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Published On: Sun, Jun 2nd, 2019

Electric Fireplaces: A Cost-Effective Way To Heat Your Home In Style

These days, everyone wants to save money on electricity; the cost of being connected to the grid is rising. Many people have switched to tankless water heaters to reduce the cost of hot showers, but there’s another energy-sucking culprit: central heat.

The best (and most obvious) way to save money on heating bills is to not use your heater. Unfortunately, that only works on hot summer days. Regardless of the season, many people experience chilly nights.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 37% of U.S. households supplement their main heating equipment with a second source. Nearly half use electric heaters – the most popular choice across all climate regions.

relax fireplace popcorn bowl

photo/ Jill Wellington

If you’re stacking up ways to save money on electricity, here’s why you should add an electric fireplace to your list:

  1. An electric fireplace delivers heat only where needed

A standard central heating system uses a significant amount of electricity to generate heat that gets distributed throughout the whole house. Closing vents doesn’t make the HVAC system generate less heat – it only prevents rooms from receiving that heat.

On the flip side, using an electric fireplace in your bedroom at night will only generate enough electricity to deliver heat to the surrounding area. Once the desired temperature is reached, the unit will shut off. Provided the room is insulated, heating a small space with an electric heater uses far less electricity.

Most electric fireplaces are programmable so you can set the temperature to whatever works best for you. At night, you can turn off your central heat and set your electric fireplace to your desired temperature instead. With the electric fireplace close to you, it won’t need to use much electricity to keep you warm.

  1. In a well-insulated room, electric fireplaces run less

Your central heating system’s thermostat might be set to 72 degrees, but that doesn’t mean it’s efficient. There’s more to the efficiency of thermostats than setting the temperature. For instance, if your thermostat happens to be in an open area that takes time to heat up, your heater will continue to run until that specific area reaches 72 degrees. Meanwhile, your other rooms might reach 80 degrees before the heater shuts off.

The key to making an electric fireplace work is to insulate the room where it’s used. Unfinished structures without baseboards should be finished. Picture windows should be covered with curtains or drapes. If there’s a draft coming in from the hall, stick a towel under the door. The better you insulate a room, the less the heater will need to run to warm up the space.

  1. Electric fireplaces can generate infrared heat

One of the best reasons to get an electric fireplace is to make use of infrared heat. Infrared heaters are highly efficient for two main reasons. One, they use 100% of the heat produced, and two, infrared heat doesn’t just warm the air – it warms objects, including your body.

Have you ever noticed the need to stay huddled around a traditional space heater to stay warm? If you move an inch, the part of your body you moved becomes cold. That’s because traditional space heaters just pump hot air into the room, which rises to the ceiling. Infrared radiation sticks to your skin and clothes; it penetrates deeply into the skin, warming the skin rather than just the surrounding air.

  1. Electric fireplaces are cheaper than running a gas line

You may have read that natural gas and propane are cheap sources of energy. While that’s true, it’s not cheap to convert your home to use them. If your home wasn’t built with a gas line, you’ll need to have one installed. Running a gas line through the house isn’t cheap or easy, and may require the partial destruction of walls. Installing a new gas line in your home just to be able to save money in the future is actually more expensive than using an electric fireplace.

Heat your home in style

An electric fireplace is essentially an efficient space heater that looks like a fireplace. Most units max out at 1500 watts, so they’re safe to use on any standard electrical outlet.

If you need a quick and cheap way to heat your space at night, try an electric fireplace. The electronically lighted flames can be red, yellow, orange, or blue. They come in all shapes and sizes including wall-mounted, with mantels, on wheels, and stand-alone units, making it easy to maintain a stylish home.

Author: Anna Johansson

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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