An electric fireplace consists of the following components: a heating element, a blower, and a flame. The heating element converts electric energy into heat energy.
The heating element’s power determines the size of the room that the fireplace can be used to warm. Fireplaces with high BTU ratings have powerful heating elements than those with lower ratings.
The blower is used to distribute the warmed air across the room. Because of the blower’s effect, portable fireplaces provide even warmth in relatively large indoor spaces.
The flame component is the defining feature of portable fireplaces. You can choose heaters that have any flame bed, including glass and logs.
Also, fireplaces have settings that you can use to adjust the fake flame’s nature and appearance. The adjustable flame function makes portable fireplaces ideal for use as the focal point in your living room.
Electric vs. Gas Fireplaces
Although both electric and gas fireplaces are installed in homes for supplemental heat and aesthetic value, there are fundamental differences between them. Primarily, gas fireplaces produce real flames from the actual combustion of the gas. The heat that the fireplaces produce is generated from the burning of gas.
No combustion process takes place in electric fireplaces. Technology is used to create 3D and realistic images of flames burning on a heath. You can adjust every aspect of the flame, including the speed and color, according to your preference.
Two, because real combustion occurs in gas fireplaces, installing and maintaining them is a detailed process. You will occasionally have to clean the vent of a gas fireplace. Installing and maintaining an electric fireplace is easy. You do not have to worry about the venting system because electric fireplaces are vent-free.
Three, whereas gas fireplaces are strictly installed on walls, electric fireplaces may be wall-mounted or used when freestanding. Electric fireplaces designed to be used in a freestanding mode have clear glass that enables people to experience the effect of the fake flame on the heath.
What should I Look for When Buying an Electric Fireplace?
- Heating capacity. The heating capacity of electric fireplaces is expressed in terms of BTUs or British Thermal Unit. The higher the BTU rating of a fireplace, the larger the space that it can comfortably warm. Electric fireplaces can effectively be used to warm areas that range from 200 square feet to 500 square feet. Choose a fireplace that has the right BTU rating to heat your rooms properly.
- Safety features. Go for electric heaters that have inbuilt safety features, including overheat protection and tip-over protection. Overheat protection prevents the occurrence of fires if the internal temperature rises to critical levels. Tip-over protection also prevents the occurrence of fires if the fireplace falls suddenly.
- Flame settings. Electric fireplaces have different settings for adjusting the effect of the flame. As a rule of thumb, go for brands with as many settings for controlling the flame’s appearance and behavior as possible. The higher the number of settings, the greater the aesthetic value of the fireplace.
- Because electric fireplaces can be used as the focal point in a room, it is important to consider their design. Go for fireplaces that have designs that will complement the décor style of your room.
Do Portable Fireplaces Give Off Heat?
As the heating element of your portable heater converts electric energy into heat energy and the blower helps to expel the hot air through the vent, the room temperature rises over time. Also, the temperature of the body of the heater increases due to the heating process.
The surrounding mantel of portable fireplaces is designed to minimize the amount of heat absorbed as the fireplace is in operation. Nevertheless, the temperature of the surface of the heater rises with time.
It is because of this process that most brands of electric fireplaces have the cool-to-touch feature. The purpose of this feature is to minimize the amount of heat that is absorbed by the outer surface of the fireplace by using materials that are poor conductors of heat.
How Much Electricity Do Electric Fireplaces Use?
The amount of electricity that an electric fireplace uses depends on the length of time it runs and the amount of money that the utility company charges per unit of power.
To determine the amount of electricity that your fireplace uses, multiply its wattage with the number of hours that the heater runs and then divide the product by 1,000 to get the number of watts.
When you multiply the number of watts by the rate charged by your utility company, you will get the total amount of money that you will have to pay for using the electric fireplace.
Are Electric Fireplaces Safe?
Portable fireplaces are relatively safe because most of them have inbuilt safety features to prevent accidents from occurring. The most significant risk of running portable fireplaces relates to fire outbreaks.
This can occur due to the heater’s temperature rising beyond critical levels of the fireplace falling and getting in touch with combustible materials.
The overheat protection feature prevents the occurrence of fires when the temperature of the fireplace rises dangerously. The tip-over protection feature prevents the occurrence of fires if the portable fireplace falls accidentally.
Nevertheless, the overall safety level of a fireplace depends on how you use it. Here are a few tips when using a portable electric fireplace.
Safety Tips when Using an Electric Fireplace
- Avoid touching the surface of the heater when it is running. The temperature of the surface may rise to dangerous levels after some time. Ensure that your kids and pets do not play near the fireplace because they may touch their hot surfaces and end up getting burned.
- Keep combustible materials away from the fireplace. Fabrics, plastics, and paper can easily catch fire if they contact the hot surface of a heater. Ensure that this does not happen by keeping such materials far away from your electric fireplace.
- Do not use extension cords with the fireplace. Some extension cords may either be damaged or have less capacity than what your fireplace needs. It is always advisable to plug your electric fireplace into the wall socket.
Do Electric Fireplaces Need to be Vented?
Electric fireplaces do not need to be vented because no actual combustion process takes place inside them. Venting is necessary for fireplaces that burn either wood or gas to give off heat.
Venting is done to ensure that the combustion fumes are safely directed outside the building. If you use a gas or wood fireplace, it will be necessary to vent it according to the design. The venting helps keep the air inside the building completely clean even when the combustion process occurs.
Products of the combustion process, including poisonous gases such as carbon monoxide, are safely redirected to the outside.
Can you Plug an Electric Fireplace into a Regular Outlet?
You can plug your electric fireplace into a regular outlet. Electric fireplaces come when they are fully assembled and ready for use.
You do not need to carry out complex installation processes as is the case with gas fireplaces. Installing gas fireplaces is a complicated process because of the venting procedures that are required.
A typical electric fireplace is rated 1,500W. You can use a fireplace by directly plugging it into a power outlet on the wall because of this rating. It is safer to plug your electric heater directly into the wall than to use an extension cable.
Extension cables may be frayed or cannot provide the amperage needed by electric fireplaces. If you connect your electric fireplace to a weak extension cable, then the chances of a fire outbreak increase dramatically.
Can I Leave my Electric Fireplace On All Night?
Although electric fireplaces do not produce any poisonous gas like carbon monoxide, you should not leave them overnight.
One of the most significant risks of operating an electric fireplace or space heater is a fire risk. If any combustible material comes into contact with the heater’s hot surface, a fire may break out.
Also, an accident can occur during the night when you are sleeping. A small fault may quickly degenerate into a big problem if there is no one to attend to the electric fireplace. It is because of these two reasons that you should not leave your electric fireplace overnight.
Additionally, leaving the fireplace overnight means that you will utilize a lot of electric power to keep the heater running. If you are keen on maintaining your heating costs, it would be wise to switch off your electric fireplace before going to bed.
Best Electric Fireplaces for Basement
1. Duraflame DFS-550-21-BLK Maxwell Electric Stove with Heater
With a BTU rating of 4,600 and a huge glowing flame and ember that resembles burning logs, the Duraflame DFS-550 is the perfect combination of aesthetics and performance.
The 4,600 BTU rating is enough to warm spaces that are as large as 400 square feet. You can comfortably rely on this fireplace to keep huge indoor spaces cozy.
You can alternate between using the glowing and ember bed with heat or not. If used without heat, the glowing flame and ember create a surrealistic feel in a room.
This aesthetic value is maximized by the heater’s modern design and a black finish that blends well with contemporary décor styles.
Although the Duraflame DFS-550 is an excellent fireplace in terms of portability and performance, it is not ideal for use in a home with kids and pets.
The surface of the temperature becomes quite hot after some time. You will have to ensure that no one touches the surface of the heater when it is operating.
- The glowing flame and ember bed can be conveniently operated with or without heat
- Ideal for heating large spaces that measure up to square feet
- The overheat protection prevents the occurrence of fires when the internal temperature rises abnormally
- The temperature of the surface increases considerably after some time
2. Ameriwood Home Bruxton Electric Fireplace
One of the most outstanding features of the Ameriwood Home Bruxton Electric Fireplace is the flame effect.
Thanks to the use of the patented Altraflame technology, the fake fireplace appears very realistic. Your visitors will notice the surreal effect of the flames dancing on logs upon a heath that the fireplace delivers.
The use of cherry and black finish for the surrounding flame complements the flame effects to deliver great aesthetic value. The ultramodern design of this fireplace and cherry and black color schemes blend perfectly with modern and contemporary décor styles.
Besides, you have the convenience of either using the fireplace for visual effects only or tuning on the heating function. You can use the fireplace throughout the year, even during the hot summer days, when no additional heating is needed.
Although the top of this heater’s mantel can support up to 10lbs, it falls far short of what one would expect. The slender design of this heater limits the kind of objects that you can place on the mantel.
- The warm cherry and black finish of the surrounding frame provides aesthetic value
- Easy to use because the fireplace comes fully assembled
- The Altraflame technology helps to provide realistic flame effects
- The top of the mantel is too slender to support items with a broad base
3. Joy Pebble Compact Electric Fireplace Heater
The Joy Pebble Compact Electric Fireplace Heater stands out from many other portable fireplaces with similar heating capacity because of its design.
The fireplace has wide and clear glass on all its four sides. Visitors can have a clear view of the flame effects regardless of their sitting position in the home.
Additionally, the fireplace has a small air outlet at the bottom. This air outlet is invaluable because it helps to regulate the temperature of the fuselage. Besides, the small size of the air outlet minimizes kids’ chances of deliberately sticking in sharp objects like nails.
The body of the Joy Pebble Compact Electric Fireplace Heater is constructed from high-quality steel. The use of this kind of steel addresses two fundamental problems: portability and durability.
You will get great value for your money because you will not have to replace the fireplace often. Moreover, it is easy to carry the fireplace around because it is lightweight.
- The use of glass on all sides provides a 3D visual dimension
- Highly durable and portable because of the use of steel for its body
- The use of a bottom air outlet design enhances the overall safety of the fireplace
- The temperature of the surface of the fireplace rises after a while
4. DONYER POWER 13″ Height Mini Electric Fireplace
Suppose you are looking for a compact fireplace with a great design and one that delivers reliable performance. In that case, it may be wise to try the DONYER POWER 13″ Height Mini Electric Fireplace.
With perfectly positioned controls at the top, a set of sturdy legs, and a nice matte finish, this fireplace would be a fantastic addition to your house.
Moreover, you will enjoy moving across a set of several heat settings to tailor the performance of the fireplace to your heating needs. You can independently use the flame effects without turning on the heating function of the fireplace.
Alternatively, you can play with the heating settings to not only regulate its power consumption but also personalize its performance according to your preferences.
Sadly, you will have to make a compromise between the size of the fireplace and its heating capacity. If you are solely keen on getting a small and highly portable fireplace, it may be wise to go for this device. Remember that it is built to effectively warm spaces that do not exceed 200 square feet in size.
- The fireplace is compact in size and ideal for use in small areas
- It has multiple heat settings for personalizing its performance
- Inbuilt features, including overheat protection
- The heating capacity of the fireplace is limited to spaces that measure up to 200 square feet only
5. Xbeauty Electric Fireplace Stove
The Xbeauty Electric Fireplace Stove has a massive heating capacity to keep 500 square spaces cozy. Besides, the fireplace heats such large areas within very few minutes. This powerful heating capacity can be a huge benefit when you need to instantly create a warm environment indoors.
You do not have to worry about the inner components of the fireplace getting damaged. The automatic shutoff system effectively cuts out the power supply to the fuselage when the temperature rises to critical levels.
More so, the heater automatically shuts down if it is accidentally knocked. These two inbuilt safety features prevent the outbreaks of fires if an accident occurs.
This electric fireplace can be quite noisy, primarily if you use it in bedrooms or elsewhere where silence is critical.
However, the noise level produced by this electric fireplace is not high enough to distract from a normal conversation. Therefore, you can safely use it in the living room.
- Massive heating capacity of 400 to 500 square feet
- Inbuilt safety features
- The fireplace provides an excellent visual experience because of the use of the latest technology to create the flame effects
- The fireplace becomes quite noisy after some time