When you consider what you want in your home, fireplaces are the third most often requested features, according to a national realtor association. However, traditional fireplaces that are wood burning require major structural additions to your home to provide the fire-pit and chimney. In addition, wood-burning fireplaces are among the top 10 most common causes of house fires. Therefore, most modern homes do not have wood-burning fireplaces.
Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are the least expensive alternative to a wood burning fireplace, and they have become increasingly popular. They are the easiest to install and can be used in any space including apartments, condos, dens and offices.
When deciding upon a style, you need to decide if you want a unit that mounts on the surface of the wall or one that is built into the wall. Of course, a unit that mounts directly on the wall using a mounting bracket is the easiest to install and most cost effective as you will not need to hire a contractor to build the unit into your wall.
A huge benefit of choosing an electric fireplace is safety. These units do not emit any harmful gases or fumes such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, which you can have with gas or wood burning fireplaces. In addition:
- The carbon footprint of electric fireplaces is much less because neither lethal nor harmful toxins nor gases are being released into the environment.
- Before you buy, ensure that the electric fireplace you choose is CSA certified, this will ensure additional safety for you and your family.
- The flames of an electric fireplace are not real; therefore, the fire hazards of open flames are eliminated.
- People who have respiratory difficulties (asthma, bronchitis etc.) will not be aggravated by irritating gases that can be emitted by wood and gas fireplaces.
- Sparks and burning embers that can roll out of the fireplace are not a concern with electric fireplaces.
- Electric fireplaces are both child and pet safe. They are built to ensure there are no exposed hot surfaces that may cause burns. The material of an electric fireplace is often cool to the touch. However always be cautious of heat discharge vents as these can become warm to the touch.
There are few other things to consider ensuring your wall-mounted electric fireplace is safe:
- Install the unit on a dedicated outlet. Electric fireplaces tend to draw maximum power and having other appliances on the same circuit may cause a fuse or circuit to blow. For some larger electric fireplaces units that have an increased heat capacity you may be required to install special wiring or even a dedicated circuit. Check with the manufacturer or a qualified technician if you are unsure.
- Check to determine where the heat is emitted from the unit. Where and how heat is discharged will have safety implications. For example, you should not mount your TV over top of a unit that discharges heat from the top. If the heat is emitted from the bottom of the unit, keep flammable objects away from that area. Also, keep the unit away from drapes, carpet or any other flammable material.
- Lastly, ensure that your wall-mounted electric fireplace is securely installed and mounted correctly. While you can install most types of these on your own, it’s recommended to have a professional assemble and install your electric fireplace.
If you would like more information about choosing a fireplace, or in need of a fireplace installation in the Hamilton or surrounding region please Contact Hamilton Home Comfort.