Electric Articles


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Electric fireplace, pro’s & con’s

There are lots of pros and cons when it comes to electric fireplaces. The most significant boil down to heat output, price and details with the installation. Hopefully, this chart sheds additional light on comparing the advantages and disadvantages of an electric vs. gas fireplace.   ELECTRIC FIREPLACE GAS EQUIPMENT Heating Capacity Low Moderate to…
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Is it cheaper to use electric heat or gas fireplace?

This is another question where the answer could be, it depends. The main 3 variables here are: Your electric rates. The current cost of gas. How much do you use your fireplace monthly? Remember that BTU’s are what it takes to heat your home or warm up a room. Gas fireplaces produce significantly more BTU’s/hour…
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Is a gas or electric fireplace cheaper?

You will likely spend less money on an electric fireplace than a similar size gas model. A gas fireplace is a more complicated piece of equipment with an ignition system, adjustable gas valve, gas pressure and air to fuel adjustments, an insulated firebox and a coaxial venting system. The flames and lighting effects on an…
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Are electric fireplaces better than gas?

This is one of those questions where the best answer is, it depends! It depends on your wants and needs. Both fuels come in lots of traditional and linear sizes. Both have several media options for a unique and customized look. But, are you looking for much heat? If the answer is yes, go with…
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Can electric fireplaces be converted to gas?

The short and direct answer to this question is: absolutely not! Never try it, it would be extremely hazardous. There are several reasons for this: 1) Gas appliances must be vented; electric fireplaces do not. 2) Clearance requirements are necessary for gas units, as they produce significantly more heat and get much hotter than an…
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What about electric fireplaces near a bathtub?

A GFI (Ground Fault Interrupter) circuit or receptacle must protect an electric fireplace in a bathroom. Fireplaces are not watertight, and you must protect them from water ingress. For this reason, you must install electric fireplaces away from tubs and showers. For this reason, we do not recommend wall mounting a fireplace in a bathroom.…
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Who installs electric fireplaces?

Anyone can plug an electric fireplace into an existing wall outlet. However, hard-wiring an electric fireplace is a different story. Depending on local codes, hard-wiring an electric fireplace is a project that a competent DIY’er might tackle. If regulations allow it and you have experience and knowledge of electrical practices and basic construction skills, go…
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Where to plug in an electric fireplace?

Most electric fireplaces come pre-wired with a 72" (1.8M) cord and a grounded plug. For planning, see if your electrician prefers the line on the unit's left or right side. Depending on circumstances, some fireplaces simply plug into a wall outlet. The only issue with plugging into an existing wall outlet is the possibility of…
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Where to install an electric fireplace?

This is a tricky question because it's based on individual preferences. There are so many sizes and shapes of electric fireplaces that you can install one nearly anywhere in your house! First, think about these points before the installation: 1) Allow for proper wall and ceiling clearances. 2) Avoid direct exposure to the sunlight or…
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How to install an electric insert?

An electric fireplace insert is intended to be put inside an existing wood-burning fireplace. You install an electric wire into the hearth by running it up the clean-out chute in a masonry fireplace. If yours is a zero-clearance fireplace, you can install the electrical supply directly through the steel side wall of the existing fireplace.…
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How to install an electric fireplace?

Once you’ve decided on the type of installation, the owner’s manual will have specific details for framing, securing the unit, wiring, and clearances. Most electric fireplaces come with a plug on a six-foot cord. Depending on the installation, many fireplaces are hard-wired. A qualified electrician will remove the corded connection and wire the appliance directly…
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Can I install an electric fireplace in a wall?

There are a few ways to install an electric fireplace, depending on whether you plan to wall mount, built-in, or flush mount it. Some models can hang on the wall with special mounting brackets, much like a picture or mirror. Although sometimes a challenge, it’s always a good idea to hide the electric cord as…
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Can you leave an electric fireplace on all the time?

The short answer to this question is: yes, you certainly can! And many people do just that!  Much has been said about the spectacular effects of today's electric fireplaces. The colors, media options, and the inexpensive costs to enjoy the light show are reasons enough to keep your fireplace stay on all the time! Some…
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Will my electric fireplace heat an entire room, house, basement, or garage?

An electric fireplace could reasonably be expected to heat an insulated room up to a couple hundred square feet of space. Think of the heat from an electric fireplace as "supplemental" to your primary heat source. Many homes have been designed and built to heat with electricity. However, heating with an electric fireplace should complement…
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Will using an electric fireplace save me money?

Heating your home with an electric fireplace is not realistic. At about 7,675 BTUs, it would take four or five electric fireplaces in your home to equal the heat output from one gas fireplace. Not surprisingly, even more than a larger wood-burning stove or fireplace. Heating a home is all about BTUs. Many modest size…
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Are electric fireplaces expensive to operate?

Although electric heat from a fireplace is 100% efficient, it is worth noting that much of our electricity is supplied from generation sources such as hydro, coal, gas, or oil. Most of this electricity production turns about 1/3 of the fuel’s energy potential into electricity. Because of the generation and transportation losses in transmission lines,…
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Are electric fireplaces energy efficient?

Electric resistance heating is considered 100% energy efficient. By contrast, gas fireplaces are in the mid 70% to low 80% range, and wood-burning equipment is in the low to upper 70% range. All the incoming electric energy used in an electric fireplace is turned into heat. Since there is no venting or chimney needed with…
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Why have electric fireplaces become so popular?

There are lots of reasons for this, many of them mentioned above.  The ease and versatility of installation probably tops the list.  Because there is no venting required, electrics can go anywhere in your home.  Electric fireplaces can be mounted on, or recessed into a wall.  How about one in the bathroom or bedroom?  Maybe…
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What kind of maintenance does an electric fireplace require?

Compared to wood, pellet or gas fireplaces, electrics do not require much maintenance at all.  An occasional bulb may need to be replaced.  Odds are that your dealer will have these on hand.  And, the glass may need to be cleaned occasionally.  A standard glass cleaner will do the trick.
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How do I turn my electric fireplace on/off?

Most will have an easy to use remote control.  The remote will activate the flame speed and colors, turn the heat on or off, adjust the intensity of the light effects and regulate the speed of the fan.  Additionally, most models will have conveniently located manual controls located on the unit, too.
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What are the electrical requirements for an electric fireplace?

Depending on the model, electric fireplaces will operate on either 120 volts or 240 volts or electricity.  Most common is 120 volts and they plug into a standard wall outlet.  Although some codes may not require it, most dealers and electricians will recommend installing a designated circuit from your electrical distribution panel.  A 240 volt…
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How much does it cost to operate an electric fireplace?

Electric rates vary considerably around the country.  The answer to this question has everything to do with your specific rate.  Electric rates are based on kilowatt hours (KWH) of usage.  A kilowatt hour is 1000 watts of power, used for one hour. Check your latest electric bill and find the rate closest to the chart…
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How do I vent an electric fireplace?

Unlike a gas vent pipe or a stainless steel chimney for a wood burning appliance, there are no venting requirements for an electric fireplace.  Since there is no fuel being burned and no smoke or by-products form the combustion process, there is nothing to vent outside.  This is exactly why an electric fireplace can be…
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How hot does the glass get on an electric fireplace?

Unlike the glass on a wood burning fireplace or a gas model, the glass on an electric fireplace will not get hot.  Even with the heat on, the glass will stay relatively cool to the touch and should not cause any safety concerns.  Since there’s no actual fire in the firebox, if the heat is…
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Does the heating element always have to be on?

No, it does not.  This is one of the appeals of an electric fireplace.  If you want a bit of heat, turn the heat on.  If you want just the effects afforded by an electric fireplace, without any heat, just leave the heat off.  This will allow you to enjoy that special feeling and atmosphere…
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Will an electric fireplace heat my room?

Many variables affect how much space an electric fireplace will heat. House age Type of construction Condition and size of windows and doors Sidewall and ceiling insulation levels Southern Orientation Prevailing winter winds Etc. And obviously, a home in Northern Canada will have different heating requirements than a house in the Carolinas. Many people use…
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