Choosing, Installing, and Using a Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace
What Are the Advantages?
There are limited options for getting supplemental heat. The option of an electric fireplace is one of the easiest and most economical.
- They are effective. They can add supplemental heat to an average sized room. Most have a heater that puts out 4,000 to 5,000 BTUs and will easily warm a 400 square foot area.
- They add appeal. In reality, these units are space heaters, but aesthetically, they are much more pleasing. They come in a variety of designs to complement your decor and add a realistic flame effect that humans seem to need on cool nights.
- These devices save space by mounting directly on the wall, leaving floor space completely open.
- They are a simple install. They require no flue or chimney. They are extremely low maintenance and merely plug into a wall outlet assuring that you can do-it-yourself!
- They are cost effective. These wall mounted electric fireplaces cost pennies per hour to operate.
- They are clean and odor free. There's no exposure to fumes, smoke, or hazardous sparks.
As mentioned above, a wall mounted electric fireplace is a fairly safe heating option. They won't get as hot as a gas fireplace, there are no flames or embers to create a fire hazard, and there will be no smoke or other noxious emissions. These in-the-wall models even help to assure the device won't be tipped over accidentally.
However, they are an electrical device that produces heat so basic precautions need to be observed.
- Any filters/vents should be kept clear
- Flammables should be kept at least 6-8 feet away
- The device shouldn't come in contact with liquids
- A grounded plug should be used and the cord should be inspected for damage routinely
- Many of these models operate with a thermostat to assure they do not overheat, but it is important not to let them run unattended
- Doors/safety glass should be kept closed to assure children or pets don't get direct access to any hot surfaces
- Always review care, maintenance, and safety tips provided by the manufacturer before installing or using any of these devices.
Making Your Choice
When selecting which wall mounted electric fireplace will suit your home, there are several considerations.
- It's size. Obviously, it needs to fit in the space you have available.
- It's heating capacity. You can compare wattage and of course BTUs (British Thermal Unit), which is just an expression of the amount of heat it can produce.
- Style & Finish. If you want to complement the decor of your room, you want to consider the style (for instance, modern versus traditional) and finish.
- Realistic presentation. Since you've opted for one of these models versus a regular space heater, you probably want a nice look that creates ambiance. A realistic flame, glowing embers, and so forth are a must.
- Consider conveniences such as how many heat settings it offers, whether or not it can be controlled with a thermostat, whether it has a remote control, and so forth.
Installing a wall mounted electric fireplace is just a bit more complicated than the non-wall mount models. However, with just a few tools it can be accomplished quickly. Below is an instruction video that provides a general look at what is involved. Each model is different but will require a similar process.
© 2010 Christine Mulberry