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Ultimate Electric Fireplace Insert Guide for 2018

Posted by Electric Fireplace Shop on

Electric Fireplace Insert with purple flame

Click Here To See All Our Electric Fireplace Inserts

Why Choose An Electric Fireplace Insert?

First Let's Start With Some Common Complaints About Traditional Fireplaces:

Don't Heat Efficiently

Traditional fireplaces actually draw warm air from inside your house to feed the flames, and much of the heat produces goes right up the chimney.

When it comes to heating costs, dollar for dollar a traditional fireplace is the most expensive option, while an electric fireplace insert is the cheapest (typically only 7 to 13 cents per hour to run).

Can Be Too Much Work

Things like buying and storing wood, removing soot and ashes, chimney cleaning costs, etc. all go having a traditional fire.

When you're not dependent on it to actually heat your home, but rather just using it for ambiance or creating a cozy atmosphere, it often seems like too much hassle for one fire. 

Produce Poor Air Quality

While most people enjoy the smoke and smell of a real fire, having one inside the house leads to poorer air quality and can affect people with allergies or breathing concerns.

Wood burning fireplaces also produce carbon dioxide and can also increase the humidity of a room.

 

Advantages Of An Electric Fireplace Insert

Easy installation

More details on this below

Instant Heat

Most electric fireplace inserts have 2 heat settings or a digital temperature control system. Not only will it start to warm your room instantly, most models allow you to run the flame display without heat if you just want the ambiance.

No clean up or maintenance

No ash, no fumes or smoke, no maintenance. Just turn it on when you need it and off when you don’t.

Safety

Electric fireplace inserts are safe to the touch. That means pets and kids can be around without the worry of them getting burned. There’s also no real flame, eliminating the chance of embers escaping, chimney fires, or burning down the house.

Realistic Electric Fireplace Displays

Electric fireplaces have come a long way from when they were first produced. They now boast a much more realistic fireplace display, and many even come in multiple flame color options. 

Click Here To See All Our Electric Fireplace Inserts

 

 

Choosing the Best Electric Fireplace Insert

Step 1: Measuring dimensions

Hopefully before you bought your insert you’ve measured the space of the existing firebox you want to put it in. It’s important to take accurate measurements of the height, width, and depth.

Compare these dimensions carefully with the dimensions of the insert. Ideally, you’ll want to choose an electric fireplace insert that has a height and width (including the trim or front plate) that most closely matches the height and width of the opening you’ll be putting it into.

As a rule, you’re better off going with an insert that has a face or plate slightly bigger than your fireplace opening rather than smaller than it. If your electric fireplace insert is smaller in dimensions than the fireplace opening you’re installing it in, you’ll have to find some way to cover up that visible gap.

You may also have to do a little work to center the insert into the fireplace, such as using the leveling screws on the insert or even building a small platform for it to sit on if it’s much shorter than the fireplace opening.

In terms of depth, most electric fireplace inserts have a depth between 8-10 inches. You’ll want to measure the depth of the fireplace you’ll be putting it in to make sure there is enough room, otherwise the insert will stick out and won’t be flush against the wall.

Step 2: Picking the best electric fireplace insert for you

After you’ve narrowed down the dimensions you need, now is when you can look through different brands and models of inserts that fit those dimensions. Things like budget, level of realism, heat output, etc. may influence your choice.

 

Electric Fireplace Insert Installation

Now that we’ve picked the perfect fireplace insert, it’s time to install it. Follow the steps below and you’ll be up and running in no time.

 

Close and Seal The Damper

The chimney damper is the moveable plate that sits inside your masonry fireplace box, located at the top. This is used in traditional fires- you open the damper when having a fire to allow the smoke to rise, and close it when not in use to keep warm air in the house and keep out any debris, rain, animals, or other things that may come down the chimney from the outside.

Since you won’t ever need this open with an electric fireplace insert, it’s recommended that you close and seal this, minimizing any heat loss to the outside.

Put A Cover Plate On Your Chimney

If your chimney doesn’t already have a rain cap, you’ll want to install a cover plate and secure it with silicon.

This seals it from the outside and prevents rain from coming in. Since we’ll be putting an electrical outlet in the fireplace, it’s especially important no water leaks in.

Install An Electrical Outlet Inside the Fireplace Opening

While you could technically just run a cord out from the insert to an outlet in the room, it’s a much cleaner look if you install an electrical outlet inside the fireplace itself. The nice thing is all inserts plug directly into a standard household outlet, but we do recommend getting a certified electrician to do this part.

It’s also advised to make sure the outlet has its own dedicated circuit or fuse, to avoid overloading and having to replace the fuse or reset the circuit breaker.

Install the Electric Insert inside the Fireplace

Place the insert into the fireplace opening and make sure it’s centered and leveled. You may have to adjust leveling screws if they’re available on your model, or place on a platform if it’s too short (discussed above).

Some models also come with tie downs or brackets for the back or sides of the unit to avoid tipping. Plug it into your outlet and make sure it works before the final step.

 

Attach the Trim or Frame

Time for the last step- attaching the trim or frame. This completes the look of the fireplace by covering the gaps left between the insert itself and the walls of the fireplace opening.

The look will vary by fireplace, as trim can come in different colors and material type.

We hope this guide has been helpful, let us know if you have any questions: info@electricfireplaceshop.com

 

Click Here To See All Our Electric Fireplace Inserts


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