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Electric Fireplaces Create A "Green" Option For Your Home

Now more than ever, individuals and societies seem to be moving toward more environmentally friendly options whenever possible. One of the simplest places to start 'greening' one's lifestyle is to make the home more energy efficient, especially through heating and cooling.

A More Energy-Efficient Option

Electric fireplaces are a very smart green investment. While powering a fireplace with electricity does release carbon dioxide in its production, this amount pales in comparison to the carbon footprint left by a traditional fire. Overall, it's proven that an electric fireplace insert uses less energy and materials than traditional wood-burning and gas fireplaces.

One of the most notable things about electric fireplaces is their realistic flame effect that gives off the appearance of a real fire, without any actual burning taking place. In fact, electric fireplaces use 90 percent less energy than gas fireplaces to produce these visual flames. Because electric versions simply plug into a standard electric outlet, the flames are from electrical energy, not fuel-based energy. No actual combustion takes place with electric fireplaces, so no greenhouse gases get released into the atmosphere as a direct result of the fire.

Wood and gas fireplaces are a much less energy efficient option. Up to 50 percent of their heat energy is lost to the atmosphere, wasted. On the other hand, electric heaters convert 100 percent of their input electrical energy into heat. No energy is lost along the way. This makes fireplaces that run on electricity the greenest fireplace option.

No Combustion, Pollution, or Harmful Emissions

As noted, electric fireplaces do not burn gas or wood to produce a fire. No combustion means that no smoke or gas byproducts are released into the atmosphere, so there is no air pollution. This lack of greenhouse gases is a huge reason why an electric fireplace insert is one of the greenest heating options available. By having one of these fireplaces installed into your home, you can have a supplemental heat source that takes very little electricity to run and adds only pennies per hour to your electric bill.

No fuel combustion also means that no carbon monoxide is released into the air. Both wood and gas fireplaces produce carbon monoxide, a gas that can be deadly in areas with poor ventilation. Because this gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, it's especially dangerous. If a chimney hasn't been cleaned or cleared out properly, carbon monoxide can back up into the home. Injury or death could result from breathing these toxic fumes, especially if exposed to these overnight. With electric versions, you won't have to worry about this danger. They are a greener, safer way to heat the home.

Electricity-powered fireplaces have a couple more benefits over gas or wood fireplaces. Gas fireplaces run the risk of gas leaks, so a fireplace powered by electricity avoids this risk altogether. And wood-burning fireplaces require wood, of course. Trees are an important natural resource that should be preserved, and an electric fireplace doesn't require any wood to be consumed.

Efficient New Technology and Zone Heating

Many electric heaters make use of new technology that further increases their energy efficiency. There are many models that now use LED (light-emitting diodes) technology to create the realistic flame effects. These LED bulbs have an average life span of over 75,000 hours, while the incandescent bulbs that were previously used have a life span of only about 2,000 hours. LED's are also exceptionally efficient to operate, because they draw only 10 percent of the watts that equivalent incandescent bulbs use to produce the same light.

Some brands have taken things a step further. With Dimplex, electric fireplace ingenuity has led to the addition of an air purification system. Some of their models actually improve indoor air quality by filtering air as it is drawn through the fireplace. This Dimplex electric fireplace cleans the air of an average room four times per hour, and is the world's first integral air filtering electric fireplace.

Electric fireplace inserts also are ideal for zone heating. This heating method is energy efficient because it allows you to heat up only the room you're using. An electricity-powered fireplace can warm a room that's up to 20 feet by 20 feet without having to turn up the central thermostat. This way, no energy is wasted to heat empty rooms. Overall, this zone heating approach reduces total energy usage and is a green way to heat your home.

Electric fireplaces are 100 percent energy efficient, don't burn fossil fuels, and don't use wood. They also don't produce deadly carbon monoxide or use gas that might leak. New models make use of technology that allows for better efficiency and even air purity, and all of these fireplaces make use of zone heating, a very green way to heat your home.

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