Which Electric Fireplace is Right for You?

Electric fireplaces are easy to install and provide any room with added ambiance and supplemental heat. Today’s electric fireplaces are not like your grandmother’s. They employ advanced technology to provide a life-like flame effects and consistent, effective heating. This guide will help you in selecting the right electric fireplace for your home.

Advantages of Electric

To begin, let’s cover the advantages of owning an electric fireplace:

  • Electricity Requirements:
    All electric fireplaces use a standard 120-volt outlet already in your home, making these units plug-and-play.
  • No Venting Required:
    Electric fireplaces require no venting which means there’s no need for professional installation or permits. The expelled air is toxin-free.
  • Cost Savings:
    Electric fireplaces cost about 2 cents per hour to operate with only the flame effect on and about 8 to 12 cents per hour with both the flame and heat functions on. Read our article on Supplemental Heating to discover ways an electric fireplace can save you money.
  • BTUs & Coverage Area:
    The typical fan-forced electric fireplace is able to produce around 4,600 BTUs and heat up to 400 square feet of space. Infrared models produce roughly 8,900 BTUs and are able to cover about 1,000 square feet.

The Basics

Here is a breakdown of the basics of each type of electric fireplace, including mantels, media consoles and wall-mounted models.


The Mantel Electric Fireplace mimics the look of a traditional fireplace but without the hassle of cleanup and maintenance. No matter your space or décor, there is a mantel to fit your needs.

Mantel designs range from contemporary Asian and transitional designs, to more traditional shaker and oak looks. They are available in small, medium, and large sizes ranging from 36 inches all the way to 56 inches in length, so you are set whether you need to either save space or fill space.

Corner Mantel Fireplaces are also available and wedge perfectly into the corner of any room to save space. Some corner mantles are universal and are able to be placed either in a corner or along a straight wall if you should choose to rearrange you room. Rolling mantles sit on castors, are small, and are mobile if portability is a priority.

Media Consoles / Entertainment Center

Media Console Electric Fireplaces are perfect for holding a flat-screen TV and storing media equipment. Like mantles, media consoles come in many sizes, styles and configurations.

Storage is the name of the game when it comes to a media console, so be aware of your needs when selecting. Consoles with open shelving will be able to house components like Blu-Ray players and gaming consoles, but you may need to find other storage for remotes and cases if you want to keep them out of site. Many consoles have doors that conceal components and allow for storage of just about anything. So make sure the shelving and storage capacity of the unit fits your needs.

Pro Tip: It is important to consider the width of the console in relation to the width of your television. The console should be at least two to three inches wider than the width of the television.

Wall-Mounted Electric Fireplaces

Wall-Mounted Fireplaces are new to the electric fireplace arena and have been growing in popularity over the past few years. Sure to be the focal point of your room, these stylish units are mountable to any wall without taking up valuable floor space. Like mantels and media consoles, these units run on standard 120v power. Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are available in vertical or horizontal orientation to fit a variety of locations.

Pro Tip: When selecting a wall-mounted fireplace, be sure to note the location of the air vent. Some vent through the top or bottom while others vent to the sides. Important to consider when placing near a television, window, or art work.

Kara Zorn

About Author

Kara Zorn is a wife and working mom who loves life hacks that help her schedule allow for as much quality family time as possible. She enjoys cooking with locally sourced food and produce and recently took up brewing Kombucha.

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