Electric Fireplaces – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are you possibly interested in getting an electric fireplace, but have some burning questions that you’d like to answer first? Take a look at these frequently asked questions and perhaps your curiosity can be satisfied:

 

  1. Are electric fireplaces energy efficient?

Electric fireplaces tend to be extremely energy efficient; in fact, they are often much more energy efficient that traditional fireplaces for various reasons. For instance, they do not rely on a form of combustion to create their heat and light (which is not ideal or efficient) and tend to use cost-saving technology such as LED lights. In addition, because an electric fireplace does not require a vent normally, you can save energy costs on heating and cooling your home, since normally the vent on a traditional fireplace exposes the house to the outside environment, resulting in a loss of energy.

 

  1. Is it possible to place an electric fireplace in a corner?

Yes. Since an electric fireplace doesn’t need to be attached to a chimney or other such structure, and in fact many electric fireplaces don’t even need a separate mantle, you can place them just about anywhere that you would like. Some electric fireplaces can even be mounted on the wall if you would prefer to save space or to set them up near you entertainment center. You need not be held back by the shape of the space where you want to put your fireplace because these devices are so versatile. Place an electric fireplace wherever you would like (as long as it is safe to do so).

 

  1. Are electric fireplaces safe?

Electric fireplaces are safer than even traditional fireplaces. Not only do they keep the room warm and lit without the possible dangers of a real fire, but they also help prevent the accumulation of water vapor (and thus harmful mold growth that can affect the respiratory system) by not needing a vent that is connected to the outside of the house. In addition, with an electric fireplace, there is no risk of inhaling any dangerous fumes that can be the result of combustion. Most of them also have internal kill-switches that monitor the temperature of the device and automatically turn it off if it gets too hot. Overall, they are a much better solution if safety is a concern for you.

 

  1. Is it hard to assemble?

This certainly depends on the specific fireplace, but generally-speaking, electric fireplaces are much more simple to assemble than traditional fireplaces because they don’t require you to cut holes in the wall or compromise the structural integrity of the house. In fact, many electric fireplaces do not require assembly at all, and the only set up involved is to place the device in a mantle or wall mount and plug it into the nearest wall socket before turning it on. As long as you have a standard AC outlet within reach, assembly is usually not a problem when it comes to electric fireplaces.

 

  1. What are the possible mantel colors?

When it comes to mantels, the sky is the limit in terms of style and color. You can choose anything that matches the interior design and decoration of your house, whether this might be a more traditional color scheme or a more modern and sleek look. There are many different types of ready-made mantels that you can buy which come with electric fireplaces built in. Some of them are made of hard wood and can fit a wide array of décor with that classic look, and others might have a brick style to them. They can range in color from woodsy browns to jet black.

 

  1. How do electric fireplaces work?

Electric fireplaces work by taking AC electricity from your wall outlet and translating that electricity into heat and light, rather than using combustion of wood to achieve that same effect in the way that traditional fireplaces do. Usually, an electric fireplace will essentially have a space heater that will blow heat into the room that you place it in, and different styles of fireplace can accommodate differently-sized rooms. (This can depend on the wattage of the device.) In addition, electric fireplaces will also tend to have artificial flames lit by an LED backlight. All of this is usually adjustable by the user.

 

  1. Is it possible to remote control them?

Yes. In fact, most electric fireplaces have remote controls in addition to controls on their mantels, with which you can often adjust the intensity of the heat as well as the brightness or pattern of the artificial flames in the hearth. Sometimes you can also use the remote to control an internal timer if the fireplace has one, as well; these “sleep timers” allow you to set a time when you want your fireplace to automatically shut off. If the fireplace has a thermostat, you can also set the ideal temperature that you want the fireplace to maintain using a remote on many units.

 

  1. Does the flame effect look real?

The look of the flames will depend on the fireplace unit that you decide to buy, and some units project more realistic flames than others, but generally-speaking, yes, electric fireplaces can produce fairly realistic-looking flames using modern technology. The flames flicker in a random pattern just as real flames do and they tend to have the same orange glow and translucent look as well. For many people, the flames look realistic enough that they can easily relax and stare into them as they might with a traditional fireplace, without really noticing a difference. You can also usually control the intensity and sometimes even the look of the flames via remote.

 

  1. Are they expensive?

Electric fireplaces tend to be less expensive than their traditional brethren, though the prices of course vary. You can buy extremely inexpensive wall-mounted fireplaces that do not require a mantel and save a lot of money. If you’re interested in a more classic look, then you can pick fireplace that comes with a stylish mantel, though these do tend to be a little more expensive than the simpler ones. All in all, you can spend as much or as little as you like, but in general they are a much less expensive option than a “real” fireplace, both in the sense of an up-front price, and also in the potential savings over time. Remember that fuel (electricity) for an electric fireplace is much cheaper than the fuel required for one that using combustion, and that you will also save money in heating and cooling costs by not having a vent that leads to the outside of your house.

 

  1. Do I have to discharge the fumes?

As mentioned before, electric fireplaces do not require vents because they don’t create any smoke or fumes. Since they don’t perform any sort of combustion the way that traditional fireplaces do, a chimney or other such point of discharge is not required. Electric fireplaces do not pollute the air anywhere near your home, and are a great green alternative to traditional fireplaces in part for this reason. The only point of discharge on an electric fireplace is the vent that will blow hot air into the room, but there are no fumes or noxious gases associated with this, of course, because the device produced heat only using electricity.

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