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Electric Fireplaces Vs. Vent Free Gas Fireplaces: What's The Difference?



Both electric fireplaces and vent-free gas fireplaces are less expensive than installing a vented wood burning or gas fireplace into your home, yet they have their differences. One differentiation between the two is that a vent-free gas fireplace is a real gas fueled fire that produces real flames while electric fireplaces produce heat without utilizing a flame. Another distinction between an electric fireplace and a vent-free gas fireplace are the energy savings that will be experienced. Electric fireplaces cost approximately three cents an hour without the heat on and eight cents to operate with the heat turned on. Gas fireplace manufacturers regularly advertise their running costs to be about 17 cents an hour with a higher heat output that can often drive you out of the room.



Public safety concerns are also a distinct difference between the two. Gas appliances are generally safe when built and installed to code; however, when purchasing equipment that requires a certain amount of assembly and installation, understanding gas hook-up procedures and applying them is not something an amateur will probably be willing to do. Much of the associated cost savings of a vent-free gas fireplace would be negated by having to pay an expert to come and install the unit.


Electric Fireplaces As Cost Effective, Safe Alternatives



Electric fireplaces are less expensive alternatives to vented wood-burning and gas fireplaces and vent-free gas fireplaces. Plug-in fireplaces come factory pre-wired, which makes installation a snap. There are no gas fittings, and no contractor needed who understands the dangers of improper gas appliance installation, no masonry work, and no holes in exterior walls that must be monitored and maintained.


Cost efficiency is important; however, safety is a more grave concern. Gas appliances produce real flames that can, under the right circumstances, physically damage your family and home. Plug-in fireplaces, on the other hand, produce heat without the flames. They are constructed of materials that remain cool to the touch, so children and pets are safe within their proximity and a fire caused by faulty installation is less likely to occur.


Wall Mount Electric Fireplaces



While there are many different plug-in fireplaces to choose from, a wall mount electric fireplace is a perfect choice for those who want the ambiance of a traditional fireplace without the costs associated with installing one. Wall mount electric fireplaces come in a variety of designs and colors that can fit in with any lifestyle.


A wall mount electric fireplace is a wonderful addition to any home or office and provides space saving designs that are ideal for condominiums, lofts, and apartments. It also has the capability for use during all four seasons. The unit operates with the heat on and off and can provide a lovely touch for family get-togethers and romantic evenings during milder seasons without the unnecessary heat associated with a flame.


Electric Fireplace Inserts



An electric fireplace insert is a plug-in unit, which only requires access to an electrical outlet for operation. There are two electric fireplace insert designs. The first is a four-sided box with a glass or screen front containing a log set, often referred to as a plug in electric fireplace.. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and could become part of a mantel cabinet or media center. These units could be placed inside a custom made mantel, entertainment center or built-in bookcase. These electric fireplace inserts are also available with dual voltage, allowing them to be hard-wired into the electrical system, should one wish a permanent installation with greater heat output. The second design is an electric fireplace log insert. This is an electric log set housed on a grate that is inserted into an existing masonry lined fireplace. Both designs are great additions to any home and the choice would be dictated by desired features and what would fit in with the existing design of the structure.


Electric fireplaces and vent-free gas fireplaces are similar in that neither requires a vent to operate, but the similarities stop there. An electric fireplace does not involve utilization of a flame and a vent-free gas fireplace does. Electric fireplaces are constructed of materials that stay cool-to-the-touch and are safe for pets and children to be around. They can come as a wall mount electric fireplace, within a mantel, a free standing stove or as electric fireplace inserts. Any are an ideal addition to a home or business for individuals who enjoy fireplaces, but do not want the hassle of using or installing a traditional fireplace.