What Should Be Considered When Buying An Electric Fireplace?
Until recently, fireplaces were synonymous with combustion, and the words “electricity” and “fire” were rarely paired together in a positive way. Many of us imagine the old, electric technology of resistance heating when we think of electric heat, and those glowing red, inefficient coils are hardly associated with a comforting fireplace. But like many of the new, clean electric home technologies mentioned above, the electric fireplace has undergone rapid, and appealing, changes over the last ten years. Let’s discuss the many benefits.
Let’s start with what most people don’t associate with electric fireplaces — a great looking flame. Thanks to LEDs and a mirror element that rolls and reflects light, the electric flame is amazingly realistic. You can also change the color of the flames to match the decor of your house or your mood, creating a fun, unique, modern feature different from any other fireplace technology.
Electric Fireplaces are cool to the touch, which is great for kids and pets. They also have all the benefits of fire, without the risk of open flames, sparks, and combustion. This means there’s no worry about fires. You can also put electric fireplaces near other appliances, including TVs.
Another unique feature of electric fireplaces is that you can watch the flames and experience the ambiance at any time of the day or year. All models come with an electric space heater to heat the room, but most have the option of turning the heater off to simply enjoy the flames.
Installation is another key area for savings. Unlike gas or wood stoves, which require a permit and a professional to vent and install, electric fireplaces are very easy to mount or recess, and most people do it themselves. They require no outdoor venting, which means no costly pipes or chimney bricks to be run outside.
Electric fireplaces are better both for indoor and outdoor air quality and pollution. Burning wood and gas results in significant amounts of indoor air pollution with carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter released (with wood as the biggest culprit). Electric fireplaces’ homes are free from all this pollution, and families can enjoy both beautiful flames and clean air. They are also energy efficient — not in the heating elements (which are electric resistance heat and not terribly efficient) but because people can use them for zonal heating to warm the room they’re in, as opposed to a central furnace which heats many empty rooms unnecessarily.
Because wood fuel comes from plants that pull CO2 out of the atmosphere, some argue it has zero carbon emissions. Yet older wood stoves put out lots of air contamination for our neighbours and community to breathe. Natural gas has major problems with fracking, leakage and carbon emissions, which is why cities across the world are moving to ban it. Electricity, on the other hand, is getting dramatically cleaner every year with the rise of renewables and the demise of coal.
Electric fireplaces start with the push of a button and require no chopping, stacking or loading wood or ash clean up.
Like other modern electric appliances, electric fireplaces can come equipped with lots of new features, like remote controls, bluetooth audio speakers, wifi connections, and touchscreen panels. These things don’t really matter much to me but I’m sure some people think they’re cool!
- Gabriel Frunza