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Electric fireplaces have grown in popularity over the years due to the fact that they are a low maintenance alternative to the conventional fireplace. They provide many of the benefits of a conventional fireplace without the hassle. However, there are still a lot of questions surrounding the electric fireplace, one of which being whether or not these fireplaces need a vent. So, does an electric fireplace need a vent? We did the research to bring you the answer.
No, electric fireplaces don't need a vent because they don't give off any emissions like woodburning and gas fireplaces do. Electric fireplaces generally expel the heat they produce through the front or bottom of the unit.
If you still have some questions about electric fireplaces, don't worry. In this guide, we'll discuss the topic at length and answer any additional questions you might have. Without further ado, let's get into it!
Electric Fireplaces And Ventilation
As mentioned, electric fireplaces don't give off any harmful emissions like carbon monoxide because, unlike a conventional fireplace, nothing is actually being burned. Thus, they don't need to be vented with a chimney or any other venting system, so they can be mounted virtually anywhere for your convenience.
From a ventilation perspective, the only consideration with an electric fireplace is that the vent through which it expels heat isn't obstructed when the heat function is enabled.
Can You Plug An Electric Fireplace Into A Regular Outlet?
Yes! As a matter of fact, one of the most attractive characteristics of the electric fireplace is that it simply plugs into a conventional outlet. This gives users a lot of flexibility in terms of where the fireplace can be mounted.
However, it's recommended to ensure that an electric fireplace has its own dedicated fuse to prevent the circuit from being overloaded. Be sure to check the energy requirement for your particular fireplace to avoid any electrical issues.
Can A TV Go Above An Electric Fireplace?
Generally speaking, a TV can go above an electric fireplace since most electric fireplaces expel heat through their bottom or front. But to err on the side of caution, it's recommended to check with the manufacturer of your electric fireplace to determine where exactly your unit expels heat. If a particular unit expels heat closer to the top, you might not want to mount a TV above it.
Does An Electric Fireplace Give Off Heat?
Electric fireplaces do give off heat when the heat production setting is enabled. However, they can also be used merely for decorative purposes all year long where no heat is produced should you want the aesthetic appeal of the fireplace only.
When heat production is enabled, most electric fireplaces range from 4,000 to 5,000 BTUs per hour, which means they can produce enough heat to adequately warm approximately 400 square feet of space. So, electric fireplaces aren't capable of warming an entire house per se, but they certainly produce enough heat to warm the room they're in and thus mimic the heating effect of a conventional fireplace.
It's also worth noting that, since electric fireplaces don't need to be vented, none of the heat produced is lost through a chimney. This means that they are quite efficient when it comes to producing and distributing heat.
Do Electric Fireplaces Look Real?
Before you take the plunge and get an electric fireplace, you're probably wondering whether or not these fireplaces actually look real. In general, they do! However, if you want to find an electric fireplace that looks as realistic as possible, consider the units that include artificial logs, as these fireplaces best mimic the look of a conventional fireplace.
As you can see, this electric fireplace looks virtually identical to a conventional woodburning fireplace.
Do Electric Fireplaces Run Up The Electric Bill?
If you're considering purchasing an electric fireplace, you're likely wondering about how it might affect your electric bill. After all, it's certainly understandable to assume that an appliance like an electric fireplace might consume a lot of energy.
According to Direct Energy, it costs approximately 18 cents to run a 1,500-watt electric fireplace for one hour if all of the settings are set at the maximum (highest heat and flame settings). With the settings turned down lower, the hourly cost drops by several cents. And if you only use the fire display without the heat production feature, the hourly cost can be lower than one cent. For comparison, the national average kilowatt-hour rate is 12 cents.
So, put simply, electric fireplaces are quite energy efficient. If you use one, you shouldn't see a notable increase in your monthly electric bill.
Can I Leave My Electric Fireplace On All Night?
Since no emissions are produced by electric fireplaces, you don't have to worry about harmful fumes like carbon monoxide. So, it's generally safe to leave electric fireplaces on during the night as long as you do the following:
- Ensure that no flammable materials (rugs, curtains, etc.) are close to the fireplace
- Ensure that no drinks or liquids are placed on top of or near the fireplace
With that being said, it might be best to avoid leaving the fireplace on all night for energy conservation purposes. At the very least, consider turning the heat setting down slightly if you plan on leaving the electric fireplace on all night.
Can You Roast Marshmallows With An Electric Fireplace?
Since electric fireplaces don't produce a real flame, unfortunately, you won't be able to use it to roast marshmallows. The flame feature on electric fireplaces is for aesthetic value only.
Best Electric Fireplaces On The Market
At this point, you're probably sold on the idea of putting an electric fireplace in your house, but you might not know where to start your search for the perfect unit. For your convenience, we created a list of some of the best electric fireplaces on the market.
Touchstone 80001 50 Inch Electric Fireplace
This electric fireplace by Touchstone is designed to be mounted to the wall. It measures 50 inches wide, and it has five different flame settings and two heat settings to choose from. This unit has multiple color options to choose from, so you can select the one that best matches your home's interior.
Touchstone 80004 Electric Fireplace
This electric fireplace by Touchstone is designed to be mounted in a recessed part of the wall. It has two heat settings and three color changing options to choose from. There are several different size options available.
PuraFlame Electric Fireplace
This electric fireplace by PuraFlame is the perfect option if you're looking for a more realistic, antiquated fireplace. The unit has three flame settings with variable intensity and brightness, and it can be used with or without heat. It includes realistic resin logs that emulate the look of a real fireplace. There are several different size options available.
Homedex Recessed Mounted Electric Fireplace
This is another electric fireplace that has a particularly realistic look. It has two options for the ember bed and nine different flame color settings. This unit also has touch screen controls. There are two size options available: 36 inches and 50 inches.
We hope this guide has taught you everything you need to know about electric fireplaces. Remember—it's a good idea to check the manufacturer's guidance for your particular unit just to be safe.