A fireplace, any fireplace, not only lends to your home’s ambiance but in many instances, may be one of its selling points. In most cases, a brick and mortar fireplace needs to be incorporated into your home’s original building plans. To incorporate one into more modern homes that are not built with a fireplace as a feature, however, may be quite costly. An electric fireplace, however, fills in that gap, with many looking quite ‘real’ while being environmentally friendly as well. But what is the best electric fireplace for your home? How do you make the decision?
The Three Basic Types of Electric Fireplaces
There are three basic types of fireplaces. All three are quite easy to install or use. It all depends on your own particular style and space where your new feature needs to sit. At the end of the day, choosing the best electric fireplace for you and your family is all about preference.
The Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplace
When it comes to a wall-mounted electric fireplace, some literally hang on your wall. Others, however, can easily be installed inside your drywall. When opting for the latter, and you are not a good handyman, you may consider using the services of a professional, especially when considering building code compliance.
An insert fits inside a pre-existing fireplace. Setting them up inside your fireplace is relatively easy and only needs to be plugged into a standard electric outlet. Many of these fireplaces can be operated in such a way that they either give off heat or not. When choosing the latter you still get to create the ambiance of a log-burning fireplace, albeit artificial, without any heat. This allows you to enjoy a fire even during the summer months.
A fireplace mantel consists of two different parts. The first is the housing or mantel, and the second is the firebox, i.e. the part which gives off the heat. These days, fireplace mantels not only come in a huge variety of styles, but some have wheels attached. This, of course, gives you the flexibility of changing around your décor as and when you like. Others, again, have veered off from the traditional and have become fireplace/television set/bookshelf combos. In essence, they are great space savers and ideal for a smaller home.
The Pros Associated With An Electric Fireplace
The benefits of an electric fireplace are many!
They have little to no maintenance
A wood-burning fireplace creates a lot of ash and fumes that, when traveling up a chimney, result in soot. With an electric fireplace, you not only have no soot in your chimney that needs cleaning, but you do not have to remove any residue from your fireplace either. You just switch it on and enjoy the heat and ambiance provided.
There are no fumes
An electric fireplace gives off no fumes or smells. This means your soft furnishings and curtains never smell like smoke. It does, however, give you the realistic look of a real fire plus the heat.
They are energy efficient
Your home’s heating system is used a lot during the colder winter months. This, of course, results in an increase in your energy bills. An electric fireplace, on the other hands, allows you to effectively heat only the room (or rooms) that you are using without causing that huge increase in your utility bill.
They are easy to install
For the most part, electric fireplaces need no or little installation, unless you opt for an in-wall heater that may need some professional help. For the most part, though, you simply position it where you want and plug it in an electric socket.
The choices are (almost) endless
Electric fireplaces come in a plethora of options as well as designs. This means you are sure to get one in the exact style you are looking for.
The safety consideration
Regular fireplaces get hot, give off fumes, and are not child-friendly. Electric fireplaces, on the other hand, don’t give off any smoke so they will not interfere with breathing. Also, while they might heat up a room, the surrounding is usually cool to the touch, so children will not get burnt so easily if they get close.
Best Electric Fireplace Reviews
The different options that we have selected are, in our opinion, a few of the best free-standing and best wall mounted fireplaces around. Going through them should give you an idea of what is available and may even prod you to choose one.
1. Electric Fireplace by Duraflame Electric
This infrared fireplace gives you the convenience of having a log-burning look-alike during the winter that you can keep indoors or remove during the summer.
- Design features realistic logs and an ember bed
- The fireplace is mounted on locking casters that provide mobility
- It has an anti-tipping counterweight for safety purposes
- Can heat up to a thousand square feet
- Features energy-efficient LED Spectrafire Plus flame technology
- The product has five flame settings, five adjustable brightness settings, and five flame effect colors (Spedtrafire, Amethyst, Campfire, Sapphire, Midnight Fire, and auto cycle)
- Uses electricity to work and has a remote control that operates with 2 AAA batteries
- No assembly is needed
- The adjustable thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature setting to your personal choice
- The product is energy efficient and eco-friendly
- It sports an electronic timer function – anything between thirty minutes and nine hours
2. Wendy Standard Fireplace by Darby Home Co
An elegant design that enhances any home’s appeal, this beautifully designed electric fireplace has fluted side columns and a decorative scroll applique.
- The product is portable and easy to assemble
- The fireplace realistic, multicolored flickering flames and glowing embers and features an interior brick design
- The fireplace operates with energy efficient LED lights that do not need professional installation
- A remote control offers you 4-way adjustability
- An automatic shutoff and glass that remains cool to the touch is an added safety feature
3. Silverton Electric Fireplace by Real Flame
A mesh and glass screen provides added protection to this solid wood and veneered electric fireplace. The clean lines and contemporary style fits in with most interiors.
- A freestanding electric fireplace with programmable thermostat and adjustable temperature
- Warms up to 100 square feet
- The electric fireplace has an automatic shut off
- Fireplace front gets hot when in use
4. Southern Enterprises Tennyson Fireplace with Bookcase
The ivory finish and classic design of this transitional electric fireplace make it the perfect addition to any room.
- The fireplace disperses radiant heat for up to 400 square feet
- The product sports six fixed bookshelves while the mantel is large enough to support a 68.25 inches wide flat panel television set
- Comes in a beautiful ivory finish with a floral design
- The remote control has a child safety lock
5. Clairevale Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace by Wade Logan
This wall-mounted electric fireplace makes it a good option for a home that needs to be child-friendly and warm. It also has a modern, clean stainless steel design.
- Heat is given off the top of the unit
- The fireplace heats an area of up to 400 square sheet
- The remote control enables you to adjust the flame brightness and to choose between two heat settings
- You can add glass crystals to the fireplace
- It has an animated flame
6. Felicity Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace by Classic Flame
The Felicity is an infrared fireplace that gives of moist heat. It can either be hung on a wall, mounted in a wall, or stand independently.
- Supplemental zone heating is provided for up to a thousand square feet
- Three infrared quartz elements are controlled by an adjustable thermostat
- Air humidity is supplied by infrared heat
- A decorative LED sidelight that has five color options – amber, blue, amber and blue, color cycling, and off
7. Valencia Extra Wide Wall Mounted Fireplace by Warm House
The widescreen and uncomplicated style of the Valencia electric fireplace make it excellent for just about any indoor space. The glass and aluminum construction also ensures strength and durability.
- A soothing logwood flame effect
- Dual heat settings and remote control
- Overheat protection with an auto safety shut-off
- The flames can operate either with or without heat
- A half-hour to 7.5-hour built-in timer
- Has a heat resistant tempered glass panel
- As a heating capacity of 400 square feet
8. Touchstone 80001 Onyx Wall Hanging Fireplace
This particular electric heater is easy to mount and has lifelike flames. It has a modern, elegant design that is great for a bedroom or family room.
- This product weighs only 46 pounds, making it perfect for wall-mounting
- It has a high and a low heat setting that heats up to 400 square feet
- There is a five-flame brightness setting
- The realistic flames are set in faux logs or crystals – both are included in the purchase
- The fireplace has a durable tempered glass cover and contemporary black frame
- The dual mode feature allows the fireplace to operate on either low or high heat
- The built-in timer for auto-shutoff can be set for 30 minutes to 7.5 hours
Product reviews on youtube:
9. Sunbury Fireplace by Beachcrest Home
This television stand and electric fireplace combo are simple in style yet imminently functional, especially when space is an issue.
- A simple rectangular design with space for a television set on top while adjustable shelving to the sides gives enough space for books or knick-knacks
- Shelves are adjustable
- Has a convenient cable-management system and four cable management holes
- No assembly is needed
10. Rickard 59″ TV Stand with Fireplace by Zipcode Design
This electric fireplace combines a more traditional-look television stand with a fireplace at its center. The edgy design fits in with most modern home décor.
- The television-fireplace combo has shelves on both sides
- There is a safety mechanism that prevents the fireplace from overheating
11. Altra Furniture Chicago Fireplace TV Stand, 50″, Espresso
Made of laminated MDF and particleboard, the LED light source has up to fifty-thousand hours of life and heats up to 400 square feet of space.
- The open shelf is perfect for AV components
- Side cabinets have glass doors
- The unit has a beautiful wood grain finish
- Accommodates a 50” flat panel television set
- You have the option of putting on the flames without turning up the heat
- The fireplace heats up to 400 square feet
See more on youtube:
12. PuraFlame 33″ Western Electric Fireplace Insert.
This insert electric fireplace has life-like resin logs, an ember flame, and 3-flames variable intensity and brightness that can be used both with or without heat.
- The fireplace has a three-sided brick wall design
- The electronic temperature control allows for precise temperature
- The product has an adjustable thermostat with a temperature range of sixty degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit
- The fireplace gives supplemental heat of up to 400 square feet
- It has a remote control
- The fireplace is easy to install
Electric Fireplace FAQs
1. What to expect from an electric fireplace?
To avoid confusions and regrets, it is important that you know what to expect if you buy an electric fireplace. There are two main uses of an electric fireplace, namely as a heater and as a decorative piece.
As a source of warmth, electric fireplace is excellent supplementary heat source. They are mostly preferred in places wherein winter is not too extreme. For places with heavy snow and frost, central heating system is ideal and electric fireplaces are used as a secondary heater.
They also make a great statement piece in your living room, and the best spot to get cozy at night is in front of the electric fireplace watching the dancing flames.
2. How does electric fireplaces work?
Since it is an electric unit, the power comes from the power source which transfer the electricity to the fireplace. Most electric fireplaces are plug-and-play units which means that you just need to plug them into the outlet and then they are good to go. No need for assembly, so it is actually beginner-friendly.
3. Can I use it indoors?
Absolutely! For indoor use, the electric fireplace is the top go-to choice for many. The main reasons for this are its fume-free operation and lowmaintenance.
The traditional wood burning fireplaces are quite a burden to some because ashes and smoke from the fire put the house in danger as it makes the house susceptible to fire. Moreover, this leaves a burning smell that some people find unpleasant.
Thus, if you shop for the best electric fireplace, make sure you get the clean and smoke-free one.
4. What’s the minimum BTU level to buy?
The BTU level is indeed important as it tells us how well the fireplace can heat up the room. However, you also need to consider the room area and the temperature.
For the winter season, as a rule of thumb dictates, the 5,000 BTU is suitable for rooms around 80-100 square feet. Just add 2,000 BTU for additional 100 square feet area. Fore example, if the room is about 200 square feet, then get a 7,000 BTU electric fireplace and a 91000 BTU unit for 300 square feet.
5. Does the flame effect increase the heating intensity?
The electric fireplaces only have the flame effect. This means that they do not produce real flame as they are electric. Nevertheless, the flame effects of most electric fireplaces are realistic enough and even have some dancing and dimming settings.
But does the effect increase the heat intensity?
Not really. The main purpose of the flame effect is to recreate the flames from the traditional fireplace for aesthetic purposes.
Still, many buyers opt to get the electric fireplace with stunning flame effects as these allows them to use the fireplace as a home interior décor.
6. Can the heat levels be adjusted?
Definitely! In fact, we suggest you get one that has this feature. Although most of the units nowadays include a heat adjustment feature, it is still important to double check the heat adjustment levels. A fireplace with low, medium, and high heat levels is ideal.
The heat adjustment feature is also helpful as you can control the heat temperature depending on how cold the room is. Some rooms have insulated wooden floors and may not need high level of heating.
7. Is there much maintenance needed?
One of the reasons why electric fireplaces are sought-after is because of its low maintenance. No installation needed as most models are plug-and-play. The only thing you have to replace is the bulbs that are responsible for the flame effects. Generally, the bulbs have a lifespan of up to 3 years.
8. What are the features I should look for when buying an electric fireplace?
Of course, you want to get the most of your purchase. Thus, it is important to be familiar with important features to consider when buying one.
Here are the top features to look for:
- Auto shut-off feature- this is for safety purposes;
- Tempered glass front- this protects the unit from overheating and damage as tempered glass is known to be heat-resistant;
- Heat Control Setting- to control and adjust the level of warmth;
- Flame Effect Setting- for models with flame effects, this one allows you to control the size of the flame; and
- BTU maximum level- this depends on the room area as the bigger the space, the higher the BTU level is needed (multiply each square foot with 20 BTU and 40 BTU during extreme winter).
9. What is the best brand to buy?
This is quite a tough question to answer and is actually subjective. As what experts suggest, never make a hasty buying decision. Research is key.
However, we advise you to only buy from reputable brands for safety purposes. It would also help to double check whether the product has undergone standard and quality check like the UL and the CSA certifications.
Some best electric fireplace brands include DuraFlame, Touchstone, and Dimplex.
If you have read until here you are most certainly interested in purchasing an electric fireplace. But deciding on which is the best electric fireplace be difficult, like we found out for ourselves. After much deliberation, however, we decided on the Electric Fireplace by Duraflame Electric. What made up our minds about this one was the different safety-features that are ideal for a home that needs to be childproof. We also like the fact that it is on wheels, allowing you the easy flexibility of moving it around as and when you decide to do some interior decorating.
- 1 The Three Basic Types of Electric Fireplaces
- 2 The Pros Associated With An Electric Fireplace
- 3 Best Electric Fireplace Reviews
- 3.1 1. Electric Fireplace by Duraflame Electric
- 3.2 2. Wendy Standard Fireplace by Darby Home Co
- 3.3 3. Silverton Electric Fireplace by Real Flame
- 3.4 4. Southern Enterprises Tennyson Fireplace with Bookcase
- 3.5 5. Clairevale Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace by Wade Logan
- 3.6 6. Felicity Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace by Classic Flame
- 3.7 7. Valencia Extra Wide Wall Mounted Fireplace by Warm House
- 3.8 8. Touchstone 80001 Onyx Wall Hanging Fireplace
- 3.9 9. Sunbury Fireplace by Beachcrest Home
- 3.10 10. Rickard 59″ TV Stand with Fireplace by Zipcode Design
- 3.11 11. Altra Furniture Chicago Fireplace TV Stand, 50″, Espresso
- 3.12 12. PuraFlame 33″ Western Electric Fireplace Insert.
- 4 Electric Fireplace FAQs
- 5 Conclusion