Everything You Need to Know About: Electric Fireplace Inserts
Electric fireplace inserts are a safe, energy efficient, low cost alternative to gas and traditional wood fireplaces. These electric units are available in three types and offer remarkably realistic flame effects. With multiple styles to choose from, here are some of the various things you need to know when considering an electric fireplace insert.
Types of Electric Fireplace Inserts
Log Set Inserts
An Electric Fireplace Log Set is the perfect solution for someone wanting to repurpose an old or unused wood burning/gas fireplace quickly and easily. Requiring the least amount of effort with installations, these units simply slide into an existing fireplace and plug in to the closest wall outlet. For those who want to hide the electrical cord, you may opt for a slightly more complicated installation and have a licensed electrician place an electric outlet within your fireplace.
Log sets are just as they sound: a 3D log set with a base and a rear projecting flame effect. Some units project the flames onto the back wall of your fireplace, while others have a built-in back plate. Both create a realistic flame appearance –this is where your own personal preference comes to play. The majority, though not all units, offer a fan-forced heater which can create supplemental warmth for areas up to 400 Sq. Ft. All units offer a hand-held remote for convenient and easy operation from virtually anywhere in your room.
Plug-In Electric Fireplace Inserts also offer a relatively easy installation; only slightly more complicated than a log set. These units are square or rectangular, fully encased boxes that can be used in existing cabinets, mantels and fireplaces. These units simply plug into a standard household wall outlet, which you may or may not prefer to have an electrician add to the inside of your fireplace.
These fireboxes feature glass fronts that encase either realistic log sets or contemporary glass ember beds depending on your preference. The integrated heaters vent from the top of the fireboxes and create supplemental warmth to help take the chill out of your room. Traditional fan-forced heaters warm 400 Sq. Ft. while Infrared heaters can warm up to 1,000 Sq. Ft. You’ll want to take this into consideration when deciding which unit will be best for the room you are planning for installation.
A Built-In Electric Fireplace Insert requires the most complicated installation process. These fireboxes are designed for more permanent and direct installations into a wall or fireplace. Built-In units can be plugged into a standard outlet using a plug-kit or hard-wired (preferred) into your home’s electrical grid. We encourage you to hire an electrician or carefully read the detailed instructions prior to installation. Depending on the voltage, built-in fireboxes are able to provide additional heat due to the larger circuit capacity. A hardwired 110V firebox will warm up to 400 Sq. Ft. (4,600 BTUs), whereas a 220V will heat up to 800 Sq. Ft. (9,600 BTUs).
Like plug-in units, these boxes are fully encased with glass fronts and offer either traditional log set or modern glass ember bed options.
What Type of Heater Should You Choose?
Based on the size of your room, you’ll need to decide which type of heater you’d like in your electric fireplace insert.
Traditional fan-forced heaters are designed to fill areas up to 400 Sq. Ft. with supplemental warmth. A circulating fan forces air over heated coils which warms the air and disperses it out into the room.
On the other hand, infrared heaters are designed to warm larger areas, specifically rooms up to 1,000 Sq. Ft. in size. Heating much like the sun, infrared heat warms objects and not just the air within a room. Utilizing quartz infrared tubing, a copper heat exchanger and fan, these units create highly efficient, supplemental heat which is evenly distributed across your area.
Are Built-In Fireplace Inserts Expensive to Operate?
Electric fireplaces are incredibly energy efficient and utilize advanced technologies with most units using LED lighting. If operating flame effects alone you can expect an expense of 3-6¢ an hour. With both the flame effects and heater engaged, average costs rise slightly to 8-12¢ an hour for fan-forced heaters and 12-14¢ an hour for infrared units.
Dimplex 28-Inch Premium Electric Fireplace Insert/Log Set - DLG-1058
"We could not use our fireplace anymore due to safety concerns. Took 15 minutes to set up the log set and it looks so realistic when on. Best of all is the heat and glow, without the mess and smell of a fire. Would have done this sooner if I had known how great it was!"
- Therese from NJ
Plug-In Electric Fireplace
Dimplex 26-Inch Electrical Fireplace - DF2608
"The insert is perfect in every way. The realistic flame, ease of use and instant ambience, without the mess and fuss of dealing with a wood burning fireplace and waiting until it burned itself out, are the best features of the Dimplex DF2608 fireplace insert."
- Delighted Customer from Ontario, Canada
Built-In Electric Fireplace
ClassicFlame 39-Inch LED Builders Electric Firebox with Fixed Glass - 39EB500GRA
"Easy to hook up and install. We purchased this for the flame look more than for the heat. It looks great and other people were surprised at how good it looks. I went with a 220v dedicated circuit and I am glad I did."
- Tony from MN
Videos About Electric Fireplace Inserts
Depending on your project, the perfect electric fireplace insert may come in the form of a Log Set, Plug-In Electric Fireplace or Built-In Electric Fireplace. All of these options help instill a warm and inviting ambience while creating a life-like replica of a real burning fire.