Wood burning fireplaces are commonly found in homes. They have been used throughout the centuries to keep the house warm. Their aesthetic appeal also gives the room a cozy feeling. However, there are many drawbacks to having a wood burning fireplace. An electric fireplace gives a great atmosphere and warmth to a room without the hassle of a wood burning fireplace.
Wood Burning Fireplaces Need Constant Attention
Wood burning fireplaces require a lot of care throughout the year. They need yearly inspections and cleanings done before the winter air settles in for the season. Even throughout the colder months, a wood burning fireplace requires constant attention on a daily basis. Wood burning fireplaces need an endless supply of wood. Ash also needs to be removed. If the fireplace is not properly maintained, it can cause a dangerous situation. With the price of maintenance, these fireplaces can cost as much as gas to heat up a home.
Problems with a Wood Burning Fireplace
Winter is a good time to enjoy a fireplace. The smoky smells and a crackling fire is what draws most people to them. Those smells are one of the major sources of smog in the winter. It can also pose a threat to those with asthma and bronchitis. An electric model has none of those issues. It is more efficient, eco-friendly, and safe for the whole family.
Can an Electric Fireplace Replace a Wood One?
Most homeowners still want to use their fireplaces. The problems can often scare them away though. There is no need to have a fireplace sit empty throughout the winter. An electric unit can easily replace a wood burning one. All that is needed is to clean up the existing fireplace, select an electric insert, and plug in the unit. It has never been easier to convert to a more cost-effective fireplace. The new solution is more environmentally friendly and requires no extra construction.
There is no construction needed to convert a wood burning fireplace. This is due partly because an electric unit does not need to vent the heat. If there is damage to the chimney area, it can mean a hefty repair bill. An electric unit is a good solution for those who have experience damaged to the chimney area. There are a few options to consider before converting an electric model.
Selecting Fireplace Log Inserts
One way to convert to electric is through a fireplace log set. These are a safe and clean way to have a fireplace in a room. The logs are designed to work with masonry fireplaces. They are constructed to fit into the opening of the fireplace. An insert will typically have a handcrafted log that pulsates while it is on. This creates the effect of having a flame in the fireplace. This is truly one way to enjoy a fireplace without the hassles of a screen or door blocking the view.
Use a Firebox Insert
Electric fireboxes come in a variety of styles and sizes. They are designed to give a wood burning fireplace a new lease on life. They look as authentic as the real thing. These units are easy to install and are versatile. There are a variety of options available. Many units are either a plug-in version or can be hardwired. The traditional fire logs are an option as well. For a more contemporary feel, LED has now taken the flame options to a new level.
These inserts must fit the space in the masonry with complete accuracy. Otherwise, the firebox insert and the masonry will have gaps. It is important to have everything fitting properly in the old wood burning fireplace. There are trim kits available to give the fireplace a more finished look.
Preparing a Wood Burning Fireplace for an Electric Unit Install
Converting a wood burning fireplace is not a difficult task. It is important to have accurate measurements before starting any work. Masonry is not something that can easily be reworked if a measurement is incorrect. To be certain that the electric fireplace unit will fit, measure the width and height of the fireplace opening. It might even be helpful to measure at different depths since the measurements might not be the same all around. Some older masonry fireplaces might be tapered at the time of construction. If this is the case, an electric fireplace log set might be more beneficial.
The type of electric fireplace option will also make a difference for installation. These inserts will just need to be smaller than the opening in order to fit inside. It is important to get a unit that will fit with the existing wood burning fireplace. Picking out an electrical fireplace option will depend on what the old wood burning fireplace structure can accommodate.
Consult an Electrician
The last step is finding an outlet to run the electric fireplace unit. There are two options available to power it up. The unit can be plugged in like any other electrical equipment. It can also be hardwired into the electric source. An electrician will know which option is the best for a particular model.
A wood-burning fireplace should not sit dormant because of high maintenance costs. An electric fireplace can breathe new life into the old masonry unit. With a few easy steps, there is a way to bring the roar back to the fireplace. The new alternative is a safe and more user-friendly version of the old fireplaces of the past.