A cozy fireplace is the central fixture in many homes, but because of the drawbacks to keeping a fire burning; unfortunately many fireplaces serve merely as decor — a place for family photos on the mantel. Traditional wood-burning fireplaces are dysfunctional sources of medigap heat and can be fire hazards if warning and constant direction aren’t followed. Gas also positions a danger of spreading odorless yet lethal h2o and monoxide through the home.

You can have all of the benefits of a fireplace while keeping your home safe and warm. An electric fireplace can easily be retrofitted into wood heaters the space where a gas or wood fireplace sat unused. Electric fireplaces provide medigap zone heating, and can help in keeping energy costs low while providing the ambiance of a fireplace that can be enjoyed year round.

Out With the Old

By replacing an outdated fireplace with an electric fireplace, the home becomes more energy efficient. Since there is no flue or vent out in electric units, heat produced by an electric fireplace stays in the room, providing a good medigap heat source. Compare that with traditional fireplaces where up to 90 percent of heat may escape through the flue, and it’s really evident that your old fireplace does more harm than good.

By adding electric heating elements throughout the home, zone heating can be an effective way to save on heating bills. For example, during the day, electric heating elements can heat the living room, kitchen and living room; all while the thermostat for the central system is defined a lesser temperature. Unoccupied rooms, like a mudroom or the bedrooms, will not deplete as much heating energy in this way. Overnight, heating can be directed to the bedrooms as the family sleeps.

In homes that already have a beautiful built-in fireplace and mantel, there’s no need for expensive demolition. Wood and gas fireplaces can be easily transformed into an electric model. An electric log set inserts easily into the fireplace by replacing the current wood grate, gas grate, burner or log set. The only installation required for changing a fireplace to an electric alternative is that the fireplace damper needs to be sealed off. Electric fireplace inserts can be blocked in to a nearby outlet, but for permanent installation, it’s more aesthetic to have electric fireplace inserts hardwired straight into the house’s electrical system, or having an outlet wired to the inside of the fireplace where the power cord will not show.

In With the New

Homes that don’t have a pre-existing fireplace can still have the grand look of a fireplace with a stand-alone electric fireplace mantel package. There are several models to choose from very formal traditional wood mantel packages to more sophisticated units. Creative options include freestanding ranges, small foyer mantels, entertainment centers that accommodate both a TV and fireplace or wall mount electric fireplaces. Installation is a straightforward as pushing the unit into a household electrical outlet.

It’s All In the Flare

The realism of an electric kit starts with hand carved fire wood and glowing embers that pulsate for the look of a fire that is given by oxygen. The realistic flames, heat and working glass doors with screens make it virtually impossible to distinguish that what you are seeing isn’t a real fire. And the big difference in electric versus gas or wood fireplaces are that the heat can be put off while still enjoying the realistic flare, so the fireplace can be enjoyed year round.

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