You've purchased an electric fireplace, and you're now wondering about options and accessories to enhance its look.
These questions come to mind:
- What are the manufacturer's offers?
- Will it improve the appeal and looks of the fireplace?
- Would any accessories be worth spending a little extra money?
This article will give you a perspective on these and other questions.
ARE ELECTRIC FIREPLACE REMOTES UNIVERSAL?
The majority of electric fireplaces will come with a remote control. Remote controls work on a radio frequency, similar to your garage door opener. Remote controls send a signal to a receiving unit on the fireplace to turn it on and off, adjust lighting effects and turn the heat function on and off. Thermostatic remotes can also turn the fireplace on and off, depending on the temperature in the room.
Remote controls for fireplaces are often product or model specific. Brand A comes with the fireplace and Brand X may not be compatible. Fireplace manufacturers will either include a remote with the unit or recommend a specific brand of remote. Some remotes are interchangeable with fireplaces, some are not. It’s always best to discuss remote control options with your WE LOVE FIRE® expert.
WHAT ABOUT ELECTRIC FIREPLACE DECORATIONS & MEDIA?
There are usually several options available when accessorizing an electric fireplace. They all have do to with the aesthetics of the unit. These options can highlight your lifestyle and interests and will customize the fireplace to your liking.
Popular decorations and options include: different styles of log sets, colored fire-glass beads or chips, pebbles, stones and ember materials and upgraded trim or (fireplace fronts), available in several colors and finishes. The remote control and heating element are standard fare on electric fireplaces.
These options and decorations will not affect the basic function and operation of the fireplace. Whether it’s a traditional or linear style fireplace, large or small, keep in mind that the purpose of these decorations and media options are to enhance and improve the look and effects of the fireplace and heighten your enjoyment of it.
ELECTRIC FIREPLACE HEATING ELEMENT
Most all electric fireplaces come standard with a built-in heating element. This element typically has a reflector behind it that will reflect the heat back into the room. A small fan provides aid by moving cooler air from the room, heating it and gently recycling it back into the room.
Electric fireplaces can operate with or without the heat on. On high, most electric fireplaces produce about 5100 BTU’s of heat (1500 watts). On low, half of that.
There are some fireplaces that use infrared technology. These models directly heat objects in the room and may or may not utilize a fan.
ELECTRIC FIREPLACE KITS INDOOR/OUTDOOR
Some electric fireplaces are approved for outdoor use, while others are not. You can install any electric fireplace indoors, but not all electrics can go outside.
If your electric fireplace model is approved for an outdoor application, there are certain requirements necessary to protect it from rain and snow. Check the owner’s manual for the specifics on your model. Plan an outdoor installation on a covered porch or deck. Manufacturers want some sort of roof or overhang to protect it from the elements.
Keep in mind that electric fireplaces, even those approved for outdoor use, are NOT water-tight. Efforts must be made to prevent water and snow from entering the unit.
All electrical connections must be performed in accordance with all local building codes. In fact, make sure you inquire about local requirements and regulations before you start an outdoor installation. No one likes surprises half way through a project!
One other point worth mentioning here; the same goes for an electric fireplace installed in a bathroom. Keep the fireplace away from showers, tubs and sinks. Again, be sure to check with local authorities about requirements.
ELECTRIC FIREPLACE MANTELS
Depending on the final, finished look you’re after, a mantel usually adds a touch of class to a fireplace installation. There are no specific mantels for electric fireplaces, or gas models or wood burning equipment. A mantel is a mantel! The difference between the three types of fireplaces are the required clearances for its installation. Wood-burning fireplaces will require the most clearance, gas next and clearances for electric fireplaces are quite liberal or not required at all!
Buy a mantel that you like the looks of, one that is proportionally correct given the size of the fireplace. A mantel will enhance the finished look of the fireplace and any decorations or options you may have.
ELECTRIC FIREPLACE QVC
Our recommendation is to purchase an electric fireplace at your WE LOVE FIRE® dealer. There is nothing terribly wrong with places like QVC. But they are interested in only three things: 1) sell stuff, 2) sell stuff, and 3) sell more stuff.
Developing a rapport with customers and understanding their needs and what their expectation is, product knowledge and selection, industry expertise, competitive pricing and service after a sale . . . these are the reasons to buy from your WE LOVE FIRE® retailer. By doing so, you are guaranteed to have a much more pleasant buying experience.
Plus, buying local helps your local economy. Buying local comes with peace of mind, knowing that if there’s ever a problem, you have a reputable and reliable local business to depend on and turn to for help. That’s not something you’ll get from an 800 number or website from television. There’s nothing more frustrating than making a large purchase and not have it perform to your satisfaction. Or, having something go wrong and nowhere to turn for help.
Your WE LOVE FIRE® expert is driven by their willingness to assist you in any way they can.
ELECTRIC FIREPLACE STANDS
There are some manufacturers that package a fireplace and small cabinet or stand together and sell them in the big box stores or the local hardware store. This is typically low-end, inexpensive equipment and cabinetry that most people are not happy with after they get it home and assembled. The main advantage with this, of course, is the flexibility of moving the fireplace and its stand to another wall or another room in the house. Our experience and the comments we hear, go like this: “Sounded like a great idea at the time”. In reality, it’s seldom done. Or, “this looks really cheesy and cheap in our family room. It’s kind of embarrassing!”
Our advice is to decide where the best, most likely spot is for the fireplace is going to be for your family to enjoy it and then install it there!
Buy reliable and dependable equipment from your reputable WE LOVE FIRE® dealer who represents the best brands in the industry! You’ll be glad you did!
ELECTRIC FIREPLACE SURROUNDS
A surround on a fireplace can mean a couple of different things to people. It might refer to the decorative front around the glass. Or, it may mean the finishing material around both sides and the top of the fireplace. Part of this finishing may or may not include a mantel.
There is not a right way or a wrong way to finish an electric fireplace with a stand. It’s all a matter of personal preference. Some like the clean and contemporary look of a simple trim surround for the front. Others like the more traditional look. Like mantels, there is not a certain surround for electric fireplace. Use your imagination, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Remember to check for any specific clearance requirements that may be necessary for your particular model.