There’s something about lounging in front of an electric fireplace that is immensely appealing; perhaps this goes back to the cavemen days where men and fire first met. For warmth, atmosphere, or the sole purpose of staring at flames, modern homeowners are still including a fireplace as a staple in their homes across the country.
There are many reasons to invest in an electric fireplace. Some homes lack a wood-burning fireplace, which is reason enough to install a low-cost electric one with minimum installation. Others may want to avoid the smell of a wood-burning fireplace and opt for an odorless electric one instead.
Regardless of reasons, there are few things to know about electric fireplaces before making a purchase.
No Smoke, but Plenty of Fire
When there’s smoke, there’s fire—but that isn’t the case with electric fireplaces. These modern inventions are smokeless, odorless, and produce fewer fumes than a traditional wood-burning fireplace.
Part of the danger of a traditional fireplace lies in the fumes it produces. Without proper ventilation, the fumes of the fire could channel back inside to your living area. These fumes are comprised of deadly and harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde, and numerous other toxins.
This is harmful to anyone in the household, from pets to children; all occupants are at risk of wood smoke inhalation.
An electric fireplace produces no smoke, and this factor makes this fireplace the safest on the market. Without smoke, there’s no chance of carbon monoxide poisoning or inhaling the various other toxins that wood smoke produces. The best part, however, is there’s still a fire to be enjoyed.
Electric Fireplaces Keep Cost and Installation at a Minimum
The problem for most homeowners is that in homes that lack a traditional fireplace, they may want to install one but not be forced to spend hundreds of dollars on installation and products. A traditional fireplace calls for the need of a chimney to ventilate smoke efficiently, and as with any other masonry, this is not an inexpensive project to complete.
Putting in a traditional fireplace into a home that does not already have one requires masonry work that is best left to the experts, not a novice do-it-yourself-er.
Of course, this is going to cost money in hiring a team up for the job of designing, configuring, and installing, not to mention the materials used.
And then there’s the simple electric fireplace. You can even find a small model for around $100 with little to no installation. Because it’s smokeless, there’s no chimney required, just a plug. After you place your new electric fireplace in your desired room, plug it in and feel the heat almost immediately.
Maintenance and Upkeep No Longer
Some people enjoy the chore of cleaning out a fireplace after a night spent in front of it, but for the majority of us, not so much. Soot gets everywhere and traditional wood-burning fireplaces never look clean, even after a professional has swept it. Electric fireplaces are designed to have none of this soot, ash, or debris, just a clean burning flame.
Wood-burning fireplaces require homeowners to hire professional chimney sweeps to thoroughly clean and sweep their chimneys a few times per year, another expense that goes along with a traditional fireplace.
There’s also the cost of wood and kindling, the occasional fire-starting logs, all of which add up to a couple hundred dollars per year.
Electric fireplaces offer a solution to the mess and debris of a traditional fireplace. While still giving you a consistent flame that heats a room quickly, an electric fireplace is also environmentally friendly, producing no fumes and creating no waste while it burns.
Because of their design, electric fireplaces can outlive wood-burning and gas fireplaces by years. Electric fireplaces do not use a combustible energy source, allowing it to be free of rust, corrosion, and general wear and debris.
Designed to run efficiently, electric fireplaces have been on the market long enough to work out any manufacturing kinks that would prevent its long lasting integrity. With their energy conservation and longevity, electric fireplaces are well worth their initial investment.
Safety First for an Electric Fireplace
How often have you heard the story of a house fire caused by an unattended fireplace? These stories we hear really only involve a traditional fireplace and a log that rolled onto the floor, igniting a fire, or a spark that strayed and caught itself on fabric. There’s no question that traditional fireplaces are dangerous, but how are electric fireplaces better?
Manufacturers know that with any fireplace—traditional or electric—there’s always a chance of an out of control fire. For this reason, manufacturers often install safety switches or timers on electric fireplaces to automatically shut off the flames. For children with curious hands, electric fireplaces are frequently made with safe-touch glass, a feature that allows the glass to not hold the burning heat of the ongoing fire.
Without chimneys, electric fireplaces do not become so out of control that they ignite a chimney fire, a dangerous fire that can consume an entire house in minutes. Just be sure to plug your electric chimney directly into a wall socket without using an electrical cord to minimize risks.
Save Yourself Some Energy
Energy efficiency is what makes electric fireplaces so attractive. Ranked against wood-burning and gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces conserve energy much more effectively and the difference is dollars to cents on your energy bills.
Gas fireplaces have the cost of the propane tank plus it burns a gallon of propane about every 4 hours. Wood-burning fireplaces are the least energy efficient, emitting large amounts of smoke which ends up with dramatic heat loss.
High levels of emissions produced by wood-burning fireplaces are reflected in your expensive energy bills.
The Portable Fireplace
An added perk of an electric fireplace is the fact that it can be placed in any room with little effort in installation. Traditional fireplaces are stationary, cemented into walls and anchored by chimneys, and this can limit the surrounding layout of a room.
Furniture is typically centered on fireplaces and with this ability to move the electric fireplace to any desired spot so that homeowners can regain control of their interior decorating. Unlike other fireplaces, electric fireplaces come in a variety of different shapes, styles, and units, and this allows electric fireplaces to look as if it was custom fit into any space of a home.
The Wiser Choice
Do you want an electric fireplace? The main factor to know is that you’d be doing yourself a favor with this purchase. This versatile fireplace is designed to run efficiently, conserve energy, fit into any space for optimal functionality, and operate safely.
For traditional fireplaces, either gas or fireplaces that burn wood, environmental concern and energy conservation go by the wayside, with a lingering danger of smoke pollutants or combustion as a potential threat.
At Vertical Chimney Care, we regularly inspect chimneys from outside and inside. Contact us today to speak with a product specialist.