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Electric Fireplaces: What Are They & How They Work

With all the fireplace varieties available on the market today, many people are confused about how each one operates and which one would best fit their needs. Electric fireplaces provide more flexibility than traditional wood or gas-burning fireplaces making them ideal for warmth on a cold winter’s night, enjoyment with a loved one in the middle of the summer months or to simply replace a wood or gas-burning fireplace with a greener version.

Put simply, an electric fireplace is a heating element that looks similar to a traditional wood-burning or gas fireplace, but it does not require any venting or professional installation of any kind. Electric fireplaces work by drawing in cool air, heating it internally using a heating coil and gently forcing the warmed air back out into the room by way of a fan. Some electric fireplaces also use infrared technology which directly heat objects within a room. In both cases, supplemental heating is provided for the desired area without the mess, fumes or dangerous gas.

Electric fireplaces provide supplemental heating for rooms approximately 400 square feet in size, and all electric fireplace models allow customers to control the heating elements in addition to the flame effect. As a result, electric fireplaces can provide a flame without heat so that it can be enjoyed throughout the year. With the additional control of the flame effect, customers can decide upon a small or large flame. Because so many electric fireplace manufacturers now use advanced matching technology to help reproduce a fire’s glow accurately, the popularity of electric fireplaces has spread across the U.S. and Canada. Electrically simulated fires are much safer than traditional ones, especially around vulnerable children and animals. In fact, their flames remain cool to protect anyone from harm who touches the unit or ventures a little too close for a better view.

All electric fireplaces provided on list a particular amount of space they can adequately heat. The amount of space can vary by manufacturer and type of fireplace, though. For example, mantel packages generally heat a larger area than free-standing electric stoves. Because of this, most homeowners use them for larger rooms, while limiting free-standing electric stoves to smaller spaces.

Regardless of your personal tastes, an electric fireplace is a technology that gives more options than traditional wood-burning and gas fireplaces so they can be seen a viable alternative to be enjoyed for several years.