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The Many Benefits Of Choosing Electric Fireplaces For Builders, Interior Designers And Architects

Updated on May 26, 2011

There are many enticing benefits for builders, interior designers and architects when they consider including electric fireplaces in their building and/or remodeling plans. Electric fireplaces are practical alternatives to traditional fireplaces. An electric fireplace insert is quickly and easily installed, requires no venting or gas line, is economical to operate and is incredibly flexible for placement in any room of a home or business. Furthermore, because of their beautiful glowing bed of embers and realistic looking wood logs, they are an eye-catching addition to any home or office.

These alternative and economical fireplaces provide the benefits of a fire with or without heat. Most electric fireplace inserts can be wired to a standard 120-volt outlet, while many builder specific models allow for either a 120 or 220-volt connection. A 120-volt connection can provides about 4,600 BTUs of supplemental heat to rooms roughly around 400 square feet. A 220-volt connection effectively doubles the amount of heat produced.  Not only are they versatile and practical, these types of fireplaces do not require any vents, chimneys, or gas lines. There are no fumes or smoke particles in the air or messy ashes to clean up.

The major incentive for builders to use electric fireplaces in their projects is that they are easier and less expensive to install than their traditional counterparts yet still provide the fireplace effect that many buyers are looking for. While ease and affordability are important components for modern architects, a significant priority is also sustainability. An electric fireplace insert offers the benefits of being more environmentally friendly than wood and gas burning fireplaces which is at the heart of the “green” building movement.

Often interior designers are not only interested in economy and sustainability but are also concerned with how a room feels when people walk into it. It must have beauty, balance, rhythm, harmony, and proportion and scale. Electric fireplaces offer all of these because of the variety of styles, colors and sizes available for home or office.

The Growing Popularity Of “Green” Homes

The unique design attributes of electric fireplaces provide a multitude of benefits to builders, homeowners and the environment. Homeowners are increasingly seeking the assistance of builders and architects who specialize in environmentally friendly buildings. A “green” home or building, compared to conventional construction, is defined by its use of less energy and fewer natural resources; it creates less waste, and built with as little impact on the land as possible. It’s also believed to be healthier for the people living inside. Because conventional fireplaces burn inefficiently, may produce harmful smoke, fumes and other indoor air pollutants, electric fireplaces are indeed a successor in “green” building design.

Cost Saving Benefits Of Electric Fireplaces

Let us examine what is required for the installation of a gas fireplace. First, a builder needs to acquire a permit to install the unit. This can be a lengthy process due to wait time at the permit offices. Once they do have their permit in hand, they then must build a frame to house the unit, cut a hole in the exterior wall of the structure so that they can attach firestops to interior walls and then attach the necessary vent pipes to the firebox. After this is completed, the builder must then connect the outside vent pipe to the interior vent pipe through the hole in the exterior wall and attach a termination cap to the end of the exterior vent pipe and attach the whole thing to the wall. Now they must run copper tube or steel pipe from the unit to the gas line, make the gas line connection, check for gas leaks and then finally connect the unit to the electrical circuit and then connect the thermostat to the now complete unit.

Now, let us examine what is required for the installation of an electric fireplace insert. Because there are no permits required, the contractor or homeowner simply needs to build a frame to house the unit, connect the unit to the electrical circuit and then connect the thermostat to the unit. It is as simple as one, two, three. For more elaborate designs, some contractors will place the unit into the structure’s frame before drywall is applied. However, this requires very little time so using an electric fireplace insert continues to remain cost effective.

The Benefits Continue For Interior Designers

While interior designers are interested in sustainability efforts and cost efficiency, they are also purveyors of good taste and followers of aesthetic trends. The whole purpose of interior design is to transform any space into a cohesive experience that allows the soul to remove itself from the hustle and bustle of everyday work life and enjoy life to its fullest.

For designers, balance creates a feeling of equilibrium and is not only achieved through shape, but through color, pattern and texture as well. There are three kinds of balance: formal, which is where space is evenly split into two sides that mirror each other such as two chairs on either side of a coffee table, informal, which uses the visual weight of lines, colors, forms and textures without duplication, and radial, which is achieved when there is a focal point to a room with other elements radiating from it or around it.

Other factors that influence balance are rhythm, which creates visual excitement, harmony, which creates a sense of restfulness, emphasis, which provides an anchor or focal point for a room, and proportion and scale, which dictates the size of the elements that adorn one’s space.

Electric fireplaces address many of the principles featured above. For balance, it achieves a focal point which other elements radiate from and creates visual excitement with its joyfully dancing flames while still providing the restfulness associated with glowing embers. Furthermore, an electric fireplace insert anchors any room because of the wide range of available sizes.

Sustainable, Economical, And Stunning

Electric fireplaces are beneficial for contractors, architects and interior designers alike. An electric fireplace insert is environmentally friendly for architects because of its energy efficiency and is also a promoter of healthy indoor ecosystems because there are no airborne particles that can stimulate allergy conditions nor mold spores that can have an influence upon respiratory functions. For builders, electric fireplaces are inexpensive to install yet add incremental profits to a structure’s sale value. Furthermore, these units are known for their flexibility. They can virtually be installed anywhere; a bedroom, a boardroom, a lobby or even in a restaurant. Interior designers also benefit from these multipurpose units. Electric fireplaces provide a beautiful focal point that every other element in the room can be attached to. They offer the visual excitement of realistic looking flames along with the soothing quality associated with radiant cinders.

All of this adds up to value for the consumer. They will be able to enjoy a fire without the side effects of a gas or wood burning fireplace. There isn’t any indoor or outdoor pollution. Electric fireplaces are 100% energy efficient and can be used with the heating element turned on or off. This means an electric fireplace insert can be utilized all year round. Best of all, electric fireplaces have low operating costs. They cost approximately 2 cents per hour without the heat and 8 cents per hour with the heating element turned on.

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      Holle Abee 7 years ago from Georgia

      Great overview! I'll have to check these out!