Jeff Flowers on February 9, 2015 3 Comments One of the dreams of many homeowners is to have a cozy little living room with comfortable couches and a beautiful fireplace to enjoy a cool winter evening. Although this dream works in theory, the reality is that fireplaces often take a lot of work and money, even when you buy a home with one already installed. Some people may not even own their own homes, but still wish to get the fireplace feel in their rental unit. When the cost, maintenance, and even the possibility of installation of a real fireplace has you down, there are other avenues you can take. Electric fireplaces offer the same benefits of a normal fireplace with some added bonuses. Here are the 10 most common benefits you will immediately notice from using an electric fireplace. 1. No Fumes Electric fireplaces feature a cord that plugs into your regular wall outlet. When you plug the fireplace in and turn it on, lights create a rather realistic appearance of flames on either a picture or carefully sculpted logs. There are no real flames and there is no gas being pumped into the unit. This means you don’t have to worry about gas or smoke penetrating your home. You get the look and feel of a real fire without having to worry about inhaling potentially toxic fumes. 2. Low Maintenance If you have ever looked into owning your own real fireplace, the maintenance alone may have caused you to think twice. When you burn real wood with real fire, it creates fumes and ash. When the smoke, fumes, and ash travel up your chimney, it leaves residue such as soot. Because of this, you will have to clean your chimney on a regular basis so that the smoke can safely travel up and out of your home. You also still have to clean out the ash when the logs are burned down. However this is not the case with electric fireplaces. Since they do not burn real wood, nor do they produce smoke or fumes, the maintenance requirements for an electric fireplace is significantly lower than other types of fireplaces. There is no chimney to clean. You never have to worry about cleaning up the logs or ash. You just turn it on when you want to and turn it off when you’re done. It’s that simple. 3. Low Cost The installation of some fireplaces can cost thousands upon thousands of dollars. For many homeowners, this initial cost just isn’t worth it in the long run. On the flip side, electric fireplaces are much more reasonable to buy and install. The initial cost can be a mere fraction, and is entirely dependent on the type and style for which you are buying. When you also consider that you don’t have to budget for a chimney cleaning or purchasing firewood, the cost efficiency of your electric fireplace looks even more appealing. 4. Energy Efficient When the winter months set in, some of your energy bills might increase if you are constantly using your home’s heating system. An electric fireplace is an effective way to heat up the room in which you are sitting without drastically increasing your electric bill. This method of staying warm is called supplemental heating, and is a very effective way to save money while keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. While there are a variety of heaters that can help you follow a supplemental heating strategy, electric fireplace ranks right up there at the top. Two other great options are portable space heaters and infrared heaters. Because electrical fireplaces use less electricity than your home’s main heating system, this equates to you potentially lowering your energy bills during the winter. 5. Longevity Electric fireplaces last a surprisingly long time. Unlike other heaters and fireplaces, they are less susceptible to problems like corrosion or rust. Even after years of use, these devices have the potential to look and function like they are brand new. 6. Easy Installation You don’t necessarily need to worry about knocking out a wall or performing heavy remodeling just to install your electric fireplace. In most cases, you can plug the device in and leave it up against a wall, which means it’s also great if you live a small home or apartment and still want a fireplace. Installation really is just that simple. The installation details mostly depends on the fireplace style you select. Some can be left to stand on their own in whatever room you please. Others can be hung on a wall to save you floor space. While others, such as my favorite style, can be used as part of your entertainment center. It’s all up to you. The most complicated thing you usually need to worry about as far as installation is concerned is where to plug it in. 7. Plenty of Design Choices With a plethora of options and designs, there is an electric fireplace to suit every person’s style. Are you looking for something that provides some extra storage space? Perhaps you wish for a more traditional-looking mantel. Or perhaps you’ve been looking for that perfect piece of furniture for that empty corner in your home. Whether you’re the type to choose contemporary, modern, or traditional styles, it’s a near guarantee that you’ll find a fireplace to fit the style of your home and your tastes. 8. They Are Safe Some people have several safety concerns when it comes to fireplaces. They can get piping hot, dangerous for children, and then of course there are the toxic fumes they often emit. When you switch to electric, you don’t have to worry about children getting their hands in the fire or about breathing in plums of smoke. Many even feature automatic shut-off options so you don’t have to wonder if it’s still going when you’re not at home. Although these fireplaces heat up a room, they are often still cool to the touch, which means children and pets shouldn’t get hurt if they get too close. 9. Enjoy Nature Indoors If you’re unable to get out very often, these fireplaces are the perfect way to enjoy a little bit of nature safely indoors. This is perfect for those who may be busy, those who may not be able to go outdoors often for one reason or another, or for those who live in an area that experiences a lot of inclement weather. 10. Usable Year-Round The best part about your electric fireplace is that it is usable year-round. It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of summer, if it’s the middle of winter, or even if there is a burn restriction in your area. Since your fireplace doesn’t use real flame or wood, you can use it whenever you please no matter what the weather is like outside. There are many different benefits to electric fireplaces. If you’re ready to enjoy the coziness of a fireplace without all of the maintenance, costs and dangers associated with owning one, then an electric fireplace might just be the right device for you.