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How to Buy an Electric Fireplace

Updated on January 24, 2010

Consider an Electric Fireplace

There is nothing like the warm cozy feeling of sitting in front of a crackling fire when the weather outside is wintery and raw. It's not just the physical warmth that is soothing, but the comfort and calming feeling of the fire itself. And, yes, there is a certain romance to the whole crackling fireplace scene, especially when you are seated next to that special someone in your life.
But then the fire goes out and the realization that someone has to clean up the soot and close the flu sets in.

Did you know that you can get that exact same warmth and ambiance from an electric fireplace? It's true. And you don't have to worry about waiting for the fire to burn out so you can close the flu and move on to your next activity (probably sleep).

Advantages of Electric Fireplaces

Buy an Victorian Electric Fireplace

Victorian Electric Fireplace
Victorian Electric Fireplace

Having a real wood-burning fireplace installed in your home can be a headache waiting to happen. It’s incredibly expensive to maintain, a tedious chore at times, and it can pose a number of structural problems. Perhaps it's time for you to experience all the joys of having a fireplace without the headache and cost involved.
An electric fireplace will fulfill all the great qualities of a real fireplace, and chances are that your guests will never know that it is not real. The electric fireplaces you can buy today are so lifelike that the casual observer would not realize that your is not real.
What's more, due to some very convenient features, electric fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular. Consider the following about electric fireplaces:

  • Low cost
  • Ease of use
  • Overall safety

As already alluded to, with an electric fireplace, you don’t have to worry about extinguishing the logs before you go to bed at night. In addition, you don't have to worry about replenishing the wood supply or even having to go get more wood for your fireplace (especially when it's raining or snowing out at the wood pile). Finally there is no messy cleanup after the fire goes out - no soot on the carpet, no soot on your hands - it's a win, win situation.

How to Buy an Electric Fireplace

Buy an Amish Style Electric Fireplace

Amish Style Electric Fireplace
Amish Style Electric Fireplace

When you decide to add an electric fireplace to your home, you have several options to choose from. Electric fireplaces come in a wide range of styles. There are traditional wood surrounds with mantels or vintage looking metal stoves. There are even wall mounted versions of electric fireplaces. You will have no trouble finding the right electric fireplace to fit your decorative needs.
Most large home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowes offer a few electric fireplaces. But to be sure to find just the right electric fireplace for your needs, check online to find a reputable electric fireplace dealer.

Regardless of the method you use to shop for your electric fireplace, there are a few things you should consider before finalizing the purchase.

Location: Where do you want to place your fireplace? Is there anything that would hinder its placement there? Is it a very large room? Is it away from curtains or any other materials? Although electric fireplaces do not use real flames, the blower motor does blow out warm air, so keeping it clear of curtains and fabrics should be considered.

Style: What type of decor do you have? If the room where you will place the fireplace has a rural or rustic design, then a Victorian Style electric fireplace may look perfect in the room. On the other hand, if the room is classically designed, then an electric fireplace with a traditional mantle would probably look best. There are even Amish Style Fireplaces that have the look of the wonderful wood craftsmanship of those well known carpenters.

Heat Output: The size of the room will also determine what BTU the electric fireplace should include. Most units have an output of about 5000 btu's, which will heat a room of about 400 square feet. They also come with a thermostat to keep the room at just the right temperature. The last thing you want is to have an electric fireplace in a room and not feel the effect of its heat!

With wood burning fireplaces, you have no control over how much heat is generated. That is another plus for an electric fireplace. With its built in thermostat, you can control the room temperature with complete confidence that it will not be too hot or too cold. The electronically controlled flames give the appearance of a fire whether the heater is producing heat or not. It is the best of both worlds.

Electric fireplaces also make it easy to personalize your room. A regular fireplace is set in place and cannot be moved. An electric fireplace offers the flexibility to rearrange the room, including the fireplace, so you can have a fresh feel to the room whenever you wish.

One last word of caution - before buying your electric fireplace, make sure you have the right amount of electricity available. If you are unsure, contact an electrician. Most electric fireplaces use an ordinary electric outlet to plug into, but it is always better to be safe rather than sorry. In the worst of cases, a new circuit may have to be run to support the electric fireplace, especially if you decide that you want to place it where there is no electric service outlet nearby. Your new electric fireplace should be plugged directly into an outlet, not using any extension cord.

Once you have your new electric fireplace set up and running, you can grab your book and your special someone to enjoy a worry free evening of warmth and coziness.


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    • profile image

      John C 6 years ago

      This is a really helpful guide.

      I agree, electric fireplaces have many benefits especially for safety. I think we should also follow safety guidelines in using this to be truly safe. Here some helpful electric fireplace safety guide -

    • profile image

      Wayne 7 years ago

      How true, I have an electric fireplace in my basement because my ductwork isn't sufficient to keep that part of the house warm enough.

      It works like a charm.

    • profile image

      RealFlame Gas Fires 7 years ago

      Electric fireplaces are a great alternative when wood fires just aren't an option...

      What do people think of gas fires? Personally, having worked in the industry for a while, I consider them generally superior to electric fires

    • ElectricFireplace profile image

      ElectricFireplace 8 years ago from Florence, AL

      This is a great contribution about the advantages of an electric fireplace including a wall mount electric fireplace. Also, you cover the bases of what is important when shopping for an electric fireplace: location in the home, style, heat output, and budget. I know that you have helped your readers who are ready to choose electric fireplaces for their homes.

    • thewayeyeseeit profile image

      thewayeyeseeit 8 years ago from Woodstock, GA

      Amen brother! And no mess either.

    • profile image

      Dave Darcy 8 years ago

      I love that I won't have to cut wood ever again!