Staying warm is one of the top priorities most people have while spending time in their home at the end of the year when the temperatures drop. Relying on the right heat source is crucial to keep the chill away and feel more at ease and comfortable. There are many types of electric fireplaces known to emit a good amount of heat without having to rely on gas or wood.
In this post, you will learn:
- What is the Best Electric Fireplace for Heat?
- The Warmth to Expect From an Electric Fireplace
- Other Features to Consider
- Installing Your New Fireplace in Your Home
- Reasons You’ll Benefit More from an Electric Fireplace
- How to Make Your Fireplace Blend in with Your Home
- Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Fireplace
- Can a Fireplace Stand Support a TV?
- Comparing an Electric Fireplace to a Gas Fireplace
- Building a New Surround for Your Fireplace Insert
- Changing a Lightbulb in the Fireplace
What is the Best Electric Fireplace for Heat?
As you shop around for a new electric fireplace, you likely want to own something that emits a significant amount of heat to ensure it keeps everyone warm. There are many different types of electric fireplaces available in the industry, but they can differ with the amount of heat they emit and what sizes of rooms they work best in as they operate.
These types of fireplaces function like heaters and are styled to look like a traditional fireplace with a wood stove or a fireplace mantel. When you’re wondering, “What is the best electric fireplace for heat?” it’s important to consider a few of the top brands in the industry.
The made in America, 28” Insert is included in each MagikFlame mantel package. The MagikFlame Trinity electric fireplace features 30 flames that look real and a capable 5,200 heating system and is a great option when you want to know what is the best electric fireplace for heat. It comes with state-of-the-art infrared heating technology to warm up cold rooms and acts as an electric fireplace tv. It packs 110 volts and quickly emits heat moments after it starts to operate. The heat makes it easier to maintain the temperature in the room without keeping it running as long.
The MagikFlame Churchill electric fireplace is another top pick because of its 5,200 BTU heating system, which doesn’t dry out the air as it emits the heat. It’s packed with forward-thinking technology and works well as supplemental heat for your central heating system in the house. You can turn down the thermostat in your home for less energy usage and added savings. The fireplace has a triangular design in the back to make it fit in the corner of the room, which can direct the heat in every direction. You can have more consistent warmth delivered without any cold spots present.
The Insert 28″ HoloFlame Fireplace is another product sold by Magikflame that is ideal for those who want an electric fireplace insert that is built into the wall and sits flush with it. The insert may have a small size but circulates a good amount of heat. You can even place it in a wood or stone surround to make it look like it came with the home. It’s a more affordable option than burning wood or using gas and can become the focal point in the room because of its realistic flame effect.
The Athena electric fireplace from MagikFlame is one of the newest additions and is successful among consumers because of how reliable it is for the heat it emits. With 5,200 BTU, the fireplace has a fuel bed of a faux log set and increases the temperature in the room in minutes. It’s designed to be used in a large room and won’t have as much heat loss as a wood fireplace. It’s designed to offer supplemental heat in the room and allow you to rely less on your main heating system for added energy conservation and settings. You can also adjust the temperature and enjoy getting more heat than you would with a space heater to ensure everyone in the room is comfortable.
The Warmth to Expect From an Electric Fireplace
A standard electric fireplace stove or electric fireplace comes with 1,000 to 1,500 watts of power, depending on the size of the room where you want to use it. The BTU is another factor to consider to determine the amount of heating power it’ll deliver. Electric fireplaces offer zone heating to ensure you can heat up a specific room where you and your family spend the most time. You don’t have to use energy to heat rooms that are unoccupied and avoid spending more than necessary on your comfort.
Some people may be curious about how hot electric fireplaces can get and the temperature they’re capable of reaching. In some cases, this is a concern for those with pets or children who live in the house. This can also limit how close you can place your furniture pieces because of how hot the glass panel gets as the fireplace is operating. Fortunately, the glass door will remain cool because of the lack of real fire used in the firebox.
The heating element built into your electric fireplace is responsible for releasing warm air into the room. Compared to a gas or standard fireplace that burns wood, it won’t lead to damage but will still be warm enough to feel like you’re using wood to heat the space.
Compared to a fireplace that uses gas, it won’t increase your electric bill too much, making it easier to leave it on longer to stay warm without shutting it off after one to two hours. The heat also stays in the room better, and you can adjust the thermostat that is built into the feature to have more control of the warmth you receive.
If you purchase an electric fireplace that has 110 volts, you’ll receive the same amount of heat as a hairdryer. If you live in a larger room with up to 1,000 square feet, opt for a fireplace with 220 volts.
A gas or standard fireplace that uses may have been a more popular option in past years, but both options aren’t considered to be as economical as an infrared electric fireplace stove because of the amount of heat loss they experience. These other fireplaces also don’t offer an adjustable thermostat and don’t allow you to enjoy custom comfort. Wood-burning fireplaces may seem like they produce a lot of heat because of their flames, but 80 percent of that energy escapes through the vent and chimney instead of into the room. Gas fireplaces also have the same issue and lose 30 to 40 percent of their energy through the venting. You can have peace of mind knowing you can use 100 percent of the heat produced by an electric fireplace to avoid wasting anything.
Other Features to Consider
After conducting enough research, you may have settled on the idea of owning an electric fireplace to ensure you can heat your home and stay comfortable during the winter months. Although you may know what you want, it can often be challenging to settle on the right model that is perfect for your heating needs.
Not only is it important to find a fireplace that will keep you warm and cozy, but it’s also necessary to find something that looks like a wood fireplace. Investing money into a product that has poor effects can cause you to spend money on something that isn’t as attractive or appealing. Check out the different types of technology used to determine which one will yield the best results to ensure you trick your guests into thinking you have a real wood fire burning in the home.
Finding the right fireplace also means taking a look at the BTUs to ensure it’s sufficient for the size of the room. If it doesn’t have enough BTUs, it can have difficulty heating the room and can leave you with a few cold spots. A fireplace that has more BTUs than you need can make the room get too warm. Calculate the number of BTUs you need by multiplying the square feet of the room by 20.
The size of the fireplace is another factor to consider to ensure it fits in your room and doesn’t take up too much space, especially if you have a smaller home. Electric fireplaces that look too small can look awkward on large walls with vaulted ceilings. Consider the dimensions to ensure it looks appropriate and appears as if it’s a built-in fireplace that came with the home.
There are many brands to choose from in the industry when you’re looking for a new fireplace, which can make the process overwhelming if you’re not familiar with some of the most reputable manufacturers. Consider the history of the company that you select and the types of materials they use.
You also want to consider the best places to look as you search for the perfect unit. You can choose to shop in-person or online, depending on how much time you want to spend searching around. Many home improvement stores like Lowe’s and The Home Depot have many options available. Visiting the stores can allow you to get a firsthand look at the electric fireplaces and even test them out with a remote control.
You can also shop on sites like Amazon to find dozens of electric fireplaces available, which can be shipped directly to your door. Whether you want to look into the technology of Duraflame or are interested in the types of Touchstone Sideline fireplaces, the site has it all. Ameriwood and MagikFlame modes are also available to purchase directly on the site.
Contacting the manufacturer directly is another way of ordering the product instead of visiting multiple stores in person. The manufacturer can answer your questions and also explain their payment plans and financing options available before you make your purchase. Steer clear of any manufacturers that don’t offer a warranty with their products, which means you’ll be responsible for covering the cost of any repairs that are needed the first year it’s in use. The best brands stand behind the quality of their fireplaces and are happy to replace the unit if any issues occur.
There are also a few reputable manufacturers to research to determine which ones offer the highest quality of products. Duraflame, Touchstone, MagikFlame, and Ameriwood are top fireplace manufacturers that are known to have realistic electric fireplaces.
Many consumers opt for selecting MagikFlame, which is fairly newer in the industry but stands out because of its unique technology. MagikFlame is the only brand to use holographic technology, which is patented and features a screen that displays a wood-burning fire, complete with smoke billowing up from the wood and burning embers. The fireplaces even come with a built-in heater and cracking log sounds that make it easy to believe you have a real fireplace in your home.
The MagikFlame story is just as unique as the technology used. The company started when the founder was unable to find a realistic fireplace to purchase for his home. He decided to use his skills in f/x special effects to create advanced flame technology that looks like the real thing. Customers can view the company’s Magikflame electric fireplace buying guide to discover the different models available to accommodate various types of settings.
Reviews are another great resource to utilize to discover the pros and cons of each electric fireplace on the market. You can find PuraFlame fireplace reviews on sites like Amazon. MagikFlame reviews are also available on the manufacturer’s website. This is where you can also learn how Magikflame is built. Not only is it important to learn what customers enjoy about each brand, but the company where the parts are manufactured offers insight into its overall quality and reliability. Opt for a company that offers American-made fireplaces to ensure they have a better build and the parts are easier to find if anything ever needs to be replaced in the future.
When considering the size of the fireplace, you may also want to opt for a fireplace TV stand, especially if you live in an apartment or condo. This takes up a small amount of room and allows you to own a furniture item that serves more than one purpose and is versatile. You can enjoy seeing the electric log and realistic flames while watching a movie. The plug-in design makes it easy to hook up in seconds.
Installing Your New Fireplace in Your Home
After you ask, “What is the best electric fireplace for heat?” and find the right product to buy, you’ll need to learn how to install the feature to ensure you can begin using it as soon as possible. You may be unsure if you need any assistance from a technician or certified electrician to avoid common issues while hooking it up.
If you choose to purchase a freestanding fireplace, you can enjoy the convenience of hooking it up yourself because it’s easy to plug into the wall. The cord that it comes with means it’s ready to be used immediately after you remove it from the box. You can set it up anywhere in the room that is within a few feet of an electrical outlet. Never use an extension cord, which can cause it to overheat because of all the power surging through the cords. A wall mount electric fireplace should also come with a cord to make it easy to hook up without any hardwiring needed.
If you have an electric fireplace insert, it may need hardwiring, depending on the model you select. An electrician can perform this task, but it shouldn’t take long. If you have an existing fireplace that you want to convert into an electric fireplace, you can shimmy the insert into the firebox. The outlet may be located inside the firebox or on the outside of the surround. You may also want to hire a professional to install a new outlet if it’s not present or if you want to have it hidden.
One of the main conveniences that come with installing an electric fireplace is that you don’t have to pay for any vents or chimneys to be installed because it doesn’t emit any smoke. You don’t have to hire a contractor or spend a lot of money to configure your home to accommodate the feature, which can save time when you need immediate heat.
Many electric fireplaces are also simple enough to assemble with a screwdriver. They’re easy to assemble for those who aren’t mechanically inclined and don’t require you to purchase additional tools to get the fireplace ready to use.
Reasons You’ll Benefit More from an Electric Fireplace
The portable size and design of an electric fireplace is what makes it a popular option among both homeowners and renters. You don’t have to make a permanent commitment with its placement in the home and can move it to another wall or room in the future if you change the layout of the space. If you currently rent your home, you can enjoy taking the fireplace with you to your next home without leaving it behind. You don’t have to invest in a brand new electric fireplace and can continue to get many years of use out of the product no matter where you choose to live or how often you relocate.
Electric fireplaces are also known for being highly energy-efficient, which can allow you to reduce your carbon footprint. You can use less energy compared to other types of fireplaces, which leads to significant savings throughout the year. When you choose to own an electric fireplace, you can expect to pay one to eight cents every hour, depending on if you also use the infrared heater that comes with the product. If you only use the flame effects, the cost is an average of one to three cents per hour. Over time, this can save a lot of money and even allow you to recoup the cost of your electric fireplace.
Not only do you save on the cost of energy with an electric fireplace, but you can also save on fireplace tools. You don’t need to purchase anything to maintain the feature because the fire doesn’t need to be stoked, and there aren’t any ashes to clean up. You also don’t need to purchase a fireplace screen because real embers aren’t present and won’t jump out of the fireplace as the fire burns. The lack of real wood that is needed also offers additional savings.
Although electric fireplaces haven’t always looked like they have a real flame in the past, they’re becoming more advanced as time passes. Today, you can enjoy owning a product that makes your guests think you invested in a traditional fireplace because of the realistic flames. The 3D flame look has more details to create stunning visual effects that can make it easy to forget the flames aren’t real.
The convenience that is provided with an electric fireplace is another reason why this type of fireplace is increasing in popularity among consumers. Many people don’t want to hassle buying wood or loading it into the fireplace every time they want a fire. The clean-up process with a standard fireplace also requires a lot of time and energy. Without real wood used, you don’t have to sweep up ashes every time you have a fire. The lack of creosote it releases also means you don’t need to clean the chimney because creosote doesn’t build up over time.
There’s also less of an impact on the environment when you use an electric fireplace compared to a wood fireplace. You don’t have to chop down trees to get wood to use as a fuel source. You also don’t have to contribute to pollution because smoke and emissions aren’t generated with an electric fireplace. The air quality in the building also won’t be affected because particles and pollutants aren’t released as the fireplace operates. This means those who have allergies or asthma can protect their health without any concerns, even if the fireplace is in use on a daily basis.
There’s a high level of customization that also comes with MagikFlame and Dimplex electric fireplaces to ensure it’s specific to what you envision having in your home. The advanced technology makes it easy to adjust the brightness settings with a remote control or touch screen panel to ensure it creates the perfect glow in the home. The flame brightness you select allows you to use it any time of the day and enjoy a touch of illumination. You can also select the color of flame that you want, whether you want a red flame for the holiday season or pink on Valentine’s Day. You can even select the flame color based on the room’s color scheme. Additionally, you have the option of using the fireplace just for the real flame effect without the infrared heat to ensure you can get more use out of it throughout the year instead of when it’s cold outside.
The many safety features that come with a Touchstone or Puraflame electric fireplace heater are another reason it is convenient to use and has more functionality. You can have peace of mind knowing there’s no risk of a chimney fire. You also don’t have to expose yourself to carbon monoxide as it operates. Many electric fireplaces come with safety features like automatic shut-off to prevent them from overheating. A built-in timer can also allow you to decide when you want it to turn off if you’re taking a nap.
How to Make Your Fireplace Blend in with Your Home
Once you find the best electric fireplace for your home, you can choose how you want to style it to ensure it becomes an attractive feature that stands out. Although some of the components of the fireplace may not be attractive, you can use them to create a cozier setting with the right elements and materials used.
If you choose a wall mounted electric fireplace, consider hanging a mantel above it to make it look like a built-in feature. This will prevent the insert from looking like it’s floating on the wall. The mantel can be hung 12 inches above the fireplace, depending on the height of your ceilings. With the use of a mantel, you can have more flexibility with how you choose to style it. The shelf can be useful for storing framed photos, artwork, and small sculptures. It can add a cozy touch that is complementary to the electric fireplace.
Adding a few items at the base of the fireplace will also work for adding more visual appeal. A small pouf or chair can create a welcoming environment that invites your guests to sit down and relax. You can place items close to the glass without risking a fire because embers won’t jump out compared to a wood-burning fireplace.
If your freestanding fireplace has a surround, you can consider painting it to make it stand out more in the room. Some of the top color shades to consider include blue, gray, and white. Shiplap panels on the exterior of the surround will also contribute to the design and will create a rustic farmhouse look.
The placement of the electric fireplace also influences how eye-catching it is in the room. Place it front and center to ensure the layout of the space works around the feature to ensure it’s the first thing your guests see when they enter the space. Corner fireplaces are also available if you’re limited with the layout of the room and want to conserve more space.
Prolonging the Lifespan of Your Fireplace
Fortunately, there’s not a lot of maintenance to perform once you find the best electric fireplace to install. You don’t have to clean up ashes like a traditional wood fireplace. There are still ways you can extend the lifespan of the feature to ensure it lasts longer and can continue to be reliable for the next 20 years.
Although cleaning is not needed on a consistent basis, it’s still important to remove dust that accumulates over time in your freestanding electric fireplace. Open the access panel to reach the internal components. Use a dry cloth or vacuum to remove dirt or grime on the ember bed or wood logs, whether you own a Dimplex model or Touchstone electric fireplace stove. You can also clean the glass panel to make the flame effects clearer and easier to see.
Hire a professional to perform an inspection on the parts every year to ensure everything is working correctly. They can inform you of potential problems and perform the necessary repairs to ensure it continues to operate well.
Can a Fireplace Stand Support a TV?
If you’re looking for the best electric fireplace that is built into a TV stand or dresser, it’s important to find something with solid materials. Most fireplace stands support TVs because they have solid wood or MDF materials. You can use it to support a flat screen or touchscreen TV in your living room or bedroom. This type of fireplace is available through brands like Dimplex and Duraflame 3D.
The feature also includes cabinets, adjustable shelves, and heat settings you can adjust to ensure you stay warm with a furniture item that will stand out in a large room.
Comparing an Electric Fireplace to a Gas Fireplace
Many people want to know the differences between a wall mounted electric fireplace and a fireplace that uses gas. With gas, you’re still making an impact on the earth because natural gas is used. Electric fireplaces use a small amount of electricity and are considered to be the most green type of fireplace to own.
Additionally, a fireplace that uses gas also loses 30 to 40 percent of the heat it generates, which can make it harder to maintain the temperature in the room. An electric fireplace uses 100 percent of the heat it generates and can allow you to feel more comfortable when it’s cold outside. They work better for larger rooms with more square feet instead of only using them in smaller settings.
There are also safety concerns with gas fireplaces. The materials can become hot to the touch, which can make it easy for children or pets to burn themselves while spending time in the room where the feature is present. The glass on electric fireplaces stays cool because of the lack of real flame inside.
The installation process is also a lot easier with an electric fireplace. You don’t have to hire a professional to install a gas line or add any features to the building, which isn’t always possible for some residents who don’t own their home. You also don’t need a vent to be installed. The installation cost is a lot cheaper with an electric fireplace and is an average of $700 to $2,200 if hardwiring is needed. If you purchase an electric fireplace with a plug-in design, there’s no installation cost. Gas fireplaces are an average of $2,750 to $7,300, which doesn’t accommodate all types of budgets.
The safety of the electric fireplace isn’t dependent on the person who installs the product compared to gas fireplaces. All electric fireplaces are factory-wired, and there’s a lot less risk of a fire occurring. There’s also the risk of a gas leak occurring when gas is used.
There’s even more flexibility that comes with electric fireplaces, making them ideal to use in different types of climates. Electric fireplaces can continue to operate without the heat in use, which means you can use them in both cold and warm climates while maintaining the comfort in the building. Gas fireplaces don’t allow you to shut the heat off and enjoy the look of the flames, which means you always have to have the heat on when you want to create a cozy ambiance in your home or office.
There’s a higher cost associated with running gas fireplaces than an electric fireplace. Gas fireplaces are an average of 40 cents per hour to operate, whereas electric fireplaces are as low as three to eight cents per hour.
Fortunately, both options can increase the resale value of your home and can heat the room quickly when you want to maintain the warmth in the space.
Building a New Surround for Your Fireplace Insert
Those who select an electric fireplace insert may want to build a surround to ensure the feature stands out and looks like it’s a built-in fireplace. A surround creates a furnished look for your fireplace and can allow it to have more visual appeal when you want to draw more attention to it in the room.
Although many types of surrounds are available to purchase, they don’t always look high-quality with beautiful craftsmanship because they’re often mass produced. You can build one yourself with the right materials used. Start by building the two pillars out of 3/4″ MDF while accessing the back to drill holes. Use 1 – 1/4-inch pocket screws and glue when connecting the sides. You’ll need to create three inner supports by using 1 × 3 furring strips.
You can now trim out the pillars and secure the plywood to the bottom of the piece that will go in the front. Trim the front pillars to create a shaker design and style while adding extra decorative elements.
The last step involves constructing the surround box beam header with three-inch screws to attach the back of the surround to your wall to mount and secure it. You’ll need a total of four support pieces for the back and front of the surround. Complete the look of the surround by adding a mantel. This will require preparing the wood, cutting and joining the miters, and attaching it to the surround. Apply a finish to create a finished look that allows it to look like an authentic fireplace.
Changing a Lightbulb in the Fireplace
When a bulb burns out in an infrared electric fireplace, it’s important to know how to replace it to ensure you can continue to enjoy using the feature. With burned out bulbs, the technology won’t look as advanced and can prevent the faux flames from looking real. Fortunately, the task is easy to perform without hiring an electrician to visit your property.
Unplug the electric fireplace and allow it to cool for up to 15 minutes to ensure the parts aren’t hot to the touch. Start by removing the access panel on your infrared electric fireplace, which should be on the front or back of the feature. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws. Gently remove the old bulb by unscrewing it counterclockwise. Avoid applying too much pressure to prevent the glass from breaking. When you discard the bulb, wrap it in heavy paper or cloth to prevent it from shattering in the waste bin. Insert the new bulb, and use gloves to prevent the oil from your hands from transferring to the glass, which can affect its lifespan and how much light it emits.
Once the bulb is replaced, secure the access panel back onto the fireplace unit by adding each screw. Plug the cord back into the outlet and check to see that the bulb illuminates and blends in well with the rest of the LED lights and components. Most bulbs last an average of two years before they burn out.
Discovering the best electric fireplace to use can make it easier to shop for your next fireplace to make it a great addition to your home office or living room. You can enjoy the amount of heat it releases without investing in a real fireplace that loses more of the heat it produces.