For those that want to spice up their living room décor, a new electric fireplace is a great choice. When people start researching electric fireplaces to buy, they might notice that many are infrared fireplace units. Of course, not all infrared units are the same. This post will cover the differences between infrared heating types and which type you should ensure is included with your fireplace.
In this post, you will learn:
- What Are The Key Differences Between a Standard Infrared Fireplace and an Infrared Quartz Fireplace? – To start, we’ll jump right into the major differences between different types of infrared heating. We’ll cover the pros and cons and explain how each works.
- What Are The Different Infrared Electric Fireplace Models and Their Uses? – Regardless of which heating type you go with, electric fireplaces come in a variety of types and styles. We’ll highlight the most common ones that are best for certain situations.
- Why Is an Infrared Fireplace Better For a New Home Over a Wood-Burning Fireplace? – A traditional fireplace in your home can be a lot of work. However, that isn’t the only reason to shy away from wood fireplaces. Here we explain why getting an electric fireplace will make your life easier and your home safer.
- What Are Some Additional Features To Consider When Shopping For an Electric Fireplace With an Infrared Quartz Heater? – Beyond heating and fireplace body style, there are other features you need to be aware of before purchasing. Here, we’ll cover some common features you might want to be included before you select a fireplace to buy.
- Should People Buy Trusted Brand Names, or Are Generic Options Sufficient? – Although the prices can be on the lower end with generic fireplaces, the quality of the fireplaces can be too. Here we tackle why trying to save a little now can cost you a lot more later.
- Does MagikFlame Make The Best Electric Fireplace That Uses a Quartz Heat Source? – Finally, we’ll give a full breakdown of MagikFlame fireplaces and why they are such a smart choice.
What are the key differences between a standard infrared fireplace and an infrared quartz fireplace?
Infrared light isn’t visible light to human eyes. Instead, we feel it as infrared heat. This is similar to how some night vision goggles work. They see the infrared heat given off by objects and convert it into a spectrum of light that is visible to our eyes.
An infrared fireplace uses this same type of infrared heating to warm your home. Of course, an infrared heater can come in a couple of different types. One type of heating technology is found in a standard infrared fireplace heater. These are infrared coils that are often made of a metal wire element. The material is Chromel. Chromel is a combination of both chrome and nickel. This material has a heat output due to infrared radiating heat.
Another type of modern electric fireplace heater that uses infrared technology involves quartz. Infrared coils made of quartz are much more powerful and efficient. They also last much longer than metal wire coils. An infrared fireplace heater using quartz can heat a large room, while a standard infrared unit will have trouble warming the same square feet. With quartz fireplace heaters, it isn’t heat-radiation. Instead, it is convection. Cool air in the room is pulled through the fireplace. The quartz coil immediately warms the surrounding air. The now warm air can be gently pushed out of the blower. Blowing this warm air into your home will allow that air to warm even more cool air. This treats your home as an efficient oven. It works much better than the radiating heat of standard infrared metal wire coils.
Neither type of infrared heating unit requires venting. They don’t produce any debris or harmful emissions you need to worry about. This also means that installation is easier. It also means that they can easily be used in rental properties. You don’t need to own your home to utilize an electric fireplace with infrared heating. This also means they can easily fit into smaller spaces. This can be small rooms in a house, but it can also be in an apartment or a condo. Also, neither type of heating will dry out the air in your home. This makes them ideal for anyone that suffers from respiratory issues.
While both types of infrared heating are unusable during a power outage, this is where their shared disadvantages stop. Standard infrared heating units simply aren’t as efficient or powerful when compared to infrared quartz. High-end electric fireplaces such as MagikFlame that use quartz can warm much larger areas at a lower electrical cost. For instance, the quality heater inside of MagikFlame warms a large area of up to 1,000 square feet. Standard metal wired infrared heating units can’t compete with this. Additionally, most cheaper fireplaces that use standard infrared heating also tend to disappoint in other ways. They usually have very poor fire effects, and sometimes they don’t have fire effects at all.
Due to the powerful heating, efficient electricity use, and often higher-end fire effects, you should always choose electric fireplaces that use quartz for their infrared heating.
What are the different infrared electric fireplace models and their uses?
Now that you know what type of heater is best, you might be confused by the multitude of fireplace choices. Below, we break down these different varieties commonly used in homes. We’ll also cover why you might want one type over another in a particular scenario. We’ll also warn you about some types that shouldn’t be used if you want a good fireplace. Here is the list:
- Mantel Package – The most popular type of electric fireplace is a unit that comes as a combination of a fireplace and a traditional mantel to surround it. These are installed on the floor against a flat wall of any room in your house. A fireplace like this has all the traditional aesthetics of classic wood fireplaces, with all the advantages of electric fireplaces. The reason it comes as a combination package is that often the mantel and fireplace are not yet put together. You connect them during your installation. Having the pieces come separately allows manufacturers to offer different types and styles of mantels. A great thing about these is that you can easily swap out the mantel at a future date if you choose to update your home’s décor.
- Corner Fireplace – There is very little difference between the function of this kind of unit and a mantel package unit. Corner units work the same. However, they are built to fit in corners. Corner fireplaces are ideal if you are limited on space. By putting one of these corner fireplaces in your home, you save a lot of space along the flat walls for other furniture and items. Additionally, a fireplace in the corner has an interesting aesthetic appeal compared to regular flat wall models. You can place a small TV on top of them, build shelving above the unit, and more. If you have a home with an irregular layout, a corner unit can be a great way to shift the focus in a way that fits your irregular layout.
- Wall Mount Fireplace– These fireplaces have a slightly more modern appeal. Instead of sitting on the ground like a standard mantel package, they are mounted to hang on the wall. Commonly, they are installed into recessed walls, allowing the fireplace to sit flush with the wall. Embedding the fireplace like this is another great space-saving idea. Having the fireplace inside the wall gives you a lot more walking area and accessibility in front of it. Of course, standard mantels will look strange with wall-mounted units. They are too high up on the ground in most cases. If you would still enjoy a mantel, you can try a floating mantel just below the fireplace. When decorating this type of mantel, ensure the fireplace blower isn’t blocked.
- Electric Fireplace Insert – Inserts are the ideal way to convert traditional wood fireplaces into electric types. This isn’t all they are good for. Their versatility allows for much more. With an insert, you can purchase mantels from third-party vendors, allowing you many more mantel choices than whatever the fireplace manufacturer offers. Additionally, building a custom mantel around an insert can be an exciting DIY adventure.
- Electric Fireplace TV Stand– A fireplace built directly into a media console or entertainment center can help save space. It does this by combining these two common items into a single unit. Of course, entertainment center fireplaces aren’t always the best way for you to go. The fireplaces in them usually need to be smaller than average. This means both the heating and fire effects have the potential to suffer. While you can get an entertainment center fireplace for a flat wall or a corner, be cautious when purchasing and ensure the fireplace heating and effects are what you require.
- Freestanding Space Heater– Portable heaters have their uses, but many can only warm small areas. This is because too much is trying to be accomplished in a small and limited unit. If you need a small space heating device for a rare occasion, that is fine. Avoid space heating devices if you are looking for a serious and permanent fireplace for your home.
- Electric Fireplace Stove – Not everyone enjoys modern types of fireplaces. Some people like older rustic fireplaces. This can be accomplished with this fireplace type that mimics older wood stoves.
Why is an infrared fireplace better for a new home than a wood-burning fireplace?
The first reason that most people will want an electric fireplace over a wood fireplace is that wood fireplaces are a big hassle. There is no end to the work required to use, clean, and maintain wood fireplaces. Electric fireplaces are completely simplified in comparison. You can use them at the push of a button. Cleaning is never more involved than light dusting when you clean the entire room. Maintenance isn’t an issue, especially if you invest in quality brands that are reliable and last a long time.
To put wood fireplaces in new homes, you can’t simply ask your home builder to do it. You’ll first need to consult with an architect. It is a long and expensive process. Some people who use an interior designer might also need to consult with them. This is to ensure the fireplace fits with other interior design plans.
With electric fireplaces, none of these concerns are there. As a fun home improvement endeavor, you can simply install an electric fireplace yourself. Even with homes with wood fireplaces, you can remodel them to be electric. You do this using an electric insert.
Fireplaces that run on electricity don’t burn anything for fuel. The lack of flames means venting isn’t needed. This makes installation easier and gives more freedom of where you want it in your home. You can install the perfect electric fireplace to keep your family room warm. Or, you can put an electric fireplace in your bedroom, game room, or even a home office.
What are some additional features to consider when shopping for an electric fireplace with an infrared quartz heater?
An important feature of any electric fireplace is if it can successfully emulate the ambiance of the real flame found in traditional fireplaces. With realistic flame simulation found in higher-end electric fireplace brands like MagikFlame, you can expect the experience to feel completely authentic.
Some brands have a log set that rests cozily in the firebox to enhance the realistic fireplace atmosphere. Having logs in the fireplace gives a more realistic environment for the fire effects to flicker and dance. Often, these logs are placed over an artificial glowing ember bed.
The fireplace mantel is an important piece. This will always be seen even if your fireplace isn’t on. Therefore, you should get a mantel with a style and material that you like. You can find mantels in espresso wood, white oak, and other types of wood. There are also mantels made of stone, marble, and more. Your mantel choices aren’t limited to one company. You can use that insert with any third-party mantel that fits it.
Safety features are another thing to consider. You want a quality fireplace with great safety features, so you don’t need to worry about an electric fireplace as people worry about wood fireplaces. These features can include things like protection from overheating with an overheating sensor and more. Also, you should only buy an electric fireplace if it is UL certified.
While it is common for electric fireplaces to be equipped with remote control, some companies take it a step further. When you start looking at premium fireplaces, you’ll notice there is more of a focus on controlling a fireplace with your smartphone. With these luxury smartphone apps, you’ll be able to set the thermostat to the perfect temperature, cycle through flame effect types, and much more.
Should people buy trusted brand names, or are generic options sufficient?
Before you pull your credit card out of your wallet and purchase generic fireplaces listed as best sellers, there are some things you should know about. Buying generic electric fireplaces will cost you more money than you think you are saving. This is due to the poor quality of the device. These cheaper generic units use standard infrared heating with a metal wire coil. They are disappointingly inefficient. Your heating bill will be considerably higher than purchasing a trusted brand that uses quartz for its infrared heating.
Beyond the obvious heating issues, build quality is also lacking. Don’t expect to get something sturdy that will last a long time. Instead, you can expect unreliable fireplaces on casters and other bad ideas.
Flame colors and effects suffer a lot with generic brands. They attempt to compensate for their poor performance with strange neon colors and rainbow flames. Although the flashy colors might fool some people, they should be considered a red flag. These fire effects rarely look at all realistic and fail to capture the essence of a traditional fireplace.
There are some different brands of electric fireplaces that use infrared heating. Duraflame has the DFI unit. Many Dimplex models, like their Opti-Myst, use infrared heating. Lifesmart has an infrared-style fireplace made for a large room. There are also brands like ClassicFlame and more. However, for an electric fireplace with superior infrared heating using quartz coils, Magikflame is your best choice.
Does MagikFlame make the best electric fireplace that uses a quartz heat source?
MagikFlame’s beautiful models come with several features that put them ahead of their competitors. These features include things like:
- Ultrarealistic Flame Effect – Good fire effects should look like real flame. This is exactly what you get with MagikFlame fireplaces. Their fire effects are so realistic because of the HoloFlame technology. This technology gives you 3D flames that are projected inside of the fireplace. You can see the flames dance around and flicker realistically. You’ll also see embers sparking off the flames. Of course, you aren’t limited to just a single flame style with your fireplace. MagikFlame units come with 30 distinct types of flames. You can toggle between different types to set whatever mood you choose.
- Crackling Log Sounds – The visual fire effects are already quite stunning. However, they are enhanced with the sounds of crackling logs. The sounds of these crackling logs give an auditory atmosphere to compliment the flickering of the flames. Additionally, there are some sounds of nature that a MagikFlame fireplace can also play.
- 5,200 BTU Heat – The infrared quartz heater inside of MagikFlame fireplaces has a 5,200 BTU output and can warm up to 1,000 square feet. This means a single MagikFlame unit can handle most apartments, condos, and small to medium houses. People who own larger homes can still benefit from MagikFlame fireplaces due to supplemental heat. MagikFlame can help the central heating unit to warm larger homes. Additionally, you can utilize zone heating with more than one MagikFlame in the home. By heating in zones, you are essentially heating smaller areas when people are in them rather than heating the entire house. This allows MagikFlame to help you save money on your heating, even with an exceptionally large home.
- Smartphone App – Many electric fireplaces will have an included remote control unit with basic functionality. However, with a MagikFlame, you will get so much more. The exclusive app for your smartphone will control every part of your fireplace. You can also install it on a tablet if you prefer to use one with a smart house system. Regardless of what device you install it on, you will see big graphic buttons to control vital aspects of your fireplace. Beyond simply turning the fireplace on and setting the temperature, it can do much more. With the app, you can select between different fire effects, different audio sounds, and some extra features. Because it is an app on your phone and not a standard remote, you don’t have to worry about changing the remote’s batteries or adding it to an already overwhelming pile of remotes in your home. With the app for your smartphone, you don’t even need to have a line of sight to the fireplace to control features.