Double Sided Electric Fireplaces – Buy or Pass?

Double-sided electric fireplaces are stylish and practical. They provide warmth and ambiance from both sides, creating a cozy atmosphere in multiple rooms.


However, will these modern hearths fit your home? Provide efficient heating? Or even look like a real fire? Let’s review the pros and cons to see if they provide enough value worth buying…

Space and Layout: Will a 2-Sided Fireplace Work in My Home?

First, measure the space where you plan to install the fireplace. A standard double-sided fireplace typically ranges from 36 to 72 inches wide. Then, make sure that you have adequate clearance from wall-hanging televisions (about 7 inches) and furniture for comfortable warmth.

Napoleon Clearion Electric Fireplaces Can Be Viewed from Both Sides and Can Heat 2 Rooms

Note: Contemporary see-through fireplaces, like the Napoleon CLEARion, are growing in popularity because they don’t take up lot of space. And therefore, they offer more versatile and simple installation.

Consider your room’s layout, available space, and how a double-sided fireplace might complement or enhance your room’s functionality and ambiance before making your decision.

Heating Efficiency: Are Double-Sided Electric Fireplaces Efficient at Heating?

The heating capacity of electric fireplace inserts varies, typically ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units, definition). You can expect them to heat between 400 to 800 square feet of space.

Note: Electric hearths usually have adjustable heat settings, allowing you to control warmth output. Consequently, you can save money if you don’t need the extra heat – but want to enjoy the ambiance of flickering flames.

See-Through Fireplace Efficiently Heats 2 Rooms, up to 800 Square Feet of Space

Installation: Are Dual-Sided Fireplaces Difficult to Insert in a Wall?

Installing a high-tech see-through fireplace might require professional help depending on your home’s structural layout and wiring. And also your own construction skills.

That said, sometimes hiring a pro to recess a fireplace insert doesn’t automatically translate to an expensive renovation project. According to national average estimates, labor cost to install an electric fireplace insert starts as low as a few hundred dollars.

Note: Some models offer easier installation with the option to hardwire or plug into an existing 120 or 240V outlet.

Aesthetics and Design: Do LED Fireplaces Look Realistic?

In newer, high-quality models, LED lights can mimic realistic flames actually tricking your guests into thinking you have a gas-lit fire. Plus, many models include customizable flame colors and sizes to enhance the realism even more.

Changing Color Flames of the CLEARion Electric Fireplace

Note: LED flames generally appear more life-like at night because they can shine brighter in the darkness. Also, the water vapor flames made by Opti-Myst fireplaces looks very realistic due to its 3-D effect.

Realistic Optimyst Water Vapor Flames in See-Through Fireplace

Are 2-Sided Electric Fireplaces a Good Value for the Money?

Modern electric hearths can be cost-effective due to their energy efficiency and ability to heat specific areas. In fact, reports that using zone heating can lead to lower overall heating expenses.

Furthermore, the demand for energy-efficient home solutions is increasing. Thus, it positions electric fireplaces as cost-effective alternatives for supplemental heating.

Reasons to Buy or Not to Buy a Double-Sided Electric Fireplace:

Why Buy?

  1. Visual Appeal: Double-sided electric fireplaces offer a stunning visual centerpiece for two rooms simultaneously. Thus, they enhance the ambiance and aesthetics for 2 rooms instead of just one.
  2. Space-Saving: These inserts optimize space utilization by heating two rooms with a single unit. Consequently, you can save space compared to two having separate fireplaces.
  3. Flexible Installation: Since they don’t require a chimney or ventilation, you can easily place your electric hearth within an interior wall. (Even the California Air Resources Board recommends them.)Therefore, they can act as a divider while providing warmth and ambiance to both sides.
  4. Ease of Use: You can easily operate an electric fireplace with the touch of button or a handheld remote. Plus, they don’t require a labor-intensive venting or chimney install.
  5. Energy Efficiency: Electric fireplaces are energy-efficient, allowing zone heating to warm specific areas, potentially reducing heating costs. Also see: How electric fireplaces save you money.

Why Not to Buy:

  1. Installation Requirements: Installing a double-sided electric fireplace might require professional assistance due to electrical and structural considerations. Also see: How to recess a wall mount electric fireplace.
  2. Heating Capacity: These dual-sided units can warm a 800 square foot area (about double of a standard electric fireplace which can heat 400 square feet). That said, you shouldn’t purchase them as a primary heating source for your home.
  3. Initial Cost: Generally, expect to pay more upfront (vs single-sided fireplace inserts) due to their unique design.
  4. Design Limitations: Fireplace placement needs to look aesthetically pleasing from both sides – not just one. Plus, you have limited models to choose from.
  5. Space Constraints: In smaller rooms or layouts that don’t accommodate a centrally located fireplace, a double-sided fireplace may not work.

In making the decision to purchase a double-sided electric fireplace, consider the space, heating needs, installation requirements, design preferences, and cost efficiency to determine if it aligns with your home and lifestyle. You may also want to compare 3-sided glass electric fireplaces.