Electric fires come in a wide range of styles, including wall-mounted, inset, freestanding and the original traditional style. In this article, we go through the different types and answer many of the questions people have before buying one for their home.
What are the different types of electric fireplaces?
The more common version due to the modern contemporary look they give. There are a lot of different models on the market right now which show different flame effects and fire sound effects. Check this video to see some examples of what they can do with effects.
Although, these kinds of effects are more on the top end of the market. Wall-mounted electric fires generally start around £200 and can go up to the thousands of pounds level! The most popular brands include Burley Fires, Celsi and Dimplex.
Freestanding Electric Fires
Freestanding electric fires can be placed in close proximity to a wall without needing a chimney, and they offer a similar appearance to an ordinary, gas-fired fire. The addition of a fireplace surround, however, gives a fireplace suite a more traditional appearance.
Inset Electric Fire
Similar in style to the freestanding, but they sit inside a hole in the wall. This hides the cables and gives a slightly more natural feel as it is inset just like a traditional fire would be.
Radiant Bar Electric Fires
Radiant refers to the original electric fire that has been around for many years, often makes me think of visiting my grandparent’s house as a child. I certainly remember them throwing out the heat, but probably not something I would buy personally,
Electric stoves, like the freestanding and inset electric fireplaces in that they imitate another type of fireplace. This style is designed to look like the wood-burning stoves that have been very popular in recent years. An actual wood-burning stove is an expensive purchase, which you absolutely must have installed by a professional.
These electric versions are portable and require only a plug to run, so if you don’t have time for a wood burner yet but want to enjoy one, these can be a great alternative worth considering.
It works by blowing air into short strips of red ribbons that wave and dance in a wonderful fire effect. A bulb underneath amplifies this, resulting in a warm red glow throughout your interior. A simple but effective flame effect.
A fire that has an ambient glow has loose pebbles so you can make your own fire bed. It is an effect that is simple, yet effective, created by the glow of a light bulb beneath the fuel bed, which pleasantly scatters the light.
LED FLame Effect
The most modern option of course, a fireplace can have multiple settings adjusting the affect which blows the other effects out. This effect utilises LED bulbs and a rotating mirror to achieve a stunningly realistic flame simulation. Best yet, the bulbs are incredibly long lasting, meaning you will never have to change them.
Advantages of Electric Fireplaces
- Can be installed in any room of the house.
- No chimney required.
- Electric fires are a safe and convenient alternative to wood-burning or gas fireplaces that require maintenance, chimneys, flues, venting systems, and other features to operate effectively.
- Electric Fires have no fumes from combustion, so there is minimal risk of irritation to the nose, eyes and throat.
- Many designs and colours are available from different manufacturers giving customers a wide selection to choose from.
There are some downs sides to consider…
- They are not designed to heat an entire house, but more so as a supplementary heating device more for a single room or anaesthetics of house decor.
- Cheaper models can have dubious-looking flames!
How do electric fireplaces work?
Electric fireplaces use metal coils to create heat. As the coils heat, a blower motor (or fan) forces the warmed air into the room. Some electric fireplaces also use infrared technology to directly heat a room. As for those realistic-looking flames, a refractor reflects light from an LED bulb to create a realistic flicker and flame. Some electric fireplaces even have a device installed to emit a crackling fire sound. More info here for a deeper understanding of how it works.