Three best electric fireplaces
When cooler temperatures start to prevail, cranking up the heat might not be the best answer, especially if you have a house with a particularly stubborn room or cold spot. You'll be overheating the entire house just to make one small area a little more comfortable. In this instance, a supplementary electric heater is a better option. And if you want to warm up in style, an electric fireplace is the way to go.
An electric fireplace is just a cleverly disguised electric heater that provides safe supplementary heat to a smaller portion of your home. But not all units are the same. There are some key differences that will ultimately determine which electric fireplace is best for you.
This article covers the essentials, so you can find the right solution for your heating needs.
Considerations when choosing electric fireplaces
Style: Many of the features that differentiate electric fireplaces are cosmetic. The look will play a big part in which model you purchase. Make sure your choice fits the décor of your home.
Heating method: There are two types: forced fan, which uses a fan to blow air over heated coils and into the room; and infrared quartz, which uses infrared technology to heat the items it touches rather than the air.
Insert: Usually designed to look like logs, this is a smaller unit that fits inside a traditional fireplace.
Freestanding: All-in-one units can be large, heavy pieces of furniture or small, lighter-weight portable heaters of modern, traditional, or transitional design. These can be placed against a wall. Some also serve as the key piece in your home entertainment area.
Wall-mounted: Not unlike a flat-screen TV, these heaters are mounted on the wall and feature a realistic screen that displays a burning fire. The heat comes from the top of the unit.
Electric fireplace features
Options: Some of the useful options to consider when purchasing an electric fireplace include the following:
Auto shutoff (for safety)
Electric fireplace prices: The price range for an electric fireplace is broad. You can find portable freestanding units and inserts for as little as $50. The most elegantly crafted electric fireplaces can cost $1,000. Between $200 to $300 is where you can find most of the best-selling, highest-rated models.
Q. How big of a room can I heat with an electric fireplace?
A. An electric fireplace serves as a supplementary heating source. Most forced-fan units will provide warmth to an area of about 400 square feet. An infrared quartz electric fireplace is effective in rooms up to 1,000 square feet. Room design will impact how effective your fireplace is. For example, a room with a high ceiling is more difficult to keep warm.
Q. What type of maintenance does my electric fireplace require?
A. Electric fireplaces require minimal maintenance. Depending on the type you purchase, you might need to replace some lighting parts. Other than that, care for your fireplace the same way you would other furniture: dust, polish the external surfaces, and vacuum as needed.
Electric fireplaces we recommend
Best of the best: Southern Enterprises Calvert Carved Electric Fireplace
Our take: Top-of-the-line electric fireplace that serves as an elegant accent to any room.
What we like: Ornate design with brick interior makes this a gorgeous piece of espresso-colored furniture. Can serve as supplemental heating for up to 400 square feet. Lifelike fire with glowing embers and cool-to-the-touch glass are two much-appreciated features.
What we dislike: One of the highest-priced units. Not your best option if you have a limited budget.
Best bang for your buck: AKDY Wall Mount Electric Fireplace Heater
Our take: Affordable, modern, wall-mounted heater that's ideal for a bedroom.
What we like: With two heat settings, this is a convenient way to add warmth to a room without taking up much space. Customizable look, remote control, and auto-shutoff features make this a great value.
What we dislike: Unsafe to use an extension cord with this fireplace. Must be installed near a wall outlet.
Our take: Slightly higher than mid-range freestanding fireplace that can add both warmth and style to your living room.
What we like: Adjustable lifelike flame and interior light, so you can find the optimum setting for your home. Provides supplemental warmth for up to 400 square feet. Art deco design with burnished walnut finish makes this an attractive focal point.
What we dislike: Remote control serves only as on/off button.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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