Many homeowners like having a fireplace for warmth and ambiance, traditionally being gas or wood-burning hearths. However, electric fireplaces are gaining popularity because they offer a convenient and cost-effective option. Before making the switch to an electric fireplace as a primary heat source, let’s look at the pros and cons…
Pros of Using an Electric Fireplace VS Gas, Wood or Pellets:
1. Electric Fireplaces Save You Money
One of the biggest advantages of using an electric fireplace as a primary heat source is cost. Electric fireplaces cost less to install and operate than traditional fireplaces. In addition, electric fireplaces don’t require a chimney or gas line, which can be expensive to install and maintain.
2. Electric Hearths with LED Flames can be Energy Efficient
Electric fireplaces are energy-efficient because they convert almost all of the energy used into heat. Therefore, they produce very little waste, which can result in significant savings on your energy bills.
3. These Modern Heat Sources are Convenient
These modern fireplaces are incredibly convenient to use. For instance, you can turn them on or off with the touch of a button. Plus, many models come with remote controls. In addition, they don’t require any cleaning or maintenance like traditional fireplaces do.
4. Electric Fire Boxes are Safe
Electric fireplaces don’t produce smoke or fumes like their gas or word burning counterparts. They also don’t pose a risk of burns from hot embers or sparks. On top of that, most have glass fronts that are cool to the touch, so you don’t have to worry about kids or pets accidentally touching the hearth.
Cons of Electric Fireplaces
1. Limited Heat Output
While electric fireplaces are energy-efficient, they don’t produce as much heat as traditional fireplaces. In fact, these units are designed to provide supplemental heat to a room, rather than being the primary heat source for an entire home.
2. They Cost More than Regular Space Heaters
As a supplemental heat source, electric fireplaces act more like a fancy space heater. They feature a sleek look with lifelike flickering flames, but you’ll pay more than you would for a basic space heater.
3. These Fireplaces Require Electricity to Produce Heat
You’ll need electricity to run these units, so if you have a power outage, you can’t rely on your fireplace for heat.
How to Save Money When Using an Electric Fireplace as a Heat Source:
1. First, use a programmable thermostat to control the temperature on a set schedule. Therefore, you can save money on energy bills by reducing the heat output when the room is not in use.
2. Install a ceiling fan to circulate the warm air. This makes the room feel warmer and reduces the need for additional heat.
3. When you don’t need extra heat, you can enjoy the flames without turning on the heater. Consequently, you’ll only be paying to run the LED bulb, which usually costs only pennies per hour.
How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Using a Fireplace for Heat
1. Don’t overload circuits. Electric fireplaces use a lot of electricity, so you don’t want to overload the circuit. To easily bypass this issue, I actually installed my electric fireplace on its own dedicated circuit.
2. Don’t leave your fireplace on and unattended. Always make sure to turn off the fireplace before leaving the house or going to bed. That said, most units these days come with a timer function that allows you to program a specific time when the fireplace will automatically shut off.
3. Make sure to use the correct wattage. For instance, using a lower wattage than recommended won’t allow your fireplace to produce enough heat. On the other hand, using a higher wattage than recommended may overload circuits and be dangerous.
In conclusion, electric fireplaces can save you money, and they offer several modern conveniences. However, they may not be ideal for heating spaces over 1,500 square feet. Be sure to compare electric fireplaces before you buy to ensure they provide adequate heat for your home.