Jeff Flowers on February 13, 2015 3 Comments There are many benefits to having an electric fireplace for your home. Electric fireplaces provide many of the same benefits of a typical fireplace with less maintenance, lower costs and a wide variety of shapes and designs. When you’re choosing the right type of electric fireplace for your home, how do you know what size to get? Which style will best meet your needs? There are many different factors to consider before you make your final purchase. Let’s take a look at these considerations, including understanding how these fireplaces work, knowing where it will go, measuring, understanding the importance of size, and considering the architecture of your home and your personal style. How Do They Work? To put it very simply, electric fireplaces function by plugging into an outlet, usually after you assemble it at home. The electricity powers the lights in the unit, which are supposed to mimic the appearance and movement of real flames. Another part to the electric fireplace is the heater, which gives off heat in order to warm a room and make it feel like you are in front of a real fire. While it looks realistic, there are no flames or fumes that come off the unit. They also remain cool to the touch, making it a safe choice for kids and pets. This also makes it easier to keep clean. Most electric fireplaces can be operated either by button or remote, and some even have settings so that they automatically shut-off after a specified period of time. Where Will It Go? You want to purchase an electric fireplace, obviously, the first thing you need to decide is where it will go. Will it be in a living room? A bedroom? Do you expect it to be able to heat up your whole home, or just a single room? Once you’ve figured this out, consider how big that area is. Choosing the room in which you hope to keep your fireplace will better prepare you for the next steps in selecting the right one for your home. If it will be in a main room such as a living room, it’s normal for the fireplace to be the focal point of the room. Measure Now that you have decided where your fireplace will go, the next step is to measure the area it will eventually reside. Consider not just the spot it will sit, but also what would be around it. Will your fireplace be sitting on the floor or in a recess in the wall? What other furniture do you have in the room? You will want to not only take into account the size of the room and any furniture that you have to work around, but also the dimensions of the unit itself. Then you will need to measure so that you know for sure what size of space with which you are working. This will help you select a fireplace with the right dimensions for your needs. Size Matters When choosing your fireplace, it is vital that you remember that size of the room and size of the unit does matter. If you select a tiny fireplace, it may not be feasible for you to expect it to heat up a room that is several hundred square feet large. Bigger electric fireplaces will be more likely to keep larger rooms, or your entire home, at your desired temperature. Smaller electric fireplaces may be better for smaller areas, such as your bedroom. You will also want to ensure that the room where the fireplace will be can handle the electric load the fireplace carries with it. Depending on the size of your fireplace, you may even need to have an electrician create a dedicated circuit for it in order to avoid overloading your circuit. While it’s not necessary, it may be wise to check with an electrician before making your purchase. Consider Your Architecture Once you know where the fireplace will go, the measurements of where it will go, and the size (both of the room and the fireplace), you can start to look at the various styles. Electric fireplaces come in an abundance of styles. If you really want to go for a “real” fireplace feel, you will probably like the traditional mantel style. Are you going for a more contemporary feel? If so, then perhaps you’d appreciate having a fireplace built directly into your entertainment center. Not only does it look great, but it provides you with extra storage space for all your DVDs, video games, etc. If you have a wood fireplace and you’re tired of the time and money it takes to maintain it, consider converting it to electric. It’s easy to do. All you need is a little elbow grease and a fireplace insert. In fact, inserts tend to have the depth of a real fireplace and even faux logs that look like they are burning. These are great if you wish to go all out on the fireplace look without having to deal with real wood or real fire. In most cases, you can find styles to suit the architecture of your home so that the fireplace looks natural wherever you put it. If you don’t find the style you like right away, keep searching. The right fireplace is out there somewhere. Consider Your Personal Style While the interior decorator in you might be driving you to think only of the architecture of your home when selecting the style of your fireplace, remember to consider your personal style as well. Will you be incorporating the fireplace into your home, or will you be keeping it separate and taking it with you if you move? If you plan on keeping your fireplace wherever you go, you want to choose something that will suit your personal style and is portable. Fireplaces are beautiful and mesmerizing. Electric fireplaces are the perfect way to enjoy the look and heat of a fireplace without stressing about the maintenance, fumes, and costs of a real one. You do need to take time to carefully select the right electric fireplace for your home, however. You want to choose a fireplace that will adequately heat the room in which it will be placed without overloading your circuits. There are many different types and styles to choose from, so you will also want to consider the architecture of your home and your personal style when making your choice. When selecting your fireplace, remember to measure carefully the area where you plan to put it, and measure the fireplace before you make your purchase. Measure multiple times to make sure the machine will fit the way you want. By being careful and deliberate with every step of the process, you are more likely to end up with something you can enjoy for years and years.