Electric Fireplaces…What’s the big deal?
Electric fireplaces are quickly becoming the fastest growing segment in the hearth industry. Consumers worldwide have seen them on HGTV, DIY Network, and many other home improvement shows and literature. Featured prominently on websites such as Houzz.com or Pinterest, they are quickly eating into the gas and wood burning fireplace manufacturers profits. But the question always remains the same…. why?
As people look to beautify a space or room with a fireplace, they continually question the amount of use, versus the cost of installation. With a traditional wood or gas burning fireplace there are a lot of variables that need to be worked out before hand, for example…
- How much and where does it have to go.
- All gas or wood burning fireplaces have clearances to combustibles that dictate the distance of how close things like mantles, wall coverings, furnishings, Tv’s, and other heat sensitive item are to them. This can often result in finished installations where the TV is too high, the mantel too big, furniture too far away, or having to use a different wall covering other than what’s originally desired.
- Surprise! Wood and gas fireplaces generate some amount of heat. While this heat production varies from very low to very high; heat is always a by product of using these appliances. In small spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms, or studies this can be unnecessary or entirely unwanted.
- Cost of operation. All fireplaces; even electric, have an associated cost of use. Wood or gas logs generally being the most expensive. Electric fireplaces when used without the heater function cost about as much to operate as a typical lamp.
- Cost of installation. Gas and wood burning units are always going to have a 3-10 times higher cost. This is due to the need for plumbing, framing, chimney construction, and the overall higher price of the product itself. Electric fireplaces can be put almost anywhere and do not have the installation requirements of other fireplaces.
When a customer shopping for an electric fireplace comes into our store it generally begins with one of two statements…
- I am looking for a fireplace to add to my (space), and I don’t care about heat.
- I saw this (product) online or on TV and it looks really easy to install.
Either way, this is generally what brings them into our showroom the first time. Other electric fireplace customers only switch to electric once they have gotten a bid to install a gas or wood burning unit and have the realization it is out of budget for them.
“But they look fake!”
Yep! No surprise here folks, but only real fire looks like real fire. So, why are people buying them in such astounding numbers? The easy answer is… ambiance! The “fake” looking appearance of the gas fireplace was a complaint heard by many fireplace shops the world over as gas fireplace sales began to outpace wood fireplace sales in the early 1990’s. Consumers complained about the lack of sounds (popping), or smells associated with burning wood. They often noted how the flame looks too “static” and fake. However, over the past 25+ years we don’t hear that anymore, because people have had them in their homes now for a long time and have come to appreciate the ease of use, low cost of operation, and the low cost of maintenance. And yes; especially, the ambiance!
So, the door is now open for the electric fireplace to take over the hearth industry. With options from highly contemporary to traditional, these fireplaces are offering up the same finished appearances as many of the higher end gas units. Electric fireplaces are also the most versatile; with units that can be recessed into the wall, mounted on the wall like a TV, or even used as an insert in an existing fireplace. Take a look below to see some of these exceptional designs.
In summation, the electric fireplace allows you to install a fireplace almost anywhere you want! With their ability to eliminate the need to protect children and pets from burns, almost zero maintenance, and low cost of installation the electric fireplace is definitely here to stay.
But wait there’s more….
So, what is the most important part of buying an electric fireplace you ask?
SEE IT IN PERSON BEFORE YOU BUY!!!!!
Do yourself a massive favor and go see them in a showroom! Electric fireplaces are available all over the internet, but what you see there is NOT what you will get. The flame effect and log appearance cannot be photographed; so most, if not all pics online are photoshopped! Online returns can be difficult or impossible once the unit has been installed, and the cost to return one and buy another unit to install will negate any cost savings. Please come by our showroom in Plano to have an actual look at what you will get. Also, buying from an authorized dealer guarantees you warranty support and technical services down the road. Most dealers will not repair a unit that is not sold by them!