Skip the open fire

If you’ve always wanted a fireplace but don’t want the mess or risk that come with open-flame units, it could be time to buy an electric version.

Electric fireplaces can help heat a room and add a bit of ambience. And they look much nicer than a simple space heater.

Because electric fireplaces require only floor space and a power outlet, they’re a great option for apartments or condos. If you’re in the mood for faux fire, consider:

  • If you move frequently, an electric fireplace could be a good investment. Most are portable and are relatively easy to move.
  • The look of the “flames” in an electric fireplace is much more natural than it used to be, but not as realistic as real fire, of course. The “fire” is created by special light bulbs that simulate flickering flames. Some don’t even try to simulate fire and instead create colorful, dancing light shows.
  • Because electric fireplaces don’t produce actual flames, they usually have a separate heating system built in. Most models allow you to turn the heater off if you want ambiance without heat, which means you can even use your fireplace in the summer. Some models come with a built-in thermostat, so they automatically turn off the heat when the room reaches a certain temperature.
  • Unlike their wood-burning counterparts, electric fireplaces can’t be used as a backup heat source during a power outage.
  • Take a look at vertical fireplaces. The new design has a high-end look and can make the electric fireplace the centerpiece of your room.