Electric fireplaces can be a great way to have a fireplace in your home without the need for an existing fireplace or chimney. They can provide that fireplace feeling without the hassle of getting the fire to light, keeping the fire going and cleaning up the left over ashes.
Electric fireplace also don’t require professional installation or setup and can be used straight out of the box.
I’ve put together 24 benefits of having an electric fireplace and the reasons why I bought an electric fireplace for my spare bedroom.
Unlike other types of fireplaces, electric fireplaces are 100% efficient, meaning that all of the energy used to produce the heat is transferred straight into your room.
Up to 80% of heat produced in a traditional wood burning fireplace can be lost up the chimney. Wood burning stoves and gas fireplaces are more efficient at heating your home than a traditional wood burning fireplace, but still can’t reach the same efficiency as an electric fireplace can.
Having wood burning fireplace in my living room, I can tell that it really doesn’t produce that much heat for the room.
No Smoke Or Harmful Gases
Electric fireplaces don’t produce smoke or any other gas byproducts, meaning that harmful gases such carbon monoxide can’t be released into your home.
This is because the flames in an electric fireplace aren’t real. The flames are instead produced either by an LED screen or by a rotary style light that creates the illusion of a real flame. I’ve gone into more depth about how a flame in an electric fireplace works if you’d like to know more.
Burning wood and gas releases carbon dioxide as a byproduct, but carbon monoxide can be released if the fuel isn’t burnt properly. Carbon monoxide is a colorless gas that has no taste or smell, and can be lethal if inhaled in large concentrations.
Smoke inhalation can be irritable, especially if you suffer from asthma. A blocked chimney can also cause smoke and harmful gases to enter your home, and leave your home smelling of smoke after a fire.
An electric fireplace doesn’t produce any byproducts from heating your room, meaning that you won’t have to worry about the potential side effects of using your fireplace.
You Don’t Need A Chimney
As an electric fireplace doesn’t produce any smoke or byproducts, venting to the outside of your home isn’t required. This means that an electric fireplace doesn’t need any form of chimney, flue or vent to operate.
This allows for a lot more flexibility on where you can locate an electric fireplace in your home. Other types of fireplace will need to be installed where there is an existing fireplace, or where fumes can more easily be vented to the outside.
As such, electric fireplaces can be located in any room in the house, not just in a room that has an existing fireplace. Electric fireplaces can even be used in your basement!
As an electric fireplace doesn’t release any smoke or small particles, there will be less costs associated with the maintenance of a chimney. This is in contrast with other types of fireplaces where it’s recommended that chimneys are swept at least once a year, or much more often when wood or coal is being burnt.
Electric fireplaces are also an ideal compromise if you live in an area with smoke restrictions.
Realistic Looking Flames
Even though the flames aren’t real, modern electric fireplaces create flames that can look very realistic. The flames won’t quite have that same nostalgic look, sound and feeling of a traditional open wood burning fireplace, but all of the other benefits of an electric fireplace combined make them a very worthwhile purchase.
Many electric fireplaces allow you to change the size and brightness of the flames to suit your preference.
Ease Of Use
Compared to other types of fireplaces, electric fireplaces are quite simple and easy to use. You simply have to plug it in and work out what each of the few buttons do (which the manual will tell you).
There’s no scientific approach to providing heat to your home. The electric fireplace heater is either off or on, and is usually found with two or three different heat output settings.
It can sometime be a real struggle getting a wood burning fireplace or stove to light, and to keep the flames going. There’s no nonsense with an electric fireplace. With a switch of a button, instantaneous heat can be provided to your home.
Can Be Placed On The Wall
Some models of electric fireplace allow for installation on the walls of your home. This can be great if you are tight for space, especially if you live in an apartment.
This is one of the main reasons why I bought an electric fireplace. I was able to install one on the wall in my spare room for guests to enjoy without it taking up too much space in the room.
If you’re handy with DIY then you also won’t need a professional to install an electric fireplace on the wall.
Can Be Used As A TV Stand
Electric fireplaces can also be bought as a TV stand. Although it’s not a reason why I bought mine, it’s another great way to save space in your home, while also being able to enjoy the ambience of a fireplace.
Electric fireplace TV stands combine multiple different elements into one unit for practicality, and don’t get hot so are completely safe for your TV and any other electrical equipment stored within the stand.
Heats Up A Room
Most electric fireplaces can be used to heat up a moderately sized room in your home, up to 400 square feet in area. Electric fireplaces that require hard wiring in, rather than plugging into a standard wall socket, can provide up to double the heat output of a standard electric fireplace, and therefore be able to heat much larger rooms.
Our spare bedroom is approximately 100 square foot in area and the electric fireplace provides more than enough output to heat the room, even on the coldest of days.
If an electric fireplace has a thermostat then it can be set to keep a room at a certain temperature, without having to manually turn the fireplace on and off to get the right temperature.
Electric fireplaces are also great if you just want to heat one room in the house, rather than using the central heating to heat one room while also heating every other room in the house.
Uses Standard Electric Plug
Electric fireplaces can be plugged straight into any standard wall plug in your home, meaning that they can be placed in any room with a socket.
You’ll want to locate your electric fireplace near where there is a wall socket in your room, as it’s not recommended to plug your fireplace into an extension lead.
Low Running Costs
Much like other types of fan heaters, electric fireplaces really don’t use that much electricity.
Many modern electric fireplaces also use LED bulbs to provide the light for the flames which reduces running costs over standard bulbs.
Can Fit Directly Into Your Existing Fireplace
Electric fireplaces can be bought to fit straight into your existing fireplace. These are known as ‘fireplace inserts’ and replace the existing setup in your fireplace, whether it’s an open fireplace, gas fireplace of wood burning stove.
Although there are more moving parts than other types of fireplace, electric fireplaces generally require very little maintenance over the course of their life.
You will periodically need to clean the inlet and outlet of the heater from dust and anything else that may be blocking them. You may also need to change the bulb irregularly if it’s halogen and in frequent use.
There’s no ash or left over burnt logs to clear up after using, meaning that the parts of your fireplace are less likely to get dirty or blocked after frequent use. As there’s no flame, the components of an electric fireplace wont be as susceptible to the same problems as wood burning stoves and gas fireplaces.
There’s also no requirement for annual servicing like gas fireplaces.
Lower Initial Cost
Many decent electric fireplaces can be bought for around $100 and even the more sophisticated models can be purchased for between $300 and $400.
This is a much lower initial cost to buy compared to wood burning stoves and gas fireplaces where the costs of the units and the price of installation can be much higher, into the thousands.
As electric fireplaces don’t have real flames, there is less risk to you and your home compared to other types of fireplace, where the flames are real and harmful smoke and gases can be produced.
Electric fireplaces also come with a number of safety features to prevent them from being a fire safety risk to your home, including automatic shut off when the fireplaces begins to overheat.
You can also set a timer on many models that provides you with confidence that the electric fireplace won’t be left on for extended periods of time.
Child and Pet-Friendly
With no real flames, electric fireplace screens aren’t hot to the touch.
Wood burning fireplaces require glass doors or a screen to help prevent children and pets from getting near the fire.
We have two young cats and have no worries leaving them alone in the same room as the electric fireplace.
Can Be Used All Year Round
The heater on most electric fireplaces can be turned on or off, while also being able to leave the flames on. This means that electric fireplaces can be enjoyed throughout the year, even in the summer.
Minimal Setup Times
Electric fireplaces can be turned on in an instant with a push of a button, with no time required for setting up a fire, lighting a fire and trying to get the fire going.
An electric fireplace will produce the required heat in an instant, with no time delay getting to maximum temperature.
Can Be Instantly Turned Off
Wood burning fireplaces and wood burning stoves need to be left for the fire to burn out and for the ashes to cool. Wood burning stoves also radiate heat for a prolonged period of time even after the fire has been extinguished.
The heaters on an electric fireplace can be turned off in an instant, in case of an emergency or preventing a room from getting too warm.
Multiple Flame Settings
The size and brightness of the flames can usually be changed on an electric fireplace at the touch of a button.
Multiple Heat Settings
Electric fireplaces allow you to change the heat setting, usually with low, medium and high settings of heat.
Some models of electric fireplaces also have thermostats that shut off the fireplace when the temperature you want in the room has been reached.
On some models of electric fireplace, all of these settings can be controlled from a remote.
Increasing the heat on a wood burning stove or fireplace would require getting up, gathering the from by your fireplace (or even outside), placing the logs in the fire, and waiting for the wood to catch fire and heat up.
With an electric fireplace you can sit back and enjoy the ambience from the comfort of your seat and change the heat output and brightness of the flames in an instant.
Constant Supply Of Fuel
Simply plug your electric fireplace into the nearest wall socket in your home to provide instantaneous and constant power.
With a wood burning fireplace or stove, even choosing the right wood is important, as logs that have higher than recommended moisture content or haven’t been well-seasoned will lead to a poor heat output from the fire, along with more smoke than usual. If the wood runs out, then a wood burning fireplace or stove can’t be used.
An electric fireplace provides a hassle-free way to heat your room without the need to worry about when the next load of logs needs to go on the fire.
The only problem with an electric fireplace is that it won’t work if there’s a power cut!
Just as an electric fireplace can be located in any room of your home with a power supply, they can just as easily be picked up and moved to another room.
Electric fireplaces can also easily also be taken with you when you move home.
Large Choice Available
Not only can electric fireplaces be installed on the walls of your home, used as TV stands or inserted into existing fireplace, there are also a wide range of choices available to suit the décor in your home; from traditional to contemporary.
You can buy electric fireplaces that look just like a wood burning stove, or can be bought as corner furniture for your room.
Every model of electric fireplace will have it’s own uniqueness, including:
- Looks & color of the fireplace unit
- Style of fake logs
- Color & style of the flames
- Speed & brightness of the flames
- Heater location and heat settings
- Having a smoke effect
- Being able to produce traditional fireplace sounds
You can even find electric fireplaces for sale now that have integrated LED’s on the sides, just like some Panasonic TVs.
Should I Buy An Electric Fireplace?
Electric fireplaces are growing in popularity and it’s easy to see why. After using my wood burning fireplace in my living room for several winters, I’ve seen that they really aren’t that efficient at heating my home.
Our spare bedroom is located on the outside walls of the house, meaning that it’s fully exposed to the weather throughout the winter and can get very cold. Installing an electric fireplace in the spare room has been a warm welcome to any guests that stay over.