In many ways, electric fireplace inserts are the purest form of an electric fireplace. Designed to fit inside an actual fireplace, these appliances provide an effective substitute for real wood and fire, offering heat output and “flames” that can at times have you forgetting that it’s not real.
However, this is all dependent upon the insert actually being of high quality if you wish to realize these benefits.
Electric fireplace inserts aren’t hard to find, and there are scores of them available in hardware stores and online. An abundance of choices isn’t always a good thing though, and there are plenty of inferior products readily available, entrapping unsuspecting consumers into wasting their money.
For an electric fireplace insert to be effective, it has to mimic a real fireplace in every way, or else it will come across looking gimmicky, and probably lacking in the heater area as well.
If you think it takes a lot of money to find a worthy electric fireplace insert, be assured that this is not the case. Puraflame’s Western Electric Fireplace Insert proves that you can have a superior electric fireplace insert for your home, without crossing the $300 mark.
Form and function are combined with efficiency and convenience to create an excellent insert that can bring new life to an old fireplace, or light up a faux fireplace with brilliant flames and adequate heat output. Click here to learn more about the product.
The Western’s intentions to offer an authentic fireplace look are obvious from the outset. With its impressive log setup and brick chimney background, the Western can seamlessly fit into a fireplace space, and probably even trick unsuspecting onlookers when powered on.
The unit strives for simplicity, opting for a low-key aesthetic that helps it retain more of a real look. Tempered glass covers the front, which is framed by an understated metal frame that will blend with most fireplace. A small vent running along the top is responsible for heat output without drawing any attention.
To install, you simply lift the unit on the top sides using built-in handles. This makes lifting the already light Western even easier. 26, 30, and 33-inch models are available for better size matching, and all have a depth of 8.8 inches.
Controls are located on the top right, hidden behind the heat vent assembly. To access it, all you do is swing open the vent, where you can turn the unit on and off, adjust the thermostat, or change the flame settings.
Let’s talk about those flames for a moment. The Wester uses resin logs and LED lights to create a very lifelike flame experience, with three different settings. The highest setting includes orange and yellow flames, with a hint of blue as well. The middle setting is just yellow and orange, while the lowest settings emits a soft red glow from fake embers.
As for the heat, you get a fully functional thermostat that allows you to set specific temperatures, eliminating the need to constantly turn the unit on and off to maintain a temperature. You can even choose between 750 watts, or 1,500 watts for the times when you want to really crank things up.
Ranging from 60°F to 84°F, the unit can effectively heat a space of up to 400 square feet, while warming larger spaces efficiently as well. For those who prefer a little added convenience, the unit includes a remote control that allows for both flame and heat adjustments from a distance.
There is definitely a lot to admire about the Western, but if we had to highlight one thing, it would be the quality of the flame visuals. It doesn't matter what setting you’re using, the flames always look great, and incredibly real if you're just a few feet back.
Although most people don’t plan on moving around an insert all the much, the low 18 pound weight does make things easier for those times that you do. The handles are a nice touch as well.
We also appreciate the low-key design from the front. Nothing flashy, not even any visible buttons. This helps to keep the fireplace looking as real as possible, which is the goal after all.
The thermostat is a great addition, as some electric fireplaces still opt for the “high/low” setting, or sometimes just on or off. The ability to set a temperature and let the fireplace switch on and off is awesome. The remote and its controls are solid too, and the hidden buttons were a good idea.
The Western already offers a very realistic fire experience, so it would make sense to include an audio feature for the full effect. This would push the unit over the top in terms of the absolute best of electric fireplace inserts, regardless of price.
While the front glass makes sense, it would be nice to have the option to remove it for more realistic look, but this is a minor complaint.
Inserts are bound by electrical outlets. Since you should never attach an electric fireplace to an extension cord, always double check to make sure the cord can reach your outlet before ordering. The Western’s cord is 6 feet long. Check the dimensions to determine the best sizing for your fireplace space as well.
The Puraflame Western isn’t flashy, but it is effective, and boasts one of the best-looking flame visuals we’ve seen. The minimal style and smart features are just a few of the things that make this one of the best electric fireplace inserts you can buy.
An electric fireplace of this stature could easily reach the $400 mark, but Puraflame keeps the price well below that, regardless of what size you need. Based off the its quality, features, and price, the Puraflame Western should be your top choice for an insert. To buy the product now, click here.