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Realistic Appearance Electric fireplaces

Electric fireplaces require no venting, no gas lines, no technical expertise. Just unbox your electric fireplace, plug it in and enjoy! We offer a great selection of freestanding electric stoves, electric fireplaces with mantels, wall mount electric fireplaces and inserts that retrofit into an existing fireplace.

I own two electric fireplaces and I am selling them with my house. I plan on buying another one for my home in Georgia.  That alone should be testimonial that these are not bad appliances to own.  But before you buy one, you should consider carefully what it is you are buying.

Years ago, fake electric fireplaces were pretty crude.  I bought one at a garage sale once, and it comprised a 100-watt light bulb and a rotating cylinder with flames printed on it.  It sort of made a fireplace like flicker, but it was pretty cheesy.  It was probably from the 1960’s if not before.

Fast-foward a few decades, and everyone is selling electric fireplaces.  You see them in Lowes.  You see them in Home Depot.  You see them in these come-on “Amish” ads in the back pages of the Smithsonian.  Are they a good deal?  Is this a realistic heating appliance?  Like anything else, you have to think about it and your needs.

First of all, let’s talk about the modern electric fireplace.  And we can safely talk about them because they are all the same.  The “guts” of any electric fireplace is nearly identical to the “guts” of any other. 

I have seen dozens and own two, and they are all alike.  Regardless of cabinetry (wood or fake metal) there is a sheet metal box with fake plastic logs in it that “glow” and a screen in the back where flames are projected. 

That sounds cheesy, but you’d be surprised how it gives the effect of a real fire in the back of your mind.  They all have an IR remote control unit, to adjust the flame “height” and turn them on and off.  And most have a heater with a blower, usually only 1000 watts or so.

So right off the bat, we see one thing.  The actual fireplace “box” is the same, no matter what enclosure it comes with.  No doubt these are made in China en masse, and are fairly cheap.  So when shopping for one, the only thing that is different is the nature of the enclosure, and the price.

Some are quite elaborate and have shelves to hold electronic gear and a flat-screen TeeVee as shown above.  I own one of these and it works well for that purpose.  Others are simpler and have a simple enclosure that surrounds the fireplace box.  I have one of these (bought secondhand on Craigslist – more on that later) and it works well, too.

Prices are all over the board on these, from $199 for a simple model, all the way to $699 for the deluxe model shown above.  Again, the only real difference is the cabinetry.