How to Choose an Electric Fireplace – Buying Guide

The electric fireplace is becoming more and more popular. Quick to install and bring a warm touch to the home, the electric fireplace easily fits into any interior. 

In addition to the comfort it offers, it is also appreciated for its decorative aspect. What about this heating device with multiple advantages?

What is an electric fireplace?

How to Choose an Electric Fireplace

If it is above all decorative, the electric fireplace is an auxiliary heating system. The device operates using an electrical source. Resembling a real fireplace at first glance, it uses a system of LEDs or bulbs that animate artificial flames and embers. 

It also contains fake logs and/or fake charcoal, giving the perfect illusion of a real wood-burning fireplace.

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This electric heating is available in three types of models: the free-standing one which is mobile and can be installed in all rooms depending on your needs, the “insert” version which can be built into an old fireplace, and the fixed model on the wall. 

The electric fireplace can be used in flames-only mode or heating mode. These two modes can be combined or operate independently of each other as you wish. It is important to note that an electric fireplace is authorized in an apartment, unlike a traditional fireplace. [How to Choose an Electric Fireplace]

The different versions of the electric fireplace

As with wood or gas stoves and fireplaces, the electric fireplace is available in different versions. You will mainly have the choice between:

  • The free-standing fireplace: this version is the most widespread. If it fits easily in every corner of a room or on a piece of furniture, it can also be transported from room to room, and even to the terrace.
  • The built-in fireplace: this model is halfway between the insert and the free-standing fireplace. More precisely, it is a device that will be placed in an old fireplace or a wall niche.
  • The wall fireplace: as its name suggests, it attaches to the wall like a painting. Discreet, this version particularly enhances small spaces while creating a cozy atmosphere.

The advantages of the electric fireplace

How to Choose an Electric Fireplace

In addition to its decorative appearance, the electric fireplace has many advantages. Firstly, its installation requires little or no work or specific installation, unlike other heating devices. A simple plug into a mains socket is enough to make it work.

Another advantage of this type of heating is the absence of constraints linked to the maintenance of the device and the fire (absence of dust and/or soot, no fuel to buy, transport, store, or handle, etc.). The electric fireplace also means safety. 

Some models feature “thermal safety,” a system that automatically cuts off the power supply to the device if it overheats. In addition, it does not present any risk of burns or fire as it does not present real flames.

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The electric fireplace also has the advantage of being ecological. Unlike so-called traditional fireplaces, it does not contribute to the greenhouse effect because it emits neither smoke nor carbon dioxide. The carbon footprint of your home is therefore reduced. Beyond all this, electric heating is also synonymous with savings. 

Indeed, as a space heater, you have total control over its operation because you can turn it on or off as you wish. In this sense, you will have control over your consumption and your expenses. In the same sense, using an electric fireplace as a heating system protects you from possible increases in the price of fossil fuels.

The disadvantages of the electric fireplace

Although the disadvantages associated with an electric fireplace are few, they may influence your purchasing and/or installation decision. You should know that as auxiliary heating, an electric fireplace heats little. 

Depending on the models and brands, the heating power of these devices varies essentially between 900 W and 2000 W. The electric fireplace is therefore only suitable for heating one room at a time.

Another constraint linked to the use of an electric fireplace for heating: is the price of electricity. Finally, note that the electric fireplace is not eligible for the tax credit. [How to Choose an Electric Fireplace]

How to choose the right electric fireplace?

Several criteria must be taken into account when choosing your electric fireplace. Generally speaking, you can base your choice on:

  • Aesthetics: knowing that the device will bring a unique touch to your decor, don’t skimp on its designThe electric fireplace is available in a wide range of colors, shapes, materials (wood, steel, etc.), and styles (rustic, Victorian, contemporary, etc.) which means that it will easily find its place in all interiors.
  • Power: Although it is considered auxiliary heating, the electric fireplace must provide a minimum of heatThe power of the device that will suit you can be determined based on the surface you want to cover. Allow a minimum of 100 W for 1 m² to be heated.
  • The method of attachment: depending on your needs, you can opt for a free-standing fireplace, a wall-mounted fireplace, or an insert. The first version, mobile, can be moved from one place to another in the room or house at any time.
  • The options offered: electric fireplaces can be equipped with different options (thermostat, remote control, flame, automatic shutdown in the event of overheating, types of flame, etc.).

Feel free to review all the options available for each model to determine which one will meet your primary needs.

FAQs: How to choose an electric fireplace

Does an electric fireplace heat well?

An electric fireplace heats well. It is capable of heating up to 70 m². Depending on the model, the heating power can be set to 1000 watts or 2000 watts. However, it is important to note that this type of device is more suitable as auxiliary heating, or can be used in addition to a main heating system. Also, remember to choose your location in the house carefully to benefit from its full performance.

Does an electric fireplace consume a lot?

An electric fireplace is particularly economical, knowing that it does not require any additional fuel. On average, the device will consume between 1000 and 2000 watts maximum depending on the model, when the “heating” function is activated. In “flames” mode only, the consumption of this electric heater is approximately 4 to 11 watts. Note that 1 kW heats 10m².

How does an electric fireplace work?

The electric fireplace is powered by a cable that you must plug into a mains socket. It works on the same principle as an electric radiator, but offers the bonus of a very realistic fake fire… This flame effect results from the combination of fine water droplets and LED lighting. The “heating” option is mainly provided by a convector which transforms cold air into hot air which, in turn, will be spread throughout the room thanks to a fan.

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