If you are considering a fireplace remodel or the addition of a fireplace to add ambience to a room, ask yourself: “Will an electric fireplace meet my needs?” Electric fireplaces are, after all, the safest option for any room of the house. There is actually no fire to worry about.
An electric fireplace is the easiest kind of fireplace to install and is safe and easy to install anywhere in your home. Many styles are very portable and can be moved from one place to another like other appliances. This makes them ideal for apartments, condominiums, offices, finished attics and basements, and more.
The drawbacks of electric fireplaces are
(1) they use electricity and are not heating alternatives in the event of power outage,
(2) they are not very realistic-looking, so they provide little ambience,
(3) they produce very little heat , and
(4) they are very expensive to operate.
There are two major types of electric fireplaces to consider. The first is a fireplace insert. In this case, the existing wood-burning fireplace is often removed (although sometimes the electric fireplace can be installed within the old space). With attention to instructions, this installation can probably be accomplished by experienced do-it-yourselfers. It will be necessary, however, to connect the new fireplace insert to an electrical line. The electric fireplace creates no heat, so it is not necessary to have a flue or chimney. The lack of heat also means that the surround and the mantel can be made of almost any material you want to use.
The second type of electric fireplace is what many call a “fake fireplace.” These units are complete “fireplaces” with an image of a fire in the fireplace and a surround/mantel combination. The surrounds might be made of anything from pine to high quality marble. These units are far less expensive than adding or remodeling an actual fireplace.
Because electric fireplaces just need to be plugged into an electrical outlet, they can be placed literally anywhere you want to put one. Some appear to have glowing embers, while others appear to have flames. They are the safest option for families with children or pets.
Despite the drawbacks, electric fireplaces do have their advantages. Before you finalize your remodeling plans you should ask, “Will an electric fireplace meet my needs?”