Electric fireplaces have advanced a lot over the last couple of decades. They haven’t just advanced in how realistic the flame effects look, but in how powerful yet efficient the heating device inside of them is. Of course, to properly understand how well these heat, you have to understand what method of heating they use and learn some terminology along the way. One thing you might wonder when doing some reading about these subjects is what exactly is a BTU? What is the BTU meaning in reference to my fireplace? Why does an air conditioner use the term BTU as well even though it cooling unit or an HVAC unit rather than a pure heater?
In the guide that follows, we will explain all of these terms and answer many more questions that you might have about electric fireplaces.
Here Is Everything That This Post Is Going To Cover:
- How Do Electric Fireplaces Work To Keep Your Home Warm? – Electric fireplaces don’t heat at all the way that traditional fireplaces do. This section will explain exactly how electric fireplaces work to keep your home warm and what internal heating elements work best to do this job.
- What Is The BTU Meaning and How Does The BTU Meaning Relate To an Electric Fireplace? – Here we will explain everything about the acronym BTU and what it means for different heating appliances like electric fireplaces and the cooling power and cooling capacity of an air conditioner.
- What is a Good BTU of an Electric Fireplace? – Here will talk about the ideal BTU rating of an electric fireplace, and how much square footage of your home should be able to keep warm while using minimum electricity.
- What Are Some of the Most Common Types of Electric Fireplaces? – Here, we will talk about the most common types of electric fireplaces that people find inside of their homes and which ones might be best for you.
- What Are The Benefits of an Electric Fireplace Over Other Alternatives? – For people that aren’t really sure why electric fireplaces are much better than a wood-burning fireplace or a gas fireplace that uses natural gas or propane.
- Which Brand of Electric Fireplaces Makes a Fireplace That Best Captures The Real Ambiance of a Traditional Fireplace? – There is only one electric fireplace brand that truly stands above the rest when it comes to authentic realism. This section will talk all about how wonderful MagikFlame fireplaces are.
Electric fireplaces work by convection heating. This means that a heating element warms the air, and warm air then mixes with cooler air. That cycle continues until the average temperature of the air has increased to the desired temperature on the thermostat.
As cool air gets sucked into a fireplace, it passes by an infrared quartz heating coil. This infrared quartz uses very little power to warm the air that cycles through, instantly. By the time the air is pushed back out through the blowers, the air is nice and warm and will begin warming more cool air around it. This constant cycling of cool air to warm air allows these infrared quartz electric fireplaces to warm a room or a home very fast. Because the infrared quartz heats the cool air sucked in right away, once you turn on an electric fireplace you can often feel the warm air coming out of it after only a few seconds. There is no long wait for it to warm up like there is for other heating devices that use traditional radiating coils instead of infrared quartz convection heating.
BTU is an abbreviation that originated in the United Kingdom and it stands for British Thermal Unit. A BTU is a unit of heat that equals the amount of heat or amount of energy that is needed to raise a single pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit at sea level. One BTU is equal to around 1055 joules of energy. This is similar to the definition for a calorie, which means in the metric system: the amount of heat that is needed to increase the temperature of a gram of water by one degree Celsius.
While heating devices use the term BTU when it comes to increasing the temperature by one degree, an air conditioner can also use the term BTU when referring to decreasing the temperature by one degree. Just like heaters, an air conditioning system will have a BTU rating. Whether it is central air, wall air conditioning units, a window AC unit, or some other kind of portable air AC unit like NewAir, the air conditioner will have a higher BTU unit based on how much it can cool. Different than an air conditioner, a heater will have BTU specifically talking about heating.
An HVAC system will have many things to consider when figuring out how well it really performs as a cooling device. It has to think about the BTU/hr output, if it is in direct sunlight, the heat load it can handle, the compressor, the heat pump, and even the EER rating. EER is the energy efficiency ratio that basically dictates how much square footage an in-room air conditioner can efficiently cool. A large unit with a better rating can cool a whole house, while a smaller portable air unit won’t have as good of a rating.
Heaters inside electric fireplaces work much in the same way but in reverse. Instead of cooling, it is just about the heat output. A high BTU amount will generally warm a much larger area.
For electric fireplaces, the best ones have a recommended BTU of 5,200 BTUs of heat it can put out. This is enough for a 1,000 square foot home, which means it can warm most homes just fine. You don’t really see electric fireplaces with higher BTUs than this because that is the point of maximum efficiency for a home. Any higher than that and the heater will be working a lot harder than necessary for an indoor area, which will leave you with an increased heating bill. 5,200 is a good rating for the perfect balance of heating and efficiency. If you get a heater that has a number of BTUs that is lower than that, it will struggle to keep your home warm while costing you a lot more in your heating bill since it is working at its maximum capacity.
If you have a large home with floor plans that include many different rooms, a single 5,200 BTU heater may only warm a portion of your home. In this case, it is always more efficient to get a secondary fireplace in a different zone of your house instead of getting a single fireplace with a heater rated over 5,200. This is called zone heating or supplemental heating. The goal here is to only turn on the heater for rooms when people are in them and keep the doors closed between rooms. By making the area smaller like this, the fireplace doesn’t need to work as hard and will use much less energy in the process. Despite the cost of an additional fireplace, you will actually save more, in the long run, this way. That is because all of those savings from zone heating will add up and eventually cover that initial fireplace cost.
Electric Fireplaces have a wide variety of types in their arsenal. It is important to choose one that best fits your situation and need. Here are the common varieties of electric fireplaces:
● Flat Wall Electric Fireplace Mantel combo Package – These are the most common types of units and the ones that you should get if you truly want a fireplace that looks like the real thing. These units have a fireplace and a mantel that comes separately. The reason it isn’t already connected is that company’s like to have several different choices of mantel styles, even if the fireplace within it is the same. Coming separate also makes it a little easier to handle and move upon installation. You install two lighter pieces instead of needing to move one single heavy piece into place.
● Corner Electric Fireplace Unit – A corner fireplace is much the same as the flat wall mantel units that are listed above. A corner unit, while functioning the same, is built to fit perfectly into the corner of rooms rather than against a regular flat wall. These are great for people with smaller places or rooms like in apartments. They are also good if you have a room layout where you prefer there to be more focus on the corner rather than a flat wall
● TV Stand Fireplace – You can get a TV console that has an electric fireplace built into it. There is a word of warning here: sacrifices have to be made due to space limitations. You may get a smaller, weaker fireplace because of the space needed for shelving and cubby holes. Likewise, you won’t have nearly as much shelving or other space for your media collection and devices. If you need to save space, a standard corner unit or mounting a TV on the wall above a standard flat wall unit will be a better idea.
● Corner TV Stand Fireplace – These are the same thing as the TV console fireplace that is listed above, except it is meant to fit in a corner. Because the space limitations are even greater here, even more sacrifices will be made. If you insist on having a corner unit, go with a standard unit and put your TV on top of it rather than one of these units. That way you will have a space for your TV but you will also have a much higher quality fireplace inside of it.
● Wall Mount Electric Fireplace – Wall mount units are exactly what they seem to be. These are units that can be lifted and mounted onto a wall with wall mounts rather than resting on the floor. This saves a bit of floor space and has an even more modern look. When you use one of these units, you can also install it into a recessed wall for even more accessibility. The fireplace can be mounted completely flush inside of the wall if needed. These fireplaces come in standard sizes or large linear sizes that can span the long length of a wall.
● Electric Fireplace Insert – For people that have an existing wood fireplace in their home but don’t want to see it go to waste when they switch to electric, they should get one of these inserts. These get placed right into the standard fireplace opening and fit snugly to convert them into a normal electric fireplace instead of one that needs to burn wood. This allows you to continue using the same housing for your fireplace and the mantel that is present. You can also use these units with a third-party mantel if you like a fireplace from one company but you don’t like the mantel options that they have.
● Freestanding Electric Fireplace Heater – It’s true that most of the electric fireplaces on this list would technically be considered freestanding. However, this is more talking about the portable space heaters you can easily move from room to room. These just happen to be designed with a fireplace aesthetic. While the portability is convenient, combine a small, portable space heater with a fireplace aesthetic has some drawbacks. They tend to not work very well at all as a heater, and any flame effects they produce are usually tacky and unauthentic.
● Electric Fireplace Stove – These are made to look like a rural wood stove you might find in a hunting lodge or a cabin in the woods. Typically these look incredibly out of place in your average modern home. Even if you want a rustic farmhouse look, you are usually better off getting a standard electric fireplace unit with a mantel that fits your home decor style rather than one of these questionable units.
There are a lot of benefits that come with choosing a white electric fireplace for your home instead of a wood or gas fireplace.
● You don’t have to worry about an extra risk of a house fire.
● They don’t release any smoke or carbon monoxide.
● No smoke means no yellowing of your walls or a bad smoky smell.
● These are hassle-free to use compared to the work that goes into a wood fireplace.
● Installation is as easy as plugging it in once you’ve found the right spot.
● No ventilation means you can put these in any room.
● No ventilation also means no heat loss, so the fireplace doesn’t need to use as much electricity.
● You can set up multiple fireplaces for zone heating.
● You can use remote control so you don’t have to get up.
● High-end electrical fireplaces have realistic flames that feel like the real thing.
MagikFlame fireplaces are one of the best electric fireplaces on the market. They have a powerful heater and the ability to perfectly capture the realistic ambiance and atmosphere of a real fireplace. Here is everything that MagikFlame fireplaces include, no matter which of their beautiful models you end up going with:
● Holographic 3D Flame Effects – Inside of MagikFlame electric fireplaces is a firebox with an ember bed and physical log set. When you turn on and select one of the 30 different flicker flame styles, you will see it projected beautifully right onto the log set. It is so real, that most of your guests will think they are sitting in front of a traditional wood-burning fireplace instead of an electric one.
● The Atmospheric Sound of Crackling Logs – You don’t have just the visuals to look forward to with MagikFlame fireplaces, but the audio as well. The realistic sounds of logs that are crackling help elevate the realistic fireplace atmosphere even further.
● A Powerful and Efficient 5,200 BTU Infrared Quartz Fireplace Heater – The 5,200 BTU heater that is in every single MagikFlame fireplace can warm your home very quickly while using as little electricity as possible. Because of how efficient these fireplaces work to easily warm homes of up to 1,000 square feet, you can expect to see some serious savings on your heating bill.
● Smartphone App – Unlike most electric fireplace companies that use a basic remote that is easy to lose and requires batteries, you can control MagikFlame fireplaces with your phone or tablet all because of the intuitive and multi-functional smartphone app.
If you are interested in learning more about MagikFlame, their fireplaces, and some other information, here are some more links to help you along the way:
- You can read all about the surprising MagikFlame Story and how the beginnings stem from a background of Hollywood effects.
- To get a better understanding of how good these fireplaces are, you can read MagikFlame Reviews and testimonials from existing customers.
- If you would like to learn a bit more about electric fireplaces in general so that you know the details before you buy, read the MagikFlame Electric Fireplace Buying Guide.
- To see the craftsmanship and quality parts that go into every MagikFlame fireplace, you can read How MagikFlame Is Built.
- MagikFlame offers some very easy and simple Payment Plans and Financing to help you get your MagikFlame fireplace as soon as possible.
- The MagikFlame Warranty that comes with all of their products speaks volumes about the confidence they have in their wonderful products.