When many of us think of electric fires, we think about the 3-bar type from the post-war era which our grandparents huddled around – but they’ve actually been undergoing a resurgence in recent times with some gorgeous modern designs to complement contemporary homes. With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide on how to choose an electric fire – and why you might want to choose one over a wood burning stove.
Why choose an electric fire?
The main advantage is cost. Electric fires are generally cheaper to buy than other types of fire and far easier to install – in many cases you just need to plug it in and you’re good to go.
Electric fires can be a great option if your house doesn’t have a chimney (you’d be surprised how many houses don’t!). If you have a chimney and an electric fire, you won’t’ lose any heat up it – making them a more efficient way of heating your room than a gas or solid fuel stove.
Because there is no actual fire, an electric fire is a great option if you live in an urban smoke control area. They also don’t produce gasses such as carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, or carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas to have in your home.
Electric fires also come in a huge range of designs, more so than stoves, giving you more choice for your home.
Types of Electric Fire
When choosing your electric fire, you will have the option of the following:
1. Inset Electric Fires
This type of electric fire is also known as a recessed fire as it sits in a chimney breast or fireplace, like a traditional fire. Inset electric fires are the biggest selling type of fire, mainly because people want to replace a gas or coal fire with an electric one and want the traditional look of a fireplace. There are also some great modern designs to choose from.
2. Wall Mounted Electric Fires
This type of electric fire hangs directly on your wall and is a great choice if you are on a small budget, don’t have much space or don’t have a cavity to put a fire into. This type of fire can be thin – with a minimum size of just a few inches.
3. Freestanding Electric Fires
This type of appliance is designed to look like a traditional fire with a surround but without needing a cavity to sit in, unlike the inset variety. This means that they sit flat against your wall but look just like a normal fire. These are a good choice if you want a fire in a room that doesn’t have a chimney.
4. Electric Stoves
These stoves are the perfect option if you like the look of a wood burning stove but don’t have a chimney, live in a smoke control area or don’t have the budget for a wood burner. Electric stoves look like wood burning stoves but you can turn them on with the flick of a switch – and they’re a lot cheaper to buy and install. Plus, you don’t have to buy wood to make them work! Electric stoves can really make a room feel cosy.
Other things to consider
As there no real flames, each electric fire appliance will have its own flame effect. These are pretty good these days and you may struggle to tell the difference from real flames in some models. More contemporary fires offer different colours of LED flame in all the colours of the rainbow. Deciding if you want a traditional or modern look will help you decide which flame effect you want.
Some electric appliances only have one heat setting whereas others have several. Others allow you to use the flame effect without producing heat – giving your room a cosy glow. Some appliances are also fan assisted, meaning they heat your home more efficiently. These are all things to consider when choosing your make and model of fire.
If you’re thinking about purchasing a fire or stove, why not give us a call and get some expert advice?
Read more about electric fires here.