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Electric fireplaces have come a long way in recent years. What was once a humble (and somewhat ineffective) space heater has been transformed into a high-tech piece of home heating equipment that can provide warmth, ambiance, and even some level of home automation. If you’re in the market for an electric fireplace, this guide will teach you what to look for and help you make an informed decision.
What to Look for When Buying an Electric Fireplace
When shopping for an electric fireplace, there are several factors you’ll need to take into account. First and foremost amongst these is the size of the unit. Make sure to measure the space where you intend to put the fireplace beforehand so that you know exactly how much room you have to work with. Once you’ve done that, you can start narrowing down your options based on style, features, and price.
As far as style goes, electric fireplaces come in two basic varieties: freestanding and insert. Freestanding units are standalone units that can be placed anywhere in your home (provided there’s an outlet nearby). Inserts, on the other hand, are designed to be inserted into preexisting fireplaces. Beyond that, there is a wide range of aesthetic choices available, so take some time to browse through different options and find one that matches your home’s décor.
In terms of features, the most important thing to look for is heat output. Measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs), heat output tells you how much heat the unit can generate per hour. units with a higher BTU rating will be able to heat a larger space more quickly than those with a lower rating. Other features to consider include remote control operation, timers, automatic shutoff, and adjustable flame height/brightness.
Finally, you’ll need to decide how much you’re willing to spend on your new fireplace. Prices can range from around $100 all the way up to $2000 or more depending on the size and features of the unit. Don’t forget to factor in the cost of installation if you’re planning on going with an insert fireplace; this can add several hundred dollars to the total price tag.
Pros and Cons of Electric Fireplaces
Now that you know what to look for when shopping for an electric fireplace, it’s time to weigh the pros and cons of this type of heater before making your final decision. Perhaps the biggest advantage of electric fireplaces is their convenience; they can be installed virtually anywhere in your home without any major renovations or construction work required. They’re also relatively easy to operate; most models come with remote controls that allow you to adjust the heat output and turn the unit on or off without ever leaving your seat.
On the downside, electric fireplaces don’t produce as much heat as their wood-burning or gas counterparts—though they are still quite effective at heating small spaces. Additionally, they tend to be more expensive than other types of fireplaces both upfront and in terms of ongoing operating costs. And finally, while most models do a good job of mimicking real flames, they’ll never be able to truly replicate that experience.
Overall, electric fireplaces offer a number of advantages over other types of fireplaces; however, they’re not right for everyone. Weighing the pros and cons carefully will help you determine whether or not an electric fireplace is the best choice for your home heating needs.