So, you're thinking about buying an electric fireplace. They are quite a bit cheaper than gas fireplaces, and they can be installed in apartments and fireplace-less homes where wood stoves wouldn't work. Is an electric fireplace right for you though? Let's take a look at the pros and cons:
- They produce zero emissions, so you can put them almost anywhere (fireplace in the bathroom, anyone?)
- You can choose to turn off the heat and just have the flames flicker for ambiance (so, they're appropriate even in warm climates).
- The ceramic logs that come with electric fireplaces offer a reasonably realistic wood-burning look.
- You don't need any venting to the outside.
- Don't plan on using your electric fireplace as backup heating or lighting during a power outage (something you can do with wood or gas units), because it won't work.
- These types of fireplaces have the lowest BTU output in comparison to other options.
Source: September 2006 issue of Home Magazine.