When Spring weather arrives and we start to spend more time outdoors, many homeowners ramp up backyard renovations. There are more options than ever for making sure that time spent outside at home is as inviting as possible. From outdoor kitchens to cabanas, gazebos and she sheds, our ideal backyard space is limited only by space, budgets, and our imaginations. A big part of those outdoor dreams is a firepit or fireplace, around which friends and family can gather in the evenings. Indoors our out, a fireplace is a natural focal point and tends to draw people in.
Outdoor flames may be fueled by natural gas, propane, wood, or electricity. The considerations for which fuel is best are similar for both indoor and outdoor fireplaces. Below, we focus on 6 reasons to choose an electric outdoor fireplace for your backyard space.
Choose an Electric Outdoor Fireplace for Easy Hook-up
All you need for an electric outdoor fireplace is a 120-volt electrical connection. This should be a dedicated circuit, just for the fireplace, so that there is enough power to support the built-in heater. Depending on the fireplace model, you may need a receptacle or direct-wire connection. All electric fireplaces may be direct-wired, but not all may be plugged in. If a unit is built-in, and cannot be removed from the wall, then it must be direct-wired, and not on a plug. This is for safety reasons, and is a building code requirement.
Compare this to gas fireplaces, which will require a gas line. Or propane units that will require tanks that need to be changed or refilled regularly. For wood-burning fires, you will need a good supply of firewood, and regular cleaning of the fireplace.
Choose an Electric Outdoor Fireplace for More Flexible Heating
When a gas or wood fire is burning, heat is being produced. There may be some ability to control the heat output, but as long as you see flames, heat is being emitted. In warmer weather, this may not be desirable. Who wants heat from the fireplace when temperatures soar?!
With an electric fireplace, heaters are built-in, but they operate independently of the flames. This means that you can enjoy flames without heat if the weather is hot, or turn on the heater if temperatures cool off. Imagine having the ambiance of a fireplace after dark, without sacrificing comfort as you gather ‘round. Best of all, most electric fireplace heaters are thermostatically controlled, so you can let the fireplace do the work of regulating itself to keep you at the ideal temperature.
Choose an Electric Outdoor Fireplace for a Wide Range of Sizes and Shapes
Electric outdoor fireplaces come in modern linear styles as well as more traditional styles. They are also available with 3-sided glass, like a bay window. Sizes range from under 30-inches wide up to 100-inches wide. Because the flames are not the source of heat, the size of the fireplace doesn’t affect the heat output; from petite to oversize, an electric fireplace can produce up to 5000 BTUs of heat. That means that you can go as big, or as small, as you want without sacrificing comfort.
By contrast, the heat output on a gas or wood-burning fireplace is directly related to the size of the burner; the larger the fireplace, the more heat it produces. This requires some special design planning in order to ensure that you can safely and comfortably enjoy the ambiance created by a larger fireplace. If your space is tight, but you still want some heat, there may not be a gas or wood-burning option that will fit.
Choose an Electric Outdoor Fireplace for Lots of Colour Options
Outdoor electric fireplaces are designed to be outside, sometimes competing with brilliant daylight. For this reason, flames are created to be more intense than on some other fireplaces, in order to stand up to the brighter light conditions. These can also be dimmed down for evening enjoyment.
While we all love a beautiful fire, with natural flames, Summer is a season of fun and relaxation. Sometimes, we may want to switch things up and add a little whimsy when entertaining. With an electric fireplace, where lighting effects are created with LEDs, there is a wide range of colour and flame combinations that may be created. The flames themselves are changeable in many electric fireplace models. While this may not seem like a feature you might use, imagine the cooling effect of blue flames on a hot Summer day. Accent lighting above or below the flames, or behind the fireplace face, can also be used to enhance the flames or to work with a special theme. What about using the accent colours to reflect your favourite team during the game?
Choose an Electric Outdoor Fireplace for No Open Flames
With a gas or wood-burning fire, the flames are live and, in some cases, open with no glass barrier. In some municipalities, open flames are not legal in backyards. In other areas, where wild fires are a problem, open flames are not allowed when conditions are dry, to avoid accidental forest fires.
The flames in an electric fireplace are created with light effects. That means there are no open flames. Even the glass won’t get hot, so there are no safety concerns or risk of starting a fire.
Choose an Electric Outdoor Fireplace for the Environment
There are no greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from an electric outdoor fireplace. This means that they do not contribute to climate change. By contrast, burning natural gas and propane does produce GHG emissions, a major factor in global warming. The rules around burning fossil fuels at home are only going to get tougher. With an electric outdoor fireplace, you’ll be on your way to reducing your own personal environmental footprint.
Stylish Fireplaces knows that adding a fireplace to your home can be challenging. With an electric fireplace and their NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialists, it’s easy to create a space you’ll love to share with family and friends. Check out all the options and connect with their experts for help to find the perfect electric fireplace for you. You’ll live stylishly ever after.