Today, electric fireplaces are a huge trend within the home heating sphere, gaining global popularity and demand. Fireplaces have been around for centuries.
Families across the world have continued to enjoy the warmth and ambiance from sitting around a fireplace while sharing laughter or two. These important heating appliances have proved very effective during the winter and have evolved in design and technology over the years.
Traditionally, wood fireplaces were the most popular, followed by gas (propane) stoves, but electric fireplaces seem to have gained momentum in recent years.
Powered by electricity, this fireplace is often designed with the illusion of fire burning logs, using LED light, mylar or mirrors. The logs are often made of wood, rock or metal.
While electric fireplaces are popular in homes, many have often wondered where exactly they can be used. What spot in your home is the right place to install an electric fireplace?
That is what this post is meant to unravel. We’ll tell you the best places to install an electric fireplace to get the best heating results in your home.
Can You Install an Electric Fireplace Anywhere?
The simple answer is Yes. You can install your electric fireplace anywhere, as long as there’s a power outlet close by.
Electric fireplaces do not need a chimney, gas line or any other infrastructure. Sometimes, you can use an existing fireplace to install an electric fireplace insert but you should make sure there’s a power outlet close by.
As a plug-and-use device, it is quite easy to install this unit at any convenient spot in your home. However, there are still a few things to consider when choosing a spot to install your electric fireplace.
What Are the Best Places to Install an Electric Fireplace?
Apart from your living room and bedroom, another place you can use an electric fireplace is a home office.
While electric fireplace installation is easy and without much technical hassles, it is not enough to just drop them anywhere in the room. We’ll look at specific places that are best for installing an electric fireplace.
Where To Install Electric Fireplace at Home?
One of the most common places in your home to put an electric fireplace is your living room. You can also have it in your bedroom, kitchen and study. Depending on the structural and aesthetic design of your room, there are several options for installation.
We’ll begin by discussing the three common types of electric fireplaces;
1. Wall-mounted Electric Fireplace
Most wall-mounted electric fireplaces can be installed directly into drywall. Others are hanging models which come with hanging hardware and installation kits.
While most products come with a manual to help with installation, it is always best to involve a professional.
2. Electric Fireplace Mantel
This type of electric fireplace comes as two separate components. It has a Mantel, a frame-like object that serves as a shelter for the firebox, and a firebox that is vent-free but with some realistic flame effects.
Some manufacturers use very stylish materials in designing the mantels, with exciting finishes. Some of them also have extra shelves and compartments for storage.
3. Electric Fireplace Insert
This type often features LED glow LEDs. They are installed in already existing fireplaces, whether brick or steel. Some of them also feature pulsating embers for flame effect.
Just center it properly into your fireplace and plug it to a standard 120V outlet to enjoy warmth and comfort.
Based on the above, we can easily deduce some spots for installing fireplaces.
1. On walls
Of course, walls are best for wall-mounted electric fireplaces. Just be sure it is positioned on a spot where it is not impeded by anything or doesn’t impede anything.
If you like to leave your windows open, it’s best not to mount the unit on the part where you have a window as the heat may easily escape. It’s also best to avoid places where the unit may be exposed to water or other liquids.
2. Existing Fireplace
You probably moved into a house that has an old fireplace. You can easily take out all the rubbles and dead logs in there, clean it up properly and install your fireplace insert.
This fireplace is most likely made of brick or metal. You may need to line the base with some cushioning to prevent friction and dents on the base of the unit.
Furthermore, it is important to check the dimensions of the fireplace before you purchase an electric unit.
3. Create your own wall insert
There are many electric fireplaces designed in very unique shapes that do not fit traditional fireplaces.
If this is what tickles your fancy, you can create an opening on the wall, built according to the dimensions of the unit. This can be a very aesthetically appealing arrangement for your home, office, patio, restaurant, bar, etc.
4.Pl ace it on a slab or table
Where you purchase a fireplace mantel, the best bet is to place the unit on a slab created on the floor or on a table that suits the purpose.
This is a convenient decision because the unit already has a housing, called the Mantel which acts as a shield for the fireplace.
Factors To Consider Before Installing an Electric Fireplace
Whether it is to be hung on a wall, inserted into an existing fireplace, placed on the floor or a table or inserted in a newly created wall inlet, you should not install your electric fireplace without considering the following;
- Ensure the installation spot is close to a wall outlet. This is to ensure it can be powered directly to your wall socket rather than use an extension which may pose a risk.
- Avoid water and other liquids. Unless otherwise stated, water and electricity should not meet. Try not to put your unit in a fireplace that is not properly insulated and have rain or dew flowing in from the chimney and through the chase. If you must use an existing fireplace, ensure you seal off the chimney as it is not even required.
- Ensure there is no draft, as much as possible. This would mean ensuring the room is slightly air tight so that all the heat produced by the unit will not escape out of the room.
- Understand the complexity of your installation preference and get the required professionals to help out. In most cases, you’ll need an electrician and a carpenter or Mason. Try not to DIY your way to misery if you’re not sure you know what you’re doing.
- Decide how much heat you need for the space. For many people, an electric fireplace is simply a decorative unit to accentuate their rooms and spaces. Such people do not need to get high-voltage units that will eat into their power bills.
- Determine the wattage you need. It is important to determine if the unit can conveniently heat up the room. A typical electric fireplace runs at 120V, equivalent to 1,500 watts. A simple way to know the area such a unit can heat up is to divide the wattage by 10, which leaves us with 150 square feet.
Can Electric Fireplace Be Used in Commercial Places?
Truth is, it is best to use an electric fireplace in a closed environment (indoors) if you actually need it for its heating rather than aesthetic quality.
Commercial places like restaurants, bars, art galleries, lounges, hotel lobbies, etc can use electric fireplaces, both for heating and decoration. However, it won’t make much sense to use this unit in an industrial setting, such as a factory, warehouse or construction site.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How far from the floor should electric fireplace be?
The clearance from the ground for a typical electric fireplace should be at least 40 inches and not more than 50 inches. This is to enable visual effects at eye level. However, if clearance is all you need, a 12″ distance off the ground is just fine.
2. Can you put an electric fireplace in the wall?
Yes, some electric fireplaces can be recessed into a wall. They are often ventless and are built-in to fit into walls. Note that not all fireplaces are designed to be inserted into a wall.
3. Do you need an electrician to install an electric fireplace?
If you simply want to hang a fireplace using a wall bracket or place it on a table, you probably do not need an electrician. However, more complex decorating ideas like inserting it into a wall should certainly require the services of an electrician.
4. Does a fireplace have to be centered on a wall?
Not necessarily. While this is a popular practice to balance things up and ensure the fireplace takes center stage- especially when it’s a beautifully-built fireplace it doesn’t always have to be that way. There’s no safety rule that mandates it.
5. Does a fireplace have to be on an exterior wall?
Again, not necessarily. The aim is to install the fireplace on a wall where there is ventilation and not necessarily an exterior wall.
You can ruin what is supposed to be a beautiful experience by installing your electric fireplace the wrong way or at the wrong place.
This post is a comprehensive guide that shows you all there is to know about the different installation techniques and spot for different types of electric fireplaces. But if you still can’t find a way to get it right, simply call the professionals.