An electric fireplace is an increasingly popular option for providing extra heat to a single room. Many homes don’t offer the option of a wood-burning fire because the house was not originally constructed to accommodate this. Also, retrofitting a fireplace into an existing home is often prohibitively expensive.
Here’s a summary of the pros and cons of electric fireplaces:
- Electric fireplaces can be added to any home. This happens via simple plug-in installation without alterations to the structure of the house.
- Electric fireplaces generate heat. Conversely, more than half of the heat produced by burning wood in a standard fireplace is exhausted up the chimney and thus does not contribute to warmth inside the house.
- Operating costs are less than a wood burning fireplace. Unless you have trees on your property that you can cut down which is a big ongoing job, you’ll have to buy firewood. The cost of firewood has risen substantially in recent years.
- Reduced fire and carbon monoxide hazards. Because nothing is actually burning in electric fireplaces, safety concerns about embers and sparks are eliminated. Also, carbon monoxide and other combustion-related gases are not a factor.
- Electricity required. Some homeowners rely on wood-burning fireplaces for emergency heat during blizzards and/or extreme cold when the local electrical grid may be down. Electric fireplaces cannot function without electrical power.
- Single-room-heating only. While a roaring, wood-burning fire may warm larger spaces within the house, indoor air quality is compromised. Heat from electric fireplaces only accommodates single rooms or very limited spaces.
- Reduced ambience. Many people enjoy the rustic smell of wood burning, the sound of crackling fire, and the visual appeal of real flames — all of which are part of a wood-burning fireplace. Electric fireplaces cannot fully duplicate that experience.
- No Comparison. Nothing compares to the indoor comfort and indoor air quality of a whole house HVAC system.
For more details about the best heating and air system for your home, contact the HVAC pros at Jackson & Sons.