Back in the day if you wanted to keep your house warm you absolutely needed a fireplace or a furnace of some sort. As technology progressed through the twentieth century however, household heating systems that utilized different sources of energy became the norm. While these more modern designs are certainly more efficient, user friendly, and all around effective, there is something about a fireplace that you lose in its absence. The subtle ambience of the flickering light on dark nights, for example. Or perhaps it’s just the gathering grounds for your family when it’s time to settle down for the evening.
We’re right there with you. Especially in the northern states, a home without a fireplace of some sort is lacking. Over the years many homes have turned to gas fireplaces as an alternative, and understandably so. They have an awful lot to offer and come pretty close to simulating the real thing. They’re not the only option you have these days though, as electric fireplaces have been really improving over the last several years.
It used to be that electric fireplaces were cheap and relatively tacky. It was a good idea in theory, but in execution the products that were available just seemed cheap and poor quality. If you’ve been paying attention though, you’ll have noticed that the design and functionality of electric fireplaces has gotten to a point of realism makes them worth considering. More to the point, by not relying on actual flames to operate they’ve broken out of the box and are now able to offer features that simply can’t be replicated with a gas fireplace or an old-school wood burning fireplace.
What an Electric Fireplace Can Bring to the Table
There are a few situations in which electric fireplaces stand apart from gas and wood-burning fireplaces. Primarily, these aspects boil down to ease of installation, ease of use, and customization.
From an installation standpoint, you can’t really beat an electric fireplace. The vast majority of the models available on the market simply plug into a standard 110V outlet in your home. You can get wall mounted units, which are not too dissimilar to a wall mounted television. You can opt for something built into an entertainment center so that the fireplace goes underneath your television. You can even get a free-standing unit that mimics the look and appeal of an old-fashioned wood stove. Of course, there are some more luxurious models that may take a little more work if you want to integrate them into your home, but for the most part the installation is pretty straight forward.
As far as ease of use goes, you simply can’t get any easier than an electric fireplace. Almost every single model on the market comes with a remote, and you can turn the unit on with a push of a button. The best part? Much like a gas fireplace you have complete control of the heat output. Say it’s a colder day, well you can crank up the heat. On the warmer days you can back off on the heat and still have the flames to look at. Where an electric fireplace beats a gas fireplace is that you can run the electric models completely without having any heat output whatsoever. Pretty cool huh?
Finally, where an electric fireplace really shines is in customization. Since you are not working with actual fire, you not held to the same limitations. Instead of logs, you can opt to have pebbles or glass rocks that resemble ice. Rather than being stuck with orange flames, many manufacturers give you the option of switching through a variety of colors from green to blue, you name it. This is certainly something you wouldn’t have been able to achieve without an electric fireplace, and it’s one way you can make your home stand apart from others in the pack.
Are electric fireplace the end all be all in home improvement? Well, yes and no. Some people will certainly miss the authentic feel of a real fire. You’ll also run into trouble using it in the case of power failure. All said though, there are certainly plenty of reasons why you might want to consider an electric fireplace, especially if you haven’t taken a close look at them lately.