Are some rooms better suited to an electric fireplace than others? It’s a question that comes up in our showroom from time to time. The answer depends on the reasons for purchasing a fireplace, so we’ve prepared a summary of the best rooms for an electric fireplace, to help you decide.
The best rooms for an electric fireplace as a supplemental source of heat
The maximum heat output on an electric fireplace ranges from 5000 to 9000 BTUs, depending on the model and whether it’s connected to 120 volts (5000 BTUs) or 240 volts (9000 BTUs). We equate this to a maximum room size of 400 square feet (120 volts) to 800 square feet (240 volts). Electric fireplaces are designed to provide supplemental heat, and not to be the primary source of heat in a space. Many homes have rooms that are a little cooler than the rest of the house, like a basement, or a room above the garage. The best rooms for an electric fireplace to boost the heat level are those that are between 400 and 800 square feet, and have another source of heat. An electric fireplace will provide zone heating in these spaces, allowing you to warm up a limited area without turning up the heat on your furnace, and overheating the rest of the home. In other words, an electric fireplace will allow you to take the chill of a cooler space and just heat up the area you want to use. This will save you on overall energy costs.
The best rooms for an electric fireplace when heat is not required or desired
Because you can operate an electric fireplace with or without the heater turned on, they are ideal for ANY space in your home. If you want to add ambiance to a room, but don’t need or want extra heat, you can turn on the flames without engaging the heater. No room is too small for an electric fireplace, because it will never overheat the space. Either keep the heater turned off, or turn it to your preferred temperature, using the built-in thermostat on most remotes, and the fireplace will regulate itself to keep the room at that temperature. No more sweating it out just to enjoy the flames!
The best rooms for an electric fireplace when you want to enjoy the flames throughout the day
Because they can literally be installed anywhere that you can access electrical power, electric fireplaces are being installed in all kinds of homes, including condos and luxury residences. Many of these have large windows to let in maximum light and views. Unfortunately, all that bright light can wash out the flames on a fireplace. In this situation, we recommend that you consider units that have multiple brightness settings on the flames, to allow for more intensity during daylight hours, and a softer look after dark. Also to be avoided would be units that have reflective backdrops behind the flames. If your favourite electric fireplace doesn’t fit into these categories, then we recommend that you consider placing the fireplace in a room with more subdued light, for optimal daytime enjoyment. Of course, many people aren’t using their living spaces during the day, and mostly use their fireplaces in the evening. In this case, you can simply choose the flames you like best, without worrying about how they will look in bright light. ALL electric fireplaces look great in low light.
The best rooms for an electric fireplace that must be surface-mounted
A surface-mounted electric fireplace may be hung on any wall in your home. However, it’s ideal if you can hang it between 2 corners on an end wall, or in an alcove. Because the unit will project from the wall by 4 to 6 inches, for most current models, the sides of the firebox will be exposed. If the sides of the fireplace are facing into corners on both ends, the firebox won’t be visible. The least desirable locations are those areas where you can approach the fireplace from the side, where you will be looking directly at the end of the firebox. Walls that extend from the hallway into a living space, or walls adjacent to doorways, are an example of this. With open floorplans, it can be tricky to find a wall where the ends of the fireplace are not exposed. More closed-off spaces, like bedrooms or dens are good candidates.
The best rooms for an electric fireplace when you can’t build a new wall
Many of our customers would prefer a flush-mounted fireplace, but aren’t able to build out a new wall for it. It is possible for a carpenter to cut into an existing wall to create an opening for a fireplace, however, this must be done on interior walls only. We don’t recommend cutting into an exterior wall, where the vapour barrier and insulation will be compromised. If you must retrofit an existing wall for a flush-mounted fireplace, limit this type of installation to rooms where an interior wall is available for mounting the fireplace.
The best rooms for an electric fireplace where safety is a concern
If you’ve ever had a gas fireplace, or been around one when it’s turned on, you know that it gets very hot. This includes the glass faceplate. In fact, the glass on a gas fireplace gets hot enough to cause serious burns to anyone who might touch it. On the other hand, the glass on an electric fireplace never gets hot. If you want to add a fireplace to a room where kids or pets will be present, this is an ideal space for an electric fireplace. Family rooms, basements, waiting rooms, and lobbies are great spots for an electric fireplace that looks great and won’t burn stray fingers.
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.