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Installing An Electric Fireplace is Easer Than You Imagined

Updated on August 22, 2010

You have been eying that electric fireplace in the hardware store, wondering whether or not you should take the leap and install it in your own home or apartment. What type of work does it require? Will I need to hire a contractor to install it? Do I have to tear down walls or remodel anything? What will my landlord say? Luckily, electric fireplaces are easy to install and typically require no renovation.

Many electric fireplaces can be installed as freestanding pieces of furniture or installed into a preexisting fireplace. The latter of which are often called electric fireplace inserts. The former often come in kits that provide four things, the firebox, the base, the mantel that surrounds the firebox, and the trim or accessories that come for the firebox. However, before buying that electric fireplace be sure to check for a few critical pieces of information.

The first important piece of information is to check whether or not the electric fireplace requires that it be vented. What this means is that the fireplace will require a chimney or vent to funnel exhaust is creates outside. Ventless fireplaces do not require this and are best for homes without a preexisting fireplace. The second piece of information is to see if it has met the CSA, CGA, and/or AGA standards for safety and operation. For American products there may not be a CSA or CGA certification as they are for Canada. The last is to look at its heat output via BTU ratings. Most electric fireplaces will have BTU outputs of between 4,000 and 5,000 BTUs. This enough heat to warm a single large room.

Installing the electric fireplace comes in four easy steps.

1. Place the hearth the firebox will rest on against a wall, preferably close to an electrical outlet.

2. Place the firebox on top of the hearth.

3. Assemble the mantel that will surround the firebox, and place it around the firebox.

4. Put the trim and any other accessories on.

Afterward simply plug in the firebox and enjoy the new fireplace. For many models of electric fireplaces, it's possible to take them apart move them into a new home or apartment making them not a one house or apartment buy, but a lasting investment that will bring warmth for many years, no matter where you are.


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