The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Wiring An Electric Fireplace

Fireplaces are great additions to almost any space. When the cold weather sets in, that warming, soothing fire can be a welcome relief from the temperatures outside. If you enjoy the ambiance of a fireplace in your house but you don't enjoy cleaning up all of the ash and dealing with the smoke, you may want to talk with an electrician about wiring an electric fireplace directly into your home's electrical grid. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of choosing electric fireplaces.

Advantages of Electric Fireplaces

Efficient Use of Energy – Electric fireplaces can save on your overall heating costs, because the way the insert fits into your fireplace can block many of the drafts around the structure. You won't need the flue in the fireplace, either, which saves you from the heat loss through that space. Before you have the electrician wire the fireplace, call a chimney sweep to help you close off the whole chimney, flue and all. It's also a more efficient use of energy. All of the energy used by an electric fireplace is converted to heat. There's no loss from venting or other issues, so you'll get the full benefit of the heat from the unit.

Minimal Environmental Effect – Installing an electric fireplace eliminates the combustion that comes with wood and gas burning activities. That eliminates the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, as well as the other pollutants produced through the burning process. That means that your heating will have less effect on the environment without sacrificing your own comfort. It also eliminates the hazardous particulate matter found in wood smoke.

Zoned Heat – If you have a large home or one that's particularly hard to heat, the zoned heating of electric fireplaces can be a welcome addition to the house. Place an electric fireplace in your largest room or in the space that's the most difficult to heat. That way, you won't have to set the thermostat so high for the rest of your home just to get that space warm. It also allows you the option to enjoy the appearance of the fireplace flames without having the addition of the heat, so you can still enjoy your fireplace flicker in the middle of the summer.

Easy to Use – Electric fireplaces are simple to use. There's no worry about hauling wood in or struggling with kindling to light a fire. You can get things started with just the push of a button or the flip of a switch.

Disadvantages of Electric Fireplaces

Decorative Value – If you've always enjoyed the look of a classic fireplace, the different appearance of an electric insert may not suit your preferences. Remember that an electric fireplace insert will fill the whole fireplace, so you'll want to consider several different styles before you settle on the one that best fits your preferences. You may also find that you miss the smell of a real-log fire, as you cannot replicate that smell with an electric fireplace.

Dependence on Electricity – Unlike a wood-burning fireplace, electric fireplaces rely on your home's electrical power. That means that you'll lose the benefit of your fireplace in the event of a power failure. Since fireplaces are a common go-to source for heat and light during power outages, you'll want to think about this. Talk with your electrician about the possibility of a battery backup for your direct-wired electric fireplace.

Now that you understand the advantages and disadvantages of these fireplaces, you'll be in a better position to decide if this would be a good fit for your home. If you've been thinking about investing in an electric fireplace, talk with an electrician about the safest way to wire it in your home. With the right installation, you'll have enough consistent power to maintain the fireplace operation safely while keeping your home warm and comfortable.