Answers to Your Electric Fireplace FAQs
We’re always asked about the different types of fireplaces, their benefits, features, and safety concerns. And since a fireplace with an electric fire is a newer concept than traditional gas or wood-burning fireplaces, there tend to be a lot of questions about electric fireplaces.
Compared to gas and wood-burning fireplaces, electric fireplaces are more energy-efficient and customizable. They come equipped with additional features, and they are cheaper to operate, easy to maintain, and extremely safe.
To help give you a better idea of what electric fireplaces are all about, here are answers to common electric fireplace FAQs.
HOW MUCH HEAT DOES AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE GIVE OFF?
Electric fireplaces typically give off 4,600 BTUs of heat. However, some models can be wired to 220/240 volts and will have a heat output of up to 8,900 BTUs. And infrared fireplaces produce approximately 5,200 BTUs of heat.
WHAT SIZE ROOM CAN AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE HEAT?
Electric fireplaces can heat various room sizes. Many will comfortably heat a small- to medium-sized rooms up to 400 square feet, while others can heat larger rooms up to 1,000 square feet.
Since the heating power differs for each model, be sure to read the instructions and specs to find an electric fireplace suitable for your room size.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAT A ROOM?
Electric fireplaces start heating rooms immediately once you turn on the heater. Instead of taking the time to build a wood fire that will start producing a decent amount of heat with some work, you can switch on your electric fireplace and start enjoying the heat instantly.
WHAT ARE ELECTRIC INSERTS?
Electric fireplace inserts provide the same heat and ambiance as a standalone electric fireplace, except they are placed inside the opening of a fireplace hearth or a TV stand instead of resting on the floor.
Electric fireplace inserts are often used to convert gas or wood-burning fireplaces into electric fireplaces by replacing the firebox with the insert.
ARE ELECTRIC FIREPLACES EXPENSIVE TO OPERATE?
No. Electric fireplaces are overall cheaper to operate than other types of fireplaces. They are less expensive to install, and electric fireplace maintenance is much easier and cheaper than maintenance for gas and wood-burning fireplaces. You don’t need to hire a chimney sweep or gas fireplace inspector for annual inspections. Nor do you need to purchase firewood.
Electric fireplaces also allow you to make use of zone heating to supplement your home’s main heating source. So instead of heating all the rooms in your home that you aren’t using at the time, you can turn down your thermostat and heat the room you use most often with your electric fireplace.
While the cost of electricity varies by region, on average, it costs only about 3 cents per hour to operate the flames and 9 cents per hour to operate both the flames and a heater set to turn off automatically based on a thermostat.
Otherwise, to run the fireplace non-stop with the heater set to maximum, it would cost about 18 cents per hour to operate, compared to 30 cents per hour for a gas fireplace.
And the average annual cost to operate an electric fireplace is $100, compared to $200 to $500 per year for gas fireplaces.
DO ELECTRIC FIREPLACES USE A LOT OF ENERGY?
Electric fireplaces are more energy-efficient than other types of fireplaces since they don’t waste energy. They use an electric heater to produce warmth instead of burning a fuel source. And since there are no vents or chimneys, these fireplaces don’t lose heat.
Energy-efficient electric fireplaces shut off the heater once the ideal set temperature is reached on the thermostat, so there is no risk of overheating the room and wasting energy.
With wood-burning fireplaces, much of the heat is lost through the chimney. Heat is also lost through the vents of gas fireplaces.
The supplemental zone heating from electric fireplaces also allows you to use less energy to heat your home, reducing your energy consumption and heating bills.
WHAT’S THE LIFESPAN OF AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE?
Electric fireplaces can last up to 20 years. And the light bulbs will need replacing every two years or so Electric fireplaces tend to have longer lifespans than gas and wood-burning fireplaces. To determine the quality and lifespan of electric fireplaces, consider the length of their warranties.
WHAT OTHER FEATURES DOES AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE HAVE?
Can Be On without Heat
Since electric fireplaces use LED lights to illuminate the artificial flames, you can turn on the flames without the heat. LED fireplaces allow you to enjoy the ambiance of a fireplace without the heat so you can use it even in the summer.
Can Be On with Colours
Electric fireplaces are available in a variety of styles with a variety of flames. You can opt for realistic flames or flames in different colours.
Can Emanate Heat without the Flames or Colours
Just as you can turn on the flames without the heat, you can also turn on the heater without the flames. This is an ideal option if you want heat, but you don’t want the extra light in the room (e.g., for sleeping or watching a movie).
Stays Cool to the Touch
Although the fireplace emits heat, the fireplace itself and the glass face do not heat up. The heater produces heat outside of the display case, so if you touch your fireplace box or glass, you won’t burn yourself. This added safety feature makes electric fireplaces safer for use in small areas and homes with children and pets.
Can Be Operated With a Remote Control or From Your Smartphone
While all-electric fireplaces have manual controls on the units, most will also come with a remote control to turn the fireplace on and off. And some models will have a remote control that can adjust the flames and temperature. New smartphone technology also allows you to control your electric fireplace with the use of an app on your phone.
For help answering more of your electric fireplace questions, or questions about any type of fireplace, contact your local fireplace experts. They will be happy to provide you with all the answers to help you choose the best type of fireplace for your home.