There’s no doubt that Canada has some of the coldest winter temperatures in the world. For most of us, the onset of cold winter weather has us spending more time indoors. Our thoughts turn to friends and family gathered around the hearth, watching movies or playing games, or enjoying a meal together. In winter, humans are drawn to fire like moths to light. A fireplace makes us feel good, with its flickering flames, gentle crackle, and smoky smell (as long as it’s not too smoky!) While a wood-burning fireplace is lovely, it’s a lot of work to light and keep clean, not to mention the need to haul wood inside, and many homes don’t have one. That leaves us to consider gas or electric. There are some misconceptions when it comes to electric fireplaces compared to gas. As electric fireplace specialists, we’re here to dispel the myths and help you better understand which models are the best electric fireplaces for a cold Canadian winter.
The Best Electric Fireplaces for a Cold Canadian Winter offer Heat Control
Fortunately, today’s homes are built to very high energy-efficiency standards, and most of the rooms in our homes aren’t cold and drafty. While we like the thought of a fireplace, for the sight, smell and general coziness, we don’t really need the heat. Or, we need heat on a limited basis. One of the best features of an electric fireplace is the ability to have flames with or without the heater turned on. Most better-quality electric fireplaces have thermostat control, so you can set it and forget it. The electric fireplace will work to keep your room at the desired temperature, turning the heater on or off as required, or adjusting the fan output accordingly. The flames on an electric fireplace are not really burning, so they are not the source of heat; the heater is separate and operates independently of the flames.
On the other hand, when a gas fireplace is turned on, the flames are the source of heat and the fireplace gets hot. You may be able to regulate the heat output to some extent, but there will always be heat, as long as a gas fireplace is on. If the room gets too hot, your only option is to open a window or turn off the gas fireplace. A gas fireplace that’s too close to the thermostat on your furnace can also trigger the furnace to turn off, making the rest of the house cold.
When it comes to choosing the best electric fireplaces for heat control, look for models that have a built-in thermostat on the remote or on the manual controls. Most of the major manufacturers make such units:
The Best Electric Fireplaces for a Cold Canadian Winter offer dual-voltage connection
What if your home isn’t new, and it is cold and drafty in some spots? As mentioned above, electric fireplaces do have built-in heaters. All electric fireplaces connect to a regular 120 volt connection, the same as the electrical outlets throughout your home. An electric fireplace on a 120 volt connection can provide up to 5000 BTUs of heat output; that’s enough to take the chill out of a 400 square foot area. If you have a larger space, or an extremely cold space, there are electric fireplaces with dual-voltage capability. These units connect to 120 volts, but they may also be connected to 240 volts. On a 240 volt connection, you can get up to 10,000 BTUs of heat output, to warm up a larger space, or to take the chill of a smaller space more quickly. A 240-volt connection is the same as your stove or possibly a baseboard heater. An electric fireplace should always have a dedicated circuit, with the electrical line going directly to the panel on its own circuit breaker. This is a job for a licensed electrician; when you speak to them about running the line, you can ask them if it’s possible to run a 240-volt line instead of a 120-volt line.
Electric fireplaces that have dual-voltage capability are not the norm; Dimplex, Modern Flames, and Napoleon all offer multiple models with this feature.
- Modern Flames
The Best Electric Fireplaces for a Cold Canadian Winter won’t damage the TV
When we move indoors during colder weather, we tend to watch more TV, from Hockey Night in Canada to binge-watching Netflix. Homeowners want to enjoy the TV and the fireplace at the same time as they gather together. The good news is that electric fireplaces are perfectly safe below the TV, and can be mounted much closer to the TV than would be safe with a gas fireplace. Because there is no combustion inside an electric fireplace, the walls around the fireplace don’t get hot. Heated air is blown out the front of the fireplace, and is not extreme enough to harm the TV above. You can mount your TV at a comfortable viewing height and still have plenty of space for an electric fireplace below the TV.
The Best Electric Fireplaces for a Cold Canadian Winter are safe
With the whole family gathering around the fireplace in colder weather, it’s important that the fireplace is safe for all ages. Because there is no combustion inside an electric fireplace, the glass on the front doesn’t get hot to the touch. Likewise, the lack of combustion means that there is no risk of carbon monoxide leakage from an electric fireplace. These are both risks with a gas fireplace. With an electric fireplace, you can rest easy, knowing that everyone is perfectly safe.
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.