Here is our take on the infographic above:
An electric fireplace is easy to install and move: should you change your mind on where you want it to be located - just move/hang it somewhere else. All you need is a socket next to the fire.
It is impossible to move, say, a traditional open fireplace. Why? Because it is a stationary unit that is essentially a non-movable part of your home. It is, perhaps, possible to “move” a fireplace like that but then you would need to change the entire structure of the house. It basically means to build a new home - not very rational. Even larger and heavier models of electric fire suites can still be moved around the house or even to another building.
2. Installation and setup
Old fashioned open fireplaces can be extremely expensive to design and setup. A professional should be hired to do such a job for you. If you are building a new house, then architects and interior designers might be of help. However, they do not come cheap. That’s an extra expense. Plus, maintenance of a traditional open fireplace can be a headache since the chimney has to be regularly cleaned and checked, ashes taken out etc.
Firewood also has to be properly stored so it does not get wet, as a result of which it cannot burn properly. It also needs replenishing on a consistent basis. Plus, it requires storage space - quite a few requirements to keep this kind of fireplace active.
When it comes to electric fires though, it is as easy as plugging them in a socket and switching them on. Minor installation may be required depending on the product but it is still a small job in comparison to setting up a conventional open fireplace.
3. Maintenance costs
When it comes to maintenance, then electric fires are definitely on a winning side. Their cost is low when comparing to open fireplaces. Latter requires buying wood and carbon monoxide detectors, hiring contractors to sweep the chimney etc.
The cost of an electric fireplace depends on how much you use it and on what setting.
Say, in the summer time there won’t be a need for an extra heater in your house.
But! These appliances can work on a “flame effect only mode” that does not cost much. Electric fires with this mode enabled cost less than £3 per year if used for 5 hours a day 7 days per week (this info was taken from NPower standard electricity tariff for NE32 3BE, 1/3/15). Your rate will vary because different providers do not have the same pricing.
If you wish to know more about the bills, and how it is all calculated, please visit this guide to familiarise yourself with all details.
In short: to find out how much you provider is going to charge you, use this formula:
price per kWh x hours used a day/month/year.
4. Cleaning ease
Wiping the dust off your electric fire is pretty much all you need to do to keep it clean. With open fireplaces, there is ash and ember to worry about as well. On top of that, chimney has to be cleaned regularly for health and safety reasons.
5. No continuous fuel replenishment
Contemporary electric fireplaces do not require firewood to keep it active. As described above, an electric socket is all they need. Hence: no firewood - no storage space needed, no chopping and topping it up etc. Forests will also be grateful for not touching them :) Electric fires are very convenient in this regard - just plug them in and enjoy!
6. Flames and heat can work independently of one another
Electric fires can be operated with or without heat. Most contemporary models have switches on them for you to choose between various settings: it can be either flame effect on its own, or 1kW/2kW heat output (usually). Some models can also have such heating options as 0.75kW, 0.9kW, 1.5kW and 1.8kW. Thanks to this functional diversity, they can be operated all year round regardless of weather conditions. Some fires also feature remote controls to make things even more comfortable. Electric fireplaces are equipped with thermostats for energy efficiency purposes. All of the above is obviously not the case with open solid fuel fireplaces.
7. 100% energy efficiency
All electrical energy converts to heating energy. Conventional open fireplaces are not 100% efficient at the point of use since the heat is lost through chimney.
8. Electric fires are great zone heaters
It’s essentially what they are.
What does that mean?
It means if you need to increase the temperature in one particular room without warming up the whole apartment, they come handy. Electric fires are great for heating small or medium sized rooms. Maximum heat output of these appliances generally is 2kW which is more than enough to warm separate areas in your house. But, if you are looking to warm up your entire house with multiple rooms in it by using one electric fire, then it most likely will not do the job. There are other types of heaters with higher heat output capabilities - it all depends on your specific needs. Pay attention to energy efficiency factor though - not all appliances with high heating output will be 100% efficient.
9. Convenience and comfort
Thanks to modern technology and electricity, it’s so convenient to own an appliance like electric fire. It’s functionally versatile and simply beautiful. Some models even come with a remote control!
Electric fires are safer.
The first and foremost factor to consider is this: they do not produce smoke. It is important. Why? Let’s break it down.
To start off, what is smoke?
Smoke is a product of burning organic materials, such as wood. It is a conglomerate of particles (both liquid & solid) and gases.
There are many different types of smoke that can cause serious health issues and even death. Inhaling most types of smoke is not a good thing.
Gases. One of the most poisonous gases is carbon monoxide (CO). It is formed when there is not enough oxygen present in the air when the fuel is burnt. Any combustible fuel needs plenty of air to burn safely (in other words, it needs good ventilation). When an open fireplace is operated incorrectly, or it is simply poorly installed (e.g. air vent is blocked or obstructed), its burnt fuel produces more and more CO in the air. As a result of such CO concentration, a person can become dizzy, have headache or even die of poisoning.
There are, or course, precautionary measures that could and should be taken in order to prevent things from happening. Namely, fitting a carbon monoxide detector is a life-saving solution. It is also required by law.
Electric fires, on the other hand, do no burn anything, so there is no risk of such problems arising at all. They are more pet and child-friendly since there are no real flames that can cause damage.
Electric fireplaces also have thermal safety cut out system. It means they are automatically switched off in case they get too hot.
It is still a personal choice of what kind of fireplace you would like to have in your house. This article is designed to show the advantages of electric fires, their features and purpose.
If you feel that electric fire would make a great focal point in your room, then have a closer look on some of our fires.
Here are some examples of our collection of inset fires (images are clickable):
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