The electric fireplace is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. They don't require a chimney or any venting — simply plug them into an electrical outlet. They are turned on and off with a switch and do produce some heat. They are also relatively easy to add to an existing home.
Since electric fireplaces do not need ventilation the way typical wood burning & gas fireplaces do, they can be used in a wide variety of locations and can be installed without additional construction costs. The can be placed near combustibles.
Electric fireplaces are easily moved from one location to another so you can take them with you if you move or use it to warm up a cold guest room. A 120-volt outlet is all that's needed and you can have the warmth and comfort of a dancing fire in seconds. The "flames" you see are created by scattered random refracted light and colored light bulbs.
Click here to view various fireplace pictures.
Electric fireplaces also require no cleaning since there is no dirty soot and ash to worry about and they don't pose a danger of flying embers catching your carpet on fire. The only maintenance required would be replacing a light burnt bulb.
The picture to the right is an example of a simple electric fireplace.
A good electric fireplace can generate up to 5,000 BTU's of heat and can be controlled with a thermostat to keep the room at a comfortable temperature. They are 100% efficient since all of the heat enters the room (no loss up the chimney), however, any form of electric heat can be more expensive than traditional means of heating. They can be helpful to supply additional heat to a single room, instead of heating the entire home.
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