Choosing the Best Electric Fireplace for your Family

Written by
JRH
Published on
November 5, 2021 9:30:00 AM PDT November 5, 2021 9:30:00 AM PDTth, November 5, 2021 9:30:00 AM PDT

Are you looking for a new, cost-effective way to add supplemental heat to your home this winter? Electric fireplaces can be an excellent, clean alternative to wood-burning or other home heating solutions because they:

  • are easy to install (just mount, plug-in, and flip the switch)
  • don’t pollute the air
  • don’t leave a mess from burning materials
  • are safe for households with children and pets
  • last for years (with LED lights) with little maintenance


There are many new electric fireplace models on the market this year. They come with some convenient and unique features. How do you pick the best one for your family? Here’s what you need to know about buying an electric fireplace for your home.


What are the types of electric fireplaces?

There are four types of electric fireplaces depending on what you need to heat and where you plan to install it:

  • Wall mount: These are mounted on a flat surface such as drywall.
  • Recessed: These are inserted into a hole in the wall so the fireplace sits flush with the wall.
  • Free-standing: These fireplaces are portable and can be placed on flat ground anywhere near an electric outlet. 
  • Fireplace Inserts: These are used to retrofit an existing fireplace alcove or when you make your own mantel surround.

 

Some mounted fireplaces can be installed as wall-mounted or recessed. These include:

 


What flame types and options are available?

When you buy an electric fireplace, you have more options for flame styles. Because the flame is lit by LED lights, you can experience more colour options and patterns (upwards of 1500+ different colour combinations in some models). The technology is becoming so advanced that some look like real flames. 


You can also choose a fireplace with real-looking logs, decorative resin branches, decorative media, or fire beads to change the ambiance. 


How do I choose the BTU output?

While most electric fireplaces have a heating feature, you can choose cheaper models without a heating component if you want purely ambiance. If you want heat, you’ll need to look at the BTU output of the fireplace. 


Standard electric fireplaces output 4000-5000 BTU, which is enough to comfortably heat a 400 sq ft room


What cool features come with electric fireplaces today?

Many electric fireplaces include on-demand controllable heat via remote control or simple controls on the unit. These often include a built-in thermostat to control the heat levels, turning the unit off when the desired temperature has been reached. 


Other unique features available in some electric fireplace models include:

  • customizable, multi-colour flames
  • touch screen panels
  • mobile app controllability
  • smart home integrations


Fireplaces with smart technology are becoming very popular. Fireplaces in the Kennedy II and the Smart Premium lines can integrate with your smart home. 


Electric Fireplace installation tips

When you’ve chosen your electric fireplace, installation is often straightforward. Always follow the instructions that come with your unit, but here are some best practices and tips:


  • Leave a 3 feet clearance between the fireplace and any combustibles
  • Always test the fireplace before mounting it on the wall
  • Locate the closest power outlet (and avoid using an extension cord)
  • Screw support brackets to drywall through studs for best support
  • Don’t forget to plug in the unit


When selecting a fireplace for your home, look at the features you need and always be sure to measure the space you have to ensure you purchase the correct size for the wall and room. An electric fireplace is a safe and efficient way to create the perfect ambiance and provide supplemental heating to any room in your home.