Every year, clients want to know “What’s new in fireplaces?” This year we’re hearing,”What are the best electric fireplaces of 2020?” We visit several trade shows early in the year to find out just that. We also monitor what clients are asking for, to see where the trends are heading next. Based on our experience so far this year, the best electric fireplaces of 2020 are big and bold. Here are the electric fireplaces that are making in impression on us this year.
The Best Electric Fireplaces of 2020 are Extra Tall
For many years now, our best-selling models have been linear, i.e. long and slim, with very little frame around the flames. The reason for this has been that the extra width of these units had to keep up with the size of the TVs that clients were putting above their fireplaces. All manufacturers are now making this style, and it continues to be popular. However, a few years ago, Amantii introduced extra-tall viewing windows on some of their linear models. We are now seeing this category gain in popularity.
If the fireplace is going below a TV, as it often does with electric fireplaces, then it’s not only the width that must balance with the TV. Height also matters, as the TVs are much taller than the fireplaces. With an extra-tall viewing area, the fireplace is better able to balance with the TV above, especially on a larger TV. As TVs get wider, they also get taller. This is not the case with linear fireplaces, which get wider without getting taller.
Another reason that the extra-tall viewing area is catching on is the impact that the fireplace has with the extra height. Extra-tall electric fireplaces are also deeper, so there is space for life-size logs, and big, impressive flames. And on a very wide fireplace, having the extra-tall window helps to balance out the width for nicer proportions overall.
Amantii offer extra-tall windows on several of their lines, including Symmetry, Panorama, and Tru-View, in widths up to 88 inches.
The Best Electric Fireplaces of 2020 are Exceptionally Realistic
As the demand for electric fireplaces increases, clients expect more realism in the flame effects. No longer is it expected that an electric fireplace has to look cheap or fake. Top manufacturers are consistently answering the call for more realistic electric fireplaces.
Dimplex created the Optimyst technology many years ago, and they continue to improve on it. The best kept secret in their line is the Pro series Optimyst firebox, with integrated Optimyst cassettes and heaters. They come in 40-inch and 60-inch widths at the moment, with the option for one-sided or see-through installations. This means that you can have a linear style fireplace installation, with the realism of a water-based mist flame effect.
Optimyst flames look more real than any other electric fireplace, because they move and behave like real flames in the open air. Best of all, they are perfectly safe, as they are generated by a cool-water system, and are not steam. They are ideal for any setting, from commercial to residential. Because the installations are getting larger and more complex, a plumbing kit has been introduced to allow Optimyst units to be connected to a water line. This eliminates the need to manually refill the water reservoirs, which last 8 – 12 hours.
With the addition of an integrated heater, Dimplex has overcome the last objection that clients had to these units. They now have the choice to have heat or no heat, as with every other electric fireplace.
The Best Electric Fireplaces of 2020 are Outdoors
COVID-19 has shut down widespread travel, so vacations have been postponed to another year. As clients prepare to spend more time at home this summer, they are fixing up their outdoor spaces, and we have seen a spike in the demand for outdoor electric fireplaces. Many municipalities have banned wood-burning in the backyard, so outdoor fireplaces must be either gas or electric. Adding a gas line can be expensive, and a challenge to install. An outdoor electric fireplace needs only a 120 volt electrical connection, which may be easier to install than a gas line.
Outdoor electric fireplaces are gaining in popularity as people realize they are able to enjoy the flames with or without heat. On a cool evening, an electric fireplace can warm up the dining or sitting area. On a hot, sticky night, the flames can be turned on without heat, so everyone can gather around the fireplace without getting overheated. On most electric fireplaces, there are also coloured LED lights that can be turned on to add cool blue to the flames or embers, to further add a chill to the evening, as needed.
Amantii makes an extensive collection of outdoor electric fireplaces, in all shapes and sizes. Lines that are outdoor-rated include Symmetry, Panorama, Tru-View and Traditional. Most new Amantii fireplaces are now introduced as indoor-outdoor rated. This means that they have been tested and rated for outdoor use, and are resistant to dust and moisture. There must be an overhanging roof to protect them from water getting directly into them from above. They are perfect for porches, decks, patios, gazebos, pool houses, and she-sheds.
The Best Electric Fireplaces of 2020 are See-through
It should come as no surprise that clients want see-through fireplaces in today’s more open floor plans. When a wall is necessary, as between bedroom and bathroom, there is still a desire to ‘open’ things up with a 2-sided see-through fireplace feature. The Dimplex Optimyst units offer a see-through option, as noted above. In addition, Napoleon has introduced the second generation of their Clearion series, the Clearion Elite. It has a new flame, as well as exciting new LED colour features. Best of all, it has a privacy feature that obscures the center panel partially or completely, at the touch of a button.
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 be the star of your own makeover!