We Canadians love our fireplaces, especially in winter, but how many of us are lighting up our gas or wood-burning fireplaces in the warmer weather? Summer is prime time for entertaining, indoors and out, yet we can’t enjoy the ambience of our fireplaces without generating unwanted heat. Or can we? Let’s consider the electric fireplace.
An electric fireplace offers flames with or without heat, because the heater is separate from the flame generation unit. In an electric fireplace, the flames are an illusion, created with light and shadow dancing on a backdrop. Logs are lit from within, and the light pulses to mimic the effect of heating and cooling when wood burns. Because there is nothing actually burning, there is no heat generated by the flames. If one chooses to have heat, the heat can be controlled separately from the flames, to provide varying amounts of heat, as set by the user. This means that you can enjoy a welcoming fire for your next summer soiree, without heating up the house, provided that it’s an electric fire.
If you are considering an electric fireplace for your home, keep in mind these basic features of all electric fireplaces:
- They are zero-clearance, so they can be placed on your existing flooring, or on your walls, without the need for inflammable surrounds.
- There is nothing burning, therefore no venting is required. This means you can place them against any wall in the house, or outside.
- Installation is as easy as plugging into any 110 volt outlet, so you can do it yourself.
- There are no fumes, no CO2, no emissions, and no pollutants of any kind. They are 100% efficient – when heat is generated, it stays in the room. There is no standing pilot light. Electric fireplaces are environmentally friendly.
- Because they may be operated with or without heat, the operating cost is very affordable. Without heat, they operate at less than a penny to 3 cents per hour; with the heater on 50% of the time, operating costs are $.09 per hour.