Pros And Cons Of Electric Fireplaces
As with most any product, there are going to be some positives and negatives. The sheer purpose and design of electric fireplaces definitely provides far more advantages and benefits than disadvantages.
Still, it’s helpful to go over both, so you know what you’re getting -- and what you’re not.
Advantages Of An Electric Fireplace
There are a number of benefits you can enjoy with most any type of electric fireplace unit, ranging from kid-friendliness, to savings on your bills.
It’s not secret, fires can be dangerous, and this doesn’t just involve things accidentally catching on fire.
Yes, the avoidance of open flames is definitely a plus for sure, but there’s also the smoke and fumes part. Chimney’s require a great deal of maintenance to make sure they are operating correctly, and disposing your home of harmful fumes.
When left unchecked, the smoke can find its way back into your home, even if you can’t really see it. CO2 fumes can become a danger very quickly, and your chimney can actually catch fire from a backdraft.
Electric fireplaces have no smoke, no fumes, and no open flames. They are mostly cool to the touch as well, except for the heat vent. This makes them much more safe in general, and definitely more kid-friendly.
Standard fireplaces are messy. Scooping up ash, loading in firewood, it’s easy to make a mess before, during, and after the fire. Electric fireplaces don’t require anything but a cord, and produce no messes.
Firewood is not cheap, especially if you plan on using a lot of it during the winter. The costs can add up quickly. If you are using a gas fireplace, you have even more expenses. Not only are you having to buy firewood all the time, you have a higher gas bill as well, often in addition to an increased electric bill.
Electric fireplaces do require electricity obviously, but they are very efficient, and much cheaper than gas and firewood costs combined.
Electric fireplaces are incredibly versatile. Their design allows you to place them almost anywhere in the home, as long as you have an electrical outlet within reach.
With options ranging from inserts to mantels, you can find always find a unit that is right for your home, both in terms of decor, and heat output.
This kind of piggybacks off of the versatility aspect. Electric fireplaces do not require a chimney, or any kind of extensive work to your walls and floors. Free-standing models are simply placed by an outlet. Inserts are “installed” inside a fireplace or enclosed space. No contractors necessary.
Disadvantages Of An Electric Fireplace
There are a few drawbacks worth going over, as electric fireplaces are limited in a few ways.
While it’s possible to enjoy a fire outside in wet weather(to an extent,) electric fireplaces cannot be exposed to any kind of unfavorable weather. This is obviously due to the fact that they are electrical appliances. This isn’t a big hinderance, however, as the vast majority don’t have a need for their unit to be anywhere but inside a controlled environment.
In most cases, electric fireplaces really are just fancier space heaters. So, if you’re expecting to spend a little more than you would on a “good” space heater, you may be a little surprised, especially if you’re going for a very realistic look that offers as much heat output as possible.
Electric fireplaces cost more than plain heaters, period. Larger units can well exceed hundreds of dollars, while still falling short of what a commercial-sized space heater can put out. For most, the extra money is well spent, as you’re fulfilling more than one purpose with an electric fireplace.
Not Real Fire
This is obvious, but we’ll go ahead and bring it up. You can have the most realistic electric fireplace, with natural wood crackling sounds, realistic flames, and a heap of realistic wood...but it’s still not the real thing. So, if you’re wanting to roast some hotdogs or make s’mores with the kids, you may want to invest in a fire pit for your backyard.