There’s a lot to look out for when purchasing an electric fireplace. All of the dimensions, details, features, compatibility issues, and specifications are enough to confuse even the most brilliant of minds. Here is what you everything you need to know when buying an electric fireplace.
Before you begin reading these tips for buying an electric fireplace, we strongly recommend that you check out The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Electric Fireplaces. This will help you become familiar with some of the basic concepts/terminology of electric fireplaces so you understand how they work.
Electric Fireplace Buying Guide
This electric fireplace buying guide is intended to provide you with valuable tips that will save you time, money, and painful headaches. For this reason, this article is targeted toward those who are farther along in the buying process.
If you are just beginning your search, you can view the 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Electric Fireplaces to answer some of your basic questions and clear up some common misunderstandings.
Special Features to Look For:
- Safety Shutoff Switch
- Heating Timers
- Adjustable Flame Brightness
- Multiple Heat Setting
- Remote Control
- Realistic 3D Flame
- Smoke Effect
- Automatic Thermostat Control
Free Standing Electric Fireplace vs. Electric Inserts
This is an important distinction. Free-standing electric fireplaces are just that. They can be positioned against a wall or in the corner whereas electric inserts are built-in units that sit within an existing fireplace.
Most electric fireplace inserts will fit directly into an existing fireplace cavity but it’s always a good idea to take measurements of the dimensions of your fireplace to ensure a smooth transition. Learn how easy it is to convert a gas fireplace to an electric insert.
If you want to enjoy the convenience of being able to move your fireplace, you should opt for a freestanding electric fireplace that offers portability as an added benefit. Simply unplug and transfer freestanding electric fireplaces to your bedroom, kitchen, or basement as an alternative heating option.
Hardwired vs Plug-in
Electric fireplaces are available with two power supplies; plug-in and hardwired. Hardwired electric fireplaces run off a 240V current and will require you to have an electrician directly connect your fireplace to your homes power supply. Plug-in electric fireplaces run off of standard 120V wall-outlets.
Because built-in units run off of a higher current, they typically produce more BTU’s of heat. Hardwired electric inserts can produce up to 9,600 BTU’s of heat. This is enough to heat a 1,000 square foot area.
Units of Measurement
The higher the BTU rating, the higher the heating capacity. Most United States power outlets are 120 volts and are rated at 15 amps. These are some of the small details you want to verify when purchasing an electric fireplace.
The standard ratio of watts to square foot heated is 10 watts to 1 square foot. Using this ratio of 1:10, you will get an idea of how much space the electric fireplace you are considering will be able to heat.
If you’re a renter, you can enjoy the benefits of owning an electric fireplace without worrying about moving. With and electric fireplace, you can take your unit with you when you move! If portability is something you desire in your electric fireplace, make sure that you look for something that is small and compact. All of these units are under 30” but remain big in style.
Electric fireplaces typically produce anywhere from 4,000-10,000 BTU’s and can heat 400-1,000 square feet. You can learn everything you need to know about BTU’s here. Still a bit skeptical? See the results of this head to head heating comparison between traditional and electric fireplaces.
Matching Your Décor
While functionality is of prime importance, you want to be sure that your electric fireplace meets the aesthetics of your homes existing décor. For vintage and antique homes, don’t try integrating a contemporary design into a nostalgic arena. Instead, stick to what you have to make your fireplace complement your home décor instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.
Quality Electric Fireplace Manufacturers
As with any consumer product, it’s always a good idea to do your due diligence. Dimplex, Holly & Martin, and ClassicFlame are some of the big names that you should familiarize yourself with. These manufacturers meet high quality construction guidelines and have a proven track record for safety and reliability.
To get an idea of what’s out there, make sure you check out the 5 Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces to gauge the one you are looking at.
Stop typing in endless searches on Google trying to find out the answers to your questions! Pick up the phone and give one of our Electric Fireplace Specialists a call!
Portable Fireplace.com only specializes in electric fireplaces. We know the ins and out and are ready to answer your questions. Reach us by phone at 1-888-682-2591 or visit us online at https://www.portablefireplace.com.
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