Almost everybody loves the feeling they get while sitting around a cozy fireplace. From the crackling of the embers and the warmth of the flames to holiday occasions and stories told around the hearth—fireplaces are a tradition in the American lifestyle. However, while fireplaces are beautiful additions to any home, the maintenance and cost required to maintain a traditional fireplace can quickly become a headache. Moreover, some homeowners and apartment-dwellers may cringe at the expense of installing a fireplace from scratch, which can run as high as $7,000, depending on the type.
As an economical option that doesn’t sacrifice design or character, electric fireplace heaters are rapidly becoming popular alternatives to traditional fireplaces. Available in traditional mantel, wall-mount, and fireplace insert designs, these fireplaces offer a variety of installation and décor options—all while keeping your maintenance and energy costs in check. Read on to find out how these newer types of room heaters can add the same ambiance to your environment as a traditional fireplace while reducing maintenance costs and maximizing your energy savings.
Types of Electric Fireplaces
Electric fireplaces are convenient, virtually hassle-free alternatives to the traditional fireplace. These vent-free room heaters are available in three basic types: electric fireplace mantels, such as the Southern Enterprises Calvert Electric Fireplace; wall-mount electric fireplaces, such as the Napoleon EF39HD Electric Fireplace; and electric fireplace inserts, like the Dimplex DFI2310 23-Inch Electric Fireplace Insert. Each type comes in a wide range of designs and finishes to suit nearly any décor, so you can be assured that you’ll find one that fits your preference.
Electric fireplace mantels typically feature two main components, a vent-free firebox with realistic flame effect that plugs into any standard 120-volt wall outlet and a separate mantel that houses the firebox. Fireplace mantels such as those by Southern Enterprises are available in a variety of colors and finishes, and some even double as media consoles. These models, including the SEI Kingsbury Media Console Electric Fireplace, feature shelving for extra storage and some models have dedicated spots for your television.
Wall-mount electric fireplaces are available in hanging models and models that install directly into drywall. Hanging electric fireplaces, such as the Dimplex Sahara Wall Mount Fireplace, usually include all mounting hardware required for installation along with easy-to-follow instructions in the owner’s manual. Electric fireplaces designed to be installed in drywall, like the Napoleon EF30 Electric Fireplace with Logs, may require professional installation to ensure that the heater is installed in accordance with building code. The Napoleon EF30 model is flexible in that it can also be installed in drywall, in an existing mantel, or directly on a wall.
Electric fireplace inserts are designed to fit inside existing fireplaces, including almost any size brick- or steel-lined hearth. The inserts, such as the Dimplex DFI2309 Electric Fireplace Insert, often feature LED inner glow logs with pulsating embers to give you a surprisingly realistic flame effect without the upkeep. Setup is simple too. Simply plug the fireplace insert into a standard 120-volt outlet and center it inside your fireplace. You can also operate many fireplace inserts with or without heat, which makes them great year-round additions to your décor.
Low Maintenance and Operating Costs
Another reason that electric fireplaces are great alternatives to traditional wood-burning or gas fireplaces is because they require virtually no upkeep. That means no aches and pains caused by hauling firewood inside or contorting to clean the chimney. Most electric fireplaces only require occasional dusting and cleaning of the glass on the firebox. However, some fireplaces, such as the Napoleon EF39HD Wall-Mount Fireplace, require replacement light bulbs to illuminate the realistic ember bed. In addition to incredibly low maintenance needs, electric fireplaces have exceptionally low operating costs. One-hundred percent energy-efficient, these units operate for just pennies a day and use about the same energy as a standard coffee maker.
Eco-Friendly and Safe
In comparison to wood-burning fireplaces and gas fireplaces that produce fumes and other hazardous byproducts, electric fireplaces are an incredibly environmentally-friendly way to enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a fireplace. They produce no harmful emissions or pollutants and do not consume wood or fossil fuels, helping to protect the environment. Moreover, there is no combustion process involved, and fireboxes equipped with glass typically remain cool to the touch. This feature, coupled with the overheat protection available on many models, means more safety. Additionally, electric fireplaces will not contribute to indoor moisture, mold growth, or ventilation issues. Some electric fireplaces by Dimplex even work to improve your indoor air by using air filters that clean the air multiple times per hour.
For many consumers, electric fireplaces are becoming go-to replacements to expensive traditional fireplaces. They offer rustic appeal, safety, low maintenance, and eco-friendly operation at a surprisingly low cost. In addition, extra features including remote controls, multiple heat settings (including no-heat options), easy-to-use control panels, and air filters are helping these revolutionary room heaters become popular choices for homeowners and apartment-dwellers alike.
Still Have Questions?
For more information on a specific electric fireplaces or any of our other products that help improve your indoor air and comfort, review our extensive online catalog and visit our Learning Center. Not sure what’s best for you? We can take the guesswork out of decision-making. Contact one of our air treatment specialists toll-free at 1-800-934-9194. We want to help make your indoor environment healthy and comfortable.