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Electric Fireplace Insert

Updated on November 23, 2009

Even if you have a fireplace in your home, you might not utilize it as much as you would like. Electric fireplace inserts are a possible solution to this problem. An electric fireplace insert is a contraption that slides right into your existing brick, slate, or limestone fireplace and simulates a real fire. You can use them no matter what your original fireplace designs were.  There are usually fake logs or electric fireplace insert logs that look like they are burning when light bulb configurations behind them turn on. Another name some people might use to describe these are ventless fireplace logs since electric inserts do not need ventilation. Some electric fireplace inserts are more complex and will allow you to change the intensity of the light to give the appearance of a small fire, large fire, or only glowing embers. There are also electric fireplace inserts for sale that are wall mounted. You do not need a hearth for these types of machines, so they can bring the joy of a fireplace to any home. The wall mounted electric fireplaces are great for outdoor patio fireplaces.

Electric fireplace inserts plug into an electrical outlet and come in many varieties.  First, some models only emit light and do not serve as a heat source.  Other models come equipped with heating lamps.  Even the heating models, do not give off as much heat as a wood burning or gas fireplace would.  Generally, if you fireplace is going to be your main source of heating then electrical fireplace inserts are not a good choice for you.  No matter what type of electric fireplace insert you choose, there are many advantages.

First, there is no soot and time-consuming cleanup needed. Electric inserts do not actually burn anything so you will not need to spend hours cleaning out the hearth or paying a chimney sweep to clean your flu. This lack of maintenance needs mean your electric fireplace accessories can be just decoration.  Another advantage is that electric fireplace inserts are portable. You can move the insert from room to room in your house if you have more than one fireplace. Alternatively, you can even take it with you to a friend’s or family member’s house. In addition, they are not a permanent installation. Therefore, if you wanted to make a regular wood burning fire at some point it is easy to remove the insert and put those iron fireplace tools to good use building a real fire. You will love the versatility of these fireplace inserts.

Many people use a fireplace to add heat to the rooms in their homes that are used often so that they can save on energy costs. There may be some concern that the electric fireplace inserts will use a lot of electricity and make energy savings nonexistent. That is far from the case. Electric fireplace insert reviews say that the machines run very efficiently and do not use very much electricity. The only problem that has been reported with electric fireplace inserts is that they do not give off a sufficient amount of heat for some people. If that is the case, you could investigate a propane or natural gas fireplace insert. These fireplace inserts give off more heat, but they are more dangerous to work with and need ventilation so it is recommended that you have a professional install them.

Some inserts come equipped with extras like filters or blowers. Electric fireplace inserts with blower attachments are a good way to help distribute the heat generated by your electric fire to the rest of the room. There are also special electric inserts that have filters or air treatment systems on them to help clean the air of dust and particles. Another extra you might find with your electric fireplace insert is safe glass in the hearth fireplace doors. Some inserts will have doors made of safe glass that does not get hot. This is a prudent safety measure if you have small children or particularly curious pets.  Of course, if you do not want doors, you can always use modern fireplace screens.

When you are considering buying an electric fireplace insert, it is very important that you see a floor model in use if you can. Some inserts look more realistic than others and it is important that you see it so you can make a judgment as to whether or not you will be comfortable with that particular electric fireplace in your home. Some manufacturers go so far as to add crackling noise tracks to the fireplace to make it sound like a real wood fire burning. In addition to its authenticity, you also want to make sure the style will look right with wood fireplace mantels or other fireplace surrounds in your home. Electric fireplace inserts vary in price from just a few hundred dollars up to more than a thousand. If you want something that looks realistic and is efficient then you should plan to spend between four and five hundred dollars. One very popular brand is the Dimplex electric fireplace insert. Dimplex is a very trusted brand and among the leaders in this industry.  The Dimplex website has excellent brochures complete with lots of outdoor fireplace pictures and indoor pictures of the various models to choose from.


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      Ramlal 4 years ago

      RhythmRhythm speeds up the blood prsseure, breathing rate and pulse. Soon the body can’t resist the temptation to jump into action. Beta waves in the brain make a person react to the rhythm, first slowly, then progressively quicker, as the rhythm dictates. These vibrating impulses travel through the spinal cord towards the arm and leg muscles. Like a puppet on a string, the body wants – then starts to move. An upbeat tempo like “Jesus Christ, Superstar” leaves you with no choice: what begins with toe tapping and finger snapping, drives you to jump out of your chair to dance.Elisabeth Miles, who authored the book “TUNE YOUR BRAIN: Using music to manage your mind, body and mood” (Berkley Books) states that rhythmic movements create endorphins in the brain. These chemicals are the creators of the “feel-good feelings”.It’s therefore no coincidence, that the rhythmic bells at Christmas or the rapping of the drums at Nazi rallies, the cling-clang of the Hare Krishna or the pounding on a hollow tree trunk by a medicine man usurp a communal response to follow a leader. Call it the pied-piper syndrome.Adding happy lyrics to a rhythmic tune eases the primary intention of helping to memorize the music. But by no means are lyrics the most important of the two. Rhythm alone is enough to create the pied-piper effect. In the days that the liturgy was in Latin, songs were not understood by the masses. The tunes, however were easily assimilated, despite the absence of comprehension, because the melodies were hummed and the rhythm clapped which drilled the music into the churchgoer’s memory. Often gospel lyrics were corrupted with the native language to resemble a childlike nonsensical nursery rhyme.Researchers discovered that music doesn’t have to be happy to make a lasting effect on people. (I think suddenly of “The Lorelei” in “The Holocaust”). Sad, somber, melancholic, downbeat and depressing melodies, like the ones droned to death at funerals set people at ease and bring comfort and humbleness, as long as they are aesthetically high rated. “It is perceived as pleasurable, despite the sad content” remarks Valerie Stratton, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Stratton goes on to say that listening to smooth hum-like Gregorian chants is an effective method of relaxation, whether during group therapy or while on a solo walk in the woods. This explains the effect monasteries have had for centuries on the condition of mental patients. The soothing, simple, predictable rhythm patterns lower the blood prsseure and muscle tension and slow the heart beat from a regular 75 beats a minute to a mere 50.Dr. Stratton also refers to the so called “Mozart-effect”: a background of Mozart sonatas has proven to improve performance on space-time reasoning tests. Unfortunately, the opposite has been evidenced to be true too. Tests suggest that overstimulating rhythms, with little or no creative value, stifle the perception and concentration of the test takers. When lyrics with incoherent subliminal messages were added, and repeated at high frequency, test takers were driven to annoyance and aggressive behavior.Like with the visual arts, religion has made efficient use of music throughout history. Even the denominations that forbid music in their services use the influence of rhythm on a person’s mood by means of the preacher’s speech pattern. A short-long boom and drone scheme of syllables by a preacher’s voice draws attention just as a concussion instrument does. The speech pattern is lessened to a basic beat. It is just as suggestive as the rhythm produced by a musical instrument and invites the congregation to join in with hand clapping, knee-jerking and hip swaying.Foremost though, religious leaders have made use of upbeat and downbeat music to alter the mood of the masses to fit their intentions and expectations, whether it be for saintly celebrations as an escape from the misery of poverty or for the preparations of war. Whether a musical composition is stormy and pounding or serene and fatigued, the church shepherds will go to great length to turn that tune into the right rhythm for their sheep to march on.

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      ElectricFireplace 7 years ago from Florence, AL

      Maria Kay, thank you for your introduction to electric fireplace inserts. You are very thorough in explaining exactly what they are, the choices and accessories that are available in the market, and their advantages compared to traditional fireplaces.

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      Amy 7 years ago

      Wow...I had no idea how realistic electric fireplaces are! We have a broken gas fireplace that we were going to get fixed, but now I am thinking of converting it!