An electric fireplace is actually a novelty electric heater that is designed to mimic a typical coal-, wood-, or natural gas-burning hearth. Found in a typical fireplace store, they are sometimes placed within a conventional hearth that is no longer able to be used to burn fires. They conveniently plug into wall outlets and can heat a room as large as 400 square feet.
These beautiful heating units are practically works of art. They have the ability to simulate both flames and smoke with astonishing accuracy. The realistic flicker of flames set against LED logs that sporadically spark brings an authentic touch to the unit. Some displays in the fireplace store may even have an audio component that plays a crackling sound every once in a while.
The first electric options were invented as early as 1912 and gained popularity in the mid-1950s before the electrical flame effects were incorporated into the design in 1981. However, the idea didn’t really take off until the turn of the 21st century with advances in technology. Now they are a winter staple in many Northern homes.
Advantages Over Traditional Hearths
Electric fireplaces are much more flexible than the typical gas- or wood-burning units. For example, since the heating component can be adjusted or turned off, the unit can provide a soft glow to spice up a romantic summer evening without the discomfort of excess heat. They are also portable, requiring only an electrical outlet. In addition, they do not require chimneys, so there is no remodeling needed to install them, and they don’t necessitate ventilation.
The units are much safer than their gas- or wood-burning counterparts. They can provide as much as 10,000 BTUs of heat without producing the dangerous fumes associated with gas or wood. These units are also a good fit for those who have allergies and cannot enjoy traditional wood fires due to the soot and smoke. The electrical unit is also nearly maintenance-free, since there is no mess.
Where They Fit In Your Home
If you observe the displays at your local fireplace store, you will notice that most electrical fireplaces fit seamlessly into almost all rooms. They come in several different sizes, including full floor models with long-ledged mantels. Other varieties include the wall-mounted unit, which looks especially lovely when illuminating a master bedroom.
If you are looking to lead more of a “green” lifestyle, a good start is purchasing an energy-efficient product. Since they use much less energy than any wood- or gas-burning system, there is little doubt that these electric units are the most environmentally friendly choices that your local fireplace store has to offer.
They also provide the appearance of a real fire without actually burning trees. This preserves a limited resource that we cannot afford to waste. Also, the lack of combustion means that no toxic greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
These electrical heaters are not only picturesque, but they are also clean, safe, and good for the planet. Be sure to take a look at the models on display at your local fireplace store to get an idea of which type would best suit your home.