During summer heatwaves, it’s sometimes hard to imagine wanting to build a fire in your home fireplace…unless, of course, you really like the ambiance without the heat. That’s one of many reasons you might consider an electric fireplace insert for your house, as you can opt to get a heatless fire roaring in your fireplace year-round, even when it’s 100 degrees outside and you’re blasting your air conditioning inside.
That’s not the only reason you might be considering an electric fireplace insert. These modern alternatives are convenient when you compare them with the prospect of building a fire with seasoned wood that you’ve lugged in from your yard every time you want some crackling heat during the coldest parts of winter. (We know, it can be hard to think about those times now, right?) But once December is here, you might not be apt to go out to the woodpile and drag in five or six logs of firewood at a time, especially if snow or frost has made them too damp to light up.
Before you install an electric fireplace insert:
You get to enjoy a fire without all the hard work.
As we said, building a fire usually requires a lot of effort — not just to build the fire itself, but if you’re opting not to buy pre-seasoned firewood, then that’s something you’re going to have to chop up and keep dry out in your yard.
With an electric fireplace insert, all you have to do is flip a switch and the fire turns on. You can even opt to get a fireplace insert that operates with or without heat, so you can get that beautiful fire aesthetic even in August. Then when winter rolls around, you can get that comforting warmth you associate with a fire simply by operating it with the heat feature.
You also don’t have any of the hard work after the fire that you have to worry about. There’s no sweeping up the ashes or even waiting for the fire to die down before you leave the house. Just as you did to turn it on, you simply flip the switch and the fire goes out. It’s just as safe as it is convenient!
They’re relatively inexpensive and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
While something as fancy as an electric fireplace insert might sound like it’s going to cost more than it’s worth, that’s actually not the case at all — many only require a 120-volt electric outlet and don’t use all that much electricity, making their cost to operate pretty low. You’ll very likely find that the added dollars on your electric bill are far lower than the cost of firewood you would be buying throughout the fall, winter, or even early parts of the spring.
Plus there’s not a lot you have to do to keep the electric fireplace insert in prime condition after it is installed. The most you might have to do is a little bit of dusting from time to time.
Electric fireplace inserts are easy to install.
If you’re envisioning this nightmare of a renovation project to make your fireplace suitable for an electric fireplace insert, then we’re happy to assure you that they are a stress-free installation project.
What you might be thinking of are gas fireplace inserts, which run on gas or propane. These aren’t bad options either, but if you have to choose between electric and gas, bear in mind that a gas insert will require a flue or ductwork where the gas can escape after it burns. An electric fireplace requires no such venting, and they can go in any space in any part of your home, as long as that spot is close to an electric socket. (Plus we tend to think electric fireplace inserts have the advantage over gas or propane ones because you don’t have to worry about buying gas or propane all season long — what’s the sense in giving up the hassle of buying firewood only to start buying propane tanks instead, right?)
Consider the aesthetic of the room where you’re putting the insert.
With the growing popularity of electric fireplace inserts, there are now many more options in terms of designs and finishes. Do you have a classic aesthetic to your living room? There’s an electric insert to go with that. Or is your living room more contemporary? That design is on the market as well. It doesn’t even matter whether you have a brick hearth or one that’s lined with steel — you can get an insert for your space. Plus they’re easy to swap out if you end up redecorating in a few years. This explains why so many homeowners are considering easy inserts instead of traditional fireplaces.
They’re environmentally friendly.
Last but not least, it’s good to know that your fire is burning a little greener with an insert. Unlike traditional fires, which give off smoke, and propane fires, which burn gas, an electric fireplace doesn’t produce any pollutants or require use of any fossil fuels. They’ll make the planet just as happy as you are.