Room – Since you don’t need ventilation, it is easy to put them in any room that you need them in.
● Heat Efficiency – After the thermostat is set, the electric fireplace pulls cold air form the room and cycles it back out through a blower. As the air cycles through, it is instantly warmed by the infrared heating coil inside of it.
● Supplemental Zone Heating – If you have a much larger home, you can get multiple fireplaces for zone heating and save more on your energy bill.
● Remote Control – They come with a remote or smartphone app.
● Flame Effect Captures Fireplace Ambiance – If they have holographic flames like MagikFlame offers, it can look just as realistic as a real fireplace.
Portable fireplaces are basically just portable heater that you can put in any room of the house or even on the tabletop if it is a tabletop fireplace model. Rather than a normal portable heater, these are aesthetically designed to look like fireplaces and will usually have some basic fire effects on display. These fireplaces come in small, tabletop models, up to medium floor models. They can be stainless steel but usually try to somewhat mimic a real fireplace with wood or even a cast-iron-looking body.
There are two main advantages of a fireplace that is portable. These advantages are without much surprise:
Their small size makes them ideal for incredibly small homes or rooms that really don’t have much space to work with. These can be extremely small studio apartments or even a dorm room.
While many electrical fireplaces are technically freestanding and can be moved from one room to another if absolutely needed, they are usually made to stay in one place for the long term. On the other hand, the small size of these portable fireplaces means you can move them from room to room throughout the day as needed without it being a big job to do so.
Unfortunately, portable fireplaces actually have some pretty big disadvantages that make them less than ideal for your average person that wants an electric fireplace in their home. The main reason for these disadvantages is that they are trying to cram both a heating device and fire effect technology into the same small unit. By trying to fit both in a small space, some big sacrifices need to be made in order to accomplish this. Here are the main disadvantages of portable fireplaces:
● Poor Heaters – The heating device inside of these portable fireplaces is usually of very low quality and not very powerful. They can only warm very small areas, like a small room. If they are trying to warm a medium to a large room, or even worse, an entire house, it will be working at full capacity all of the time without even providing enough heat. Even without sufficiently heating an area, the hard work these devices are doing means you will have a very high electric bill. It will also keep the device from lasting as long as it should under more ideal circumstances.
● Poor Fire Effects – Again, because of the space issue, the actual fire effects, if any, that go into these smaller portable fireplaces are very bad. They don’t come anywhere near the realistic fire simulation that standard models can do. Many people who end up buying one of these portable fireplaces regret not just getting one of the many normal space heating devices that are out there because the flames look so bad.
● Bad Aesthetics – The units themselves are usually poorly made with bad aesthetics. You will usually have a body that isn’t even made out of real wood, but a poorer quality engineered wood with some laminate sides. The engineered wood can begin to chip very easily and very early after purchasing them. Within a year of getting one of these portable fireplaces, you can expect any laminate to begin peeling and curling at the corners due to the glue breaking down. Unfortunately, these portable fireplaces are rarely made with higher quality material that looks good and lasts longer.
● Not Reliable – Because these portable fireplaces can’t keep a room warm, increase your electric bill far beyond what it should, and break down after only a year or two, they aren’t very reliable at all. Because of this lack of reliability, it isn’t uncommon for people to have to spend a lot more by replacing these after only a year or two of use. Often they replace them much faster due to their disappointment even when they are still working.
While these facts can be a bit disheartening if you wanted something that was more on the portable end of the spectrum when it comes to electric fireplaces, there is still hope. In the following section, we will lay out the best alternative for you so that you can have all of the wonderful advantages of electric fireplaces without the disadvantages of these lackluster ones.
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A much better solution over getting one of the portable fireplaces on the market is to actually just get a standard, premium small electric fireplace from a trusted brand. Of course, these will be a bit larger and not as portable, however, they will warm an entire home much better, will have super realistic fire effects, and they will save you a lot on your energy bill due to the more efficient heating device inside of it.
If you are someone that wanted something smaller in size because you are limited on space, then you may be surprised that there are still some amazing space-saving options. Normal flat wall electric fireplace and mantel package units actually don’t take up that much space. This is due to the thinner, lower profile design of these fireplaces. They don’t stick out nearly as far from the wall as most people think. Many manufacturers even make more compact versions that can fit into smaller spaces. They do this by reducing the size of the mantel that houses the fireplace, rather than sacrificing the size of the fireplace itself. There are also space-saving options like corner fireplaces or installing a fireplace into a recessed wall so that the fireplace sits flush.
If you are someone that was more interested in the portable aspect, you may be surprised to find that these electric fireplaces can still be moved to another room if needed. While they aren’t built to be moved every day on a whim, if you put it in one room and months later decide you might like it more in another room, this isn’t an issue at all. Most electrical fireplaces are just sitting on the floor against a wall and plugged into a standard electrical outlet. You can unplug it, set it up in another room, and plug it in. It’s not much different than deciding you want to move your larger flat-screen TV from one room to another. While it would be excessive and a lot of work doing that on a daily basis, it is very easy if you changed your mind of where you wanted it after a few months.
If you still like the idea of having a small, portable device in addition to your standard electric fireplace, you are much better off getting one of the standard space heaters that don’t have a fireplace aesthetic. As long as you buy one from a respected brand, this will ensure you have a portable device that is made much better with sufficient internal space for a higher quality heating device inside of it. You can use your standard electrical fireplace for your normal, day-to-day heating, and keep your normal portable device in a closet until it is needed due to someone using your rarely used guest room on the far side of the house away from the standard electrical fireplace.
Choose from a variety of MagikFlame electric fireplaces including: Artemis, Trinity, Churchill, Athena, Morpheus, Neo, Smith, and the 28″ Insert.
There are quite a few electrical fireplaces that you can consider for your home. Below we will list them and talk about which might be best for your situation:
● Flat Wall Fireplace Mantel – This is the most common type of electrical fireplace you will find. You would put one of these against the flat of a wall and it shouldn’t take up very much floor space. If you wanted to save even more space, mount your TV above the mantel rather than needing a normal stand for your TV.
● Corner Fireplace – These units help save even more space. While they are functionally the same as a standard flat wall electric fireplace, they fit snuggly into the corner and out of the way. The top can also be used as a basic stand for your TV, although the size of the TV will be limited by the size and support strength of the fireplace in question.
● TV Stand Fireplace – This is an electrical fireplace that is built into the body of a standard entertainment center. While this helps saves space by combining two pieces of furniture into one, these suffer from a similar problem as the portable fireplaces. They need to make space for the shelves and cubbies, therefore they have to make sacrifices on the heating and fire elements.
● Corner TV Stand Fireplace – These are the same as the TV stands above, but they are built to fit into a corner. Again, these suffer from issues with poor heaters and fire effects due to the need of shelving and cubby space. You’re better off with a standard corner unit with a larger fireplace inside of it, then just set your TV on top.
● Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace – A wall mount electrical fireplace is one that is securely mounted onto a wall with specialized mounting brackets rather than being placed on the floor next to a wall. This helps saves a bit of space on the ground and can save even more space if they are built into a recessed wall. The downside with these is that they are closer to being permanently attached in the room that they are in and it is a much bigger hassle if you want to decide to change the room that it goes in.
● Electric Fireplace Insert – These are usually functionally alike to the standard wall mantel fireplaces, but these don’t come with the mantelpiece surrounding them. Instead, these can be placed into the opening of a normal fireplace which converts it into an electric one. They can also be used with third-party mantels or used if you want to build your own mantel.
● Electric Fireplace Stove – An electric fireplace stove is just an electric fireplace that is designed to look like a traditional, rural wood stove heater.
There are quite a few electrical fireplace brands on the market that are decent. There are brands like Dimplex, Turbo XtremepowerUS, ClassicFlame, Duraflame, and many more. However, there is an even larger amount of generic fireplaces if you walk into Walmart or order on Amazon. It is always best if you just decide to completely avoid these generic brands of electrical fireplaces. When you purchase a generic brand, there is a very high chance that it will cease to function properly after a couple of short years. In the time that it is working, the electric fireplace heater inside of it will not be powerful enough to keep your home warm. On top of this, it will be working at maximum capacity and will cost you a fortune on your heating bill. Lastly, these usually have the worst flame effects when it comes to electric fireplaces.
Instead of wasting money on a generic fireplace just because the price looks cheap, be aware that it will cost you more in the long run in a high electrical bill, fireplace repairs, and eventual replacement. Instead, if you invest your money wisely in a premium electrical fireplace the first time, you are actually going to save a lot of money in the long run. You will have a much lower electric bill from having an electric fireplace heater inside that is powerful and efficient at the same time. You will also have a fireplace that lasts you much longer. Finally, you will have better fire effects so that you will be satisfied with your purchase and will have no need to replace it later.
When choosing brands there are a few things to consider:
● What type of fireplaces do they offer?
● Do the fireplaces look aesthetically pleasing?
● Is it an infrared quartz fireplace with an efficient infrared heater inside of it?
● Is it a trusted brand where the fireplace will work reliably for many years?
● Can the infrared electric fireplace simulate a realistic flame?
● Does it include a safety feature like automatic shut-off and overheat protection?
When it comes to the fire effects specifically, if you care about realistic flames, you need to focus on effects that use holographic flames like MagikFlame electric fireplaces. You can read more about these amazing fireplaces below.
MagikFlame’s HoloFlame technology makes logs look like they are wrapped in fire.
MagikFlame electric fireplaces are easily one of the best electric fireplaces if you want something that genuinely looks like a real fireplace with real fire inside of it. While MagikFlame has many beautiful, high-quality models to choose from, here are the benefits that you can expect to be included with every single MagikFlame model:
● Realistic Holographic Fire Effects – MagikFlame electric fireplaces come with 30 different options of 3D flickering flames that are holographically projected onto a real, physical log set that sits inside of the firebox above an ember bed. You can select between the 30 different flames so that you can have the perfect fireplace that fits your exact mood.
● Crackling Log Sounds – Visuals aren’t the only thing that MagikFlame is the best at. There is also realistic crackling log sounds so that you can hear the fire instead of just seeing it. On top of these immersive sounds, there is also the option to place some more relaxing nature sounds at the quick, simple push of a button.
● 5,200 BTU Infrared Quartz Fireplace – The fireplace heater inside of these is not only powerful, but it is also very efficient, so it will use the least amount of electricity possible to keep your home right in your temperature comfort zone. These heat a home of up to 1,000 square feet. This is enough for most homes, apartments, and condos. If you have a larger home, you can get more than one fireplace for a better energy-saving zone heating setup.
● Smartphone Controlling Ability – Instead of controlling your fireplace with a boring remote that easily gets lost and requires new batteries once in a while, you can easily control the heat settings and thermostat of your MagikFlame fireplace with the app for your smartphone or tablet. On top of the heat, you can also set the fire effects, audio effects, and more. The intuitive app has large buttons with clear graphics on it, so it is easy to see and even easier for you to use.