Electric fireplaces allow you to enjoy the experience of a fireplace in different locations around your home, but at the cost of the fire not being real.
In an electric fireplace both the flames are heat produced artificially, but the benefits of this include no time required setting up, maintaining and cleaning a fire.
So are electric fireplaces worth it?
Electric fireplaces are definitely worth it if your home doesn’t have an existing chimney, or if you’re looking for ways to heat your home while also being able to enjoy the experience of fireplace flames.
We’ve discussed in more detail below why it can be worth it to get an electric fireplace, while also outlining why we got our own electric fireplace and what the downsides of owning an electric fireplace can be.
Are Electric Fireplaces Worth It?
Electric fireplaces are the ideal way of bringing the experience of a fireplace into your home without the need for any existing chimneys, while also being able to heat the room it’s located in.
Electric fireplaces can be the best choice for you and your home if you’re living in an apartment or don’t already have an existing open fireplace.
Unlike other types of fireplace, electric fireplaces don’t have a real fire and so produce the flame effects and heat artificially. This means that electric fireplaces don’t need to be vented and therefore have a lot more flexibility in where they can be placed in your home compared to other types of fireplaces.
Wood burning fireplaces, wood stoves and gas fireplaces all need a chimney or flue because the waste byproducts produced from the fires need to be removed from your home for safety reasons. The installation of a chimney or flue can be extremely costly in order to facilitate being able to have one of these types of fireplaces in your home.
The majority of electric fireplaces simply need to be placed near an electrical outlet in your home. You can also have a new electric outlet installed to suit where you want your electrical fireplace to go.
This also makes electric fireplaces very easy to use. With an electric fireplace plugged in, you simply need to turn it on with a switch of a button. There’s no setup time and will work without any fuel or oxygen supply issues that can be common with wood burning fireplaces.
As long as you have an electrical supply to your home you can use an electric fireplace whenever you want. Wood burning fires require the right firewood in order to burn well and you can have a hard time getting fires to get going and produce heat with poor quality fuel.
We have an electric fireplace stove and we think that it was totally worth the relatively small purchase cost. It’s small enough that we can move it around our home with ease and enjoy the heat and flames in any room.
Another reason why electric fireplaces are worth it is that they are 100% efficient, meaning that all of the energy is converted to heat with no wastage.
Much of the heat generated by an open wood burning fireplace can be lost up the chimney. Wood burning inserts or stoves can help to solve the issues of low heating efficiency but will never be as efficient as an electric fireplace.
Electric fireplace are also very safe. The flames aren’t hot to the touch and the units can have a number of electrical safety features to automatically shut off the fireplace if there are any issues. We’ve discussed why electric fireplaces are a safe type of fireplace in more detail here.
There are also a lot more ways in which you can integrate an electric fireplace into your home that wouldn’t be possible with other types of fireplace.
As electric fireplaces don’t need to be vented, many manufacturers have come up with new ways in which they can be used in your home.
Electric fireplace stoves are designed to imitate wood burning stoves and can be placed inside your existing open fireplace, as well as many other locations around your home with a nearby electrical outlet.
Electric fireplace TV stands incorporate an electric fireplace into a TV stand; great for when you want to enjoy the ambience of a fire while watching TV.
See our guide to the best electric fireplace TV stands for more information.
Wall mount electric fireplaces allow you to install an electric fireplace on a wall on your home, which is perfect for when you are short on floor space. Many wall mount electric fireplace also give you the ability to partially recess or fully recess the unit into a wall for a more built-in experience.
Find our buyers guide to the best wall mount electric fireplaces here.
Electric fireplace log inserts allow you to create the look of a real smoldering fire inside your existing fireplace without many of the downsides of a real fire such as the setting up, maintaining and cleaning of it.
See our guide to the best electric fireplace logs.
Electric fireplace mantels are great for when you want to have the look of a traditional open fireplace with surround in a room that doesn’t already have one. Electric fireplace mantels come as one unit with both the electric fireplace, and the surround and mantel encasing it.
For more information see our buyers guide for electric fireplace mantels.
Why Electric Fireplaces Are Worth It
Electric fireplaces can be considered to be worth it because the benefits of having an electric fireplace include:
- Greater flexibility of where they can be placed in your home. Most electric fireplaces simply need to be located near an electrical outlet in order to work. There are also many different types of electric fireplace to cater for what you’re looking for.
- Can be purchased already integrated into furniture to help save space and money.
- Can be turned on and used in an instant.
- No need to maintain the fire with more fuel (such as with adding firewood to a wood burning fire).
- No cleaning requirements before and after use.
- The flames can be enjoyed without the heater being on.
- Greater efficiency compared to other types of fireplace.
- Very easy to operate.
Why Electric Fireplaces Many Not Be Considered Worth It
An electric fireplace won’t be for everyone. There are some downsides to an electric fireplace but there are a few things you can do to ensure that these downsides are less of an issue.
- The flames aren’t real, and some electric fireplaces provide more convincing and realistic flame effects than others. Look to buy an electric fireplace from a reputable brand with good flame technology and you’ll love the look of the fires.
- Electric fireplaces typically don’t make any traditional fireplace sounds, but you can buy optional sound systems to go with your electric fireplace to make the crackling noises of a real fire. You can also look to buy an electric fireplace with a sound system already integrated.
- Some electric fireplaces can be noisy due the sounds made by the blower in the heater. If you want to have a very quiet fireplace then look to get one that has an infrared heater built-in rather than a fan heater. Infrared heaters don’t have any moving parts and so can make much less noise. See more about noise in electric fireplaces in another one of our articles.
Are Electric Fireplaces Worth It?
Electric fireplaces are totally worth it. There are so many different options to choose from and have much more flexibility when it comes to designing one into the look of your home compared to other types of fireplaces.
We love our electric fireplace and, because the flames can be used without the heater being on, we use it all year round. We’re also looking to find other types of electric fireplace that we can integrate into our home, as they can also double up as a space heater.
For inspiration see our complete buying guides for the different types of electric fireplaces below.
Electric Fireplace Buying Guides
Best Electric Fireplace TV Stands
Best Electric Fireplace Heaters
Best Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces
Best Built-in Electric Fireplaces
Best Electric Fireplace Mantels
Best Electric Fireplace Stoves
Best Electric Fireplace Log Sets
Best Electric Fireplace Inserts
Best Small Electric Fireplaces
Best Corner Electric Fireplaces