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The Best Electric Fireplace Inserts To Stay Cozy This Winter

Whether you’re dreaming of a white Christmas or a day at the beach, the cold season should not catch you off guard. Having an effective heating source in your home is essential. Cuddling by the fire is more than just a scene out of the movies, once you get your fireplace ready.

Electric Fireplace Inserts

However, safety comes first. And you may feel tempted to give up the blazing flames fantasy if you have pets or children running in the house. The good news is you don’t have to. Thanks to modern technology, you can have ember logs glowing in the fireplace, 100% safe. With the help of electric fireplace inserts, comfort and safety find a common ground.

Today’s buying guide takes you through the basics in terms of features to look for. We also give you a peek into the market, with our thorough reviews on ten most recommended models. Electric fireplace inserts will have no secrets for you after reading this article. Let’s get you heated up with the topic, shall we?

Are Electric Fireplace Inserts worth It?

Are Electric Fireplace Inserts worth It?View in gallery

Electric fireplaces are completely worth the investment. There are several alternatives and considerably more versatility when it comes to integrating one into the decor of your home than with other types of fireplaces.

Electric fireplaces are an excellent way to bring the fireplace experience into your house without the need for existing chimneys, while also heating the room in which they are installed. If you live in an apartment or do not already have an open fireplace, electric fireplaces may be the best option for you and your house.

Unlike other types of fireplaces, these particular types lack a true fire and rely on artificial flames and heat to create the desired impression. This implies that electric fireplaces do not require venting and thus have a much greater range of placement options in your home than other types of fireplaces.

Electric Fireplace Insert vs. Gas 

Two of the common types of fireplace inserts are powered by either gas or electricity. As you can expect, there are differences between the two, and understanding characteristics and limitations will help you make a more informed purchasing decision. 

Electric Fireplace Insert vs. Gas View in gallery

Costs

The operational costs of both the gas and electric variants are relatively modest. Whichever option is more economical is determined by your local utility rates.

Generally speaking, a gas fireplace generates approximately three times the amount of heat as the electric fireplace. The efficiency of a certain model can also have an effect on those figures. For example, electric and unvented gas fireplaces do not waste heat by venting hot air outside.

Safety

Both of these fireplaces generate heat and therefore pose a risk of fire. However, with a little caution, you can make your fireplace safe enough to be around.

Ascertain that your fireplace is installed properly and apply common sense. Avoid storing combustible materials near the fireplace and keep an eye on pets and children to ensure they do not go too close. Particularly gas fireplaces can be extremely hot to the touch.

Additionally, gas fireplaces emit carbon monoxide.  Ventless fireplaces burn exceptionally cleanly, making them ideal for use indoors. If your fireplace vents through a first-floor wall, ensure that no obstructions to the airflow around the vent are stored outside.

Maintenance

Even the latest models in electric and gas fireplaces require less upkeep. You may wish to clean the glass front occasionally with a cleaner recommended by the manufacturer, particularly for electric models equipped with LCD displays. Clean the flue of a vented gas fireplace every year or so.

Electric Fireplace Insert vs. Electric Logs 

Log sets and inserts are available in a variety of gas- and electric-fueled configurations. However, converting to a log set or an electric-powered insert is a viable alternative for achieving the same level of comfort and charm at a fraction of the cost and work — and without the hassle of venting or gas lines. Both options include a remote control, allowing you to activate the glow of a fireplace with the push of a button.

Price

By and large, gas log sets are inexpensive, with many big-box merchants selling them for less than $200. While an electric fireplace insert will cost more than $1,000, it will allow you to improve the aesthetic of your fireplace while maintaining its functioning.

Efficiency

For the most part, log sets and electric inserts produce around 5,000 BTUs of extra heat, which is sufficient to keep a 400-square-foot room warm. They can also be utilized year-round to provide ambiance in the absence of heat. 

Why Should You Choose An Electric Fireplace Insert?

Looking at the wide array of fireplace inserts, you may hesitate in choosing an electric one. To put your mind at ease, take a look at the benefits such a heating device brings to your home.

  • Budget-friendly heating solution

Compared to other heating devices, an electric fireplace insert is more affordable. Also, costs associated with fuel consumption are lower and easier to control. Not to mention the energy-efficient technology incorporated in the latest models.

  • Low maintenance

Except for the standard annual verification, an electric fireplace needs very little maintenance. Simply dust it off once in a while, to avoid any unpleasant smell. Otherwise, you can say goodbye to soot cleaning or chimney inspections. As long as your electrical circuits are in good conditions, so is your electric fireplace.

  • Safety standards compliant

Unlike traditional fireplaces, an electric insert lets you enjoy warmth without burning risks. It is the ideal choice for homes with children or pets, as the front glass stays cool to the touch, even after hours of use.

  • Clean hearth & air

As electric fireplaces don’t burn any type of fuel, there is no ash or soot left behind after use. And also smoke and other toxic gases are off the list of worries.

  • Straightforward installation

Most electric fireplace models are ready for use as soon as you take them out of the box. They only require an appropriate plug, for optimal performance. No mess, debris or noise.

  • Efficient supplemental heating

According to your space and warmth needs, an electric fireplace provides lots of heat. Use it as the main source in a small room. Or to get a cozy atmosphere in the living room, on days when you don’t want to turn on the primary heating system. Keep your bills under control, by adding some extra degrees only when and where you need them.

Related: Keep Your Fire In The Right Place – This Winter’s Best Fireplace Grates

Types Of Electric Fireplaces – Quick Guide

There are some things left to clarify, before we dive deeper in the world of heating appliances.

What is an electric fireplace?

As you may expect, an electric fireplace is a type of heater that relies on electricity. Unlike classic fireplaces, it does not work by burning coal, wood or natural gas. However, it can provide a consistent amount of heat and a very realistic flame. Such an appliance can provide the visual flame and heating separately as well. It can be easily used to heat up rooms of up to 1000 square feet.

How many types of electric fireplaces are there?

There are three main types of electric fireplaces available. Each one of these involves very few steps for installing and putting to use. You can choose between wall-mount electric fireplaces, electric fireplace mantels and inserts. We’ll detail the specifics for each kind below, to know which one suits your home decor better.

Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace

Wall Mounted Electric FireplaceView in gallery

Choose one of these models if you don’t have an old chimney or you simply want to save floor space. These fireplaces can be easily hanged on the walls, wherever you want. Most manufacturers provide all the mounting tools needed. Depending on how handy you are, you can proceed with installing according to the user’s manual. Or call a professional, to ensure installation does not void the product’s warranty. An expert can also check and connect the electric fireplace to a suitable plug.

ELECTRIC FIREPLACE MANTELS

If you don’t want to start building a new fireplace in your home, choose this model. It features two separate elements: a mantel and a firebox. No need for a vent, so you can place it wherever you want in the room. You can enjoy a realistic fire with no smoke or ashes. These devices work with any standard 120-volt wall outlet. You will find a variety of colors and designs, to satisfy your preferences.

Fireplace mantels are available in a variety of finishes and colors.

ELECTRIC FIREPLACE INSERTS

Ideal if you already have a fireplace in your home, these inserts are very convenient. Most models include LED logs to create that genuine fire effect. To set up such a fireplace, you just have to plug it into a standard 120-volt outlet. It’s up to you if you want warmth or just admire the glowing embers. Electric inserts allow you to use the “flame only” setting, where they keep the heat off.

How To Pick The Best Electric Fireplace Insert?

Coming up on our list, the most important features to look for in an electric fireplace insert. After all, you want to make sure your investment is worth every penny and you don’t face disappointment. Take a closer look at the main characteristics, to be well informed and make the best buying decision.

Coming up on our list, the most important features to look for in an electric fireplace insert. After all, you want to make sure your investment is worth every penny and you don’t face disappointment. Take a closer look at the main characteristics, to be well informed and make the best buying decision.

  • Size

Measure more than twice your current fireplace. Ensure your chosen insert suits these measurements, for the best results. You want to avoid leaving space around the insert, as the heat can escape up the chimney this way. On the other hand, an insert too big will force you to make some messy adjustments to the fireplace walls.

  • Heating Capacity / Coverage Area

Check the specs and ensure the voltage/ BTU are suitable for your needs. If your electric insert is not strong enough, you end up needing one more supplemental heater. And a model that provides a lot more heat than what you actually need can drain your budget without reason. Most product descriptions provide these details about the coverage area or BTU.

  • Warranty

An electric fireplace insert is the kind of investment you buy hoping it lasts. More than one season or two, that is. The warranty length provided by the manufacturer reassures you of the item’s quality. And can also save you from unexpected repair costs, in case of any malfunctions.

  • Safety Settings

From overheat shut-off to cool touch glass, there is never too much protection. Especially if you have curious children or pets running around the house. A child-proof mode can also come in handy, to avoid them playing with the settings too much. Pick a model that will put your mind at ease by offering extra-safety.

  • Easy Installation

Not everyone is passionate about DIY. That’s why you won’t bear any blame if you prefer to avoid an intricate installation. Check the manufacturer’s description and choose a model that is easy to put to use. Most inserts are ready to heat your home as soon as you take them out of the box. If you plan to redecorate, you can pick a more sophisticated electric insert. And for that, you may want to rely on the help of a professional.

  • Budget Requirements

Admit it, you don’t want to have to break the piggy bank for extra heat. Usually, an electric fireplace insert is a rather affordable solution. Before you compromise on a cheaper model though, consider the heating needs of your home. You may pay less for a specific insert, but end up spending more due to its consumption rate. Go for energy-efficient models and always look at the feedback from other buyers.

  • Style & Design

As you can expect, there are plenty of options at this level too. When studying the market, consider how well a certain insert matches your home decor. Decide if you want it to blend in or stand out. Think about where you want to place it, if it is a simple heat source or an eye-catching piece.

Our Most Recommended Electric Fireplace Inserts

By now, you should feel more familiar with the electric fireplace insert specs. Let’s analyze what the market has to offer, so you get a clearer idea of what your options are. We’ve prepared a selection of ten best electric fireplace inserts. Get cozy and keep reading.

R.W.FLAME 42 inch Recessed and Wall Mounted

R.W.FLAME 42 inch Recessed and Wall MountedView in gallery

First on our list is the thinnest electric fireplace insert on the market. The R.W.FLAME 42-inch insert can be wall mounted, so it doesn’t take too much of your space. This recessed appliance impresses with its appealing design and performance. Silent, easy to install and use, it offers 12 color options for the flames and bed. Enjoy the glow and adjust the heating settings as you want. The touch screen and remote control make this super easy and convenient. ETL certified, this electric insert has enough power to heat up spaces up to 400 square feet.

Pros:

  • stylish design
  • the thinnest fireplace
  • quiet operation
  • remote control
  • multiple color and speed options for flames
  • overheat protection
  • budget-friendly.

Cons:

  • only one year of warranty
  • some buyers accused defects due to transportation.

Prasad Curved Electric Recessed Electric Fireplace Insert

Prasad Curved Electric Recessed Electric Fireplace InsertView in gallery

Its warm glowing logs will melt your heart away. The elegant design of the Prasad Curved Electric Fireplace Insert stands out in any room. Installation is a breeze, thanks to its lightweight construction. Use the remote control to adjust all the settings comfortably. You get more than just two heat options. Set the thermostat, fan speed or flame brightness. Save space with this zero clearance unit. You don’t have to worry about overheating, this insert comes with safety features.

Pros:

  • classic design
  • lightweight structure
  • energy efficient
  • remote control & built-in thermostat
  • automatic shut off
  • overheat safety
  • cool touch surface.

Cons:

  • only one year warranty
  • less realistic logs (according to some buyers).

Giantex 28.5″ Electric Fireplace Insert Recessed Mounted

Giantex 28.5" Electric Fireplace Insert Recessed MountedView in gallery

Blue or orange flames and sufficient heat for up to 350 square feet. That’s what the Giantex 28.5″ Electric Fireplace Insert offers. This recessed insert provides a cozy atmosphere in your home, with no smoke or debris. Enjoy the blazing flames in one of the three colors available, with or without heating. Thanks to the intelligent thermostat and timer, the fireplace insert stops automatically. Set the time and let it do its work, without any worry. Enjoy up to 8 hours of heating operation.

Pros:

  • versatile installation (compatible with wall-mounting)
  • overheat protection
  • energy efficient
  • built-in thermostat & timer
  • three flame colors (blue, orange, blue & orange).

Cons:

  • complaints about the unit’s noisy operation
  • no information about warranty.

Feivel Electric Fireplace Insert

Feivel Electric Fireplace InsertView in gallery

For top efficiency and eye-catching design, rely on the Feivel Electric Fireplace Insert. Let the dazzling flames and glowing logs charm you. And turn on the heater that can warm up rooms of to 1000 square feet. The unit comes with a remote for extra convenience. The cool touch surface and adjustable thermostat make this fireplace insert extra safe.

Pros:

  • can heat up to 1000 square feet
  • high contrast, realistic flames
  • easy to install
  • zero maintenance needed
  • adjustable thermostat & timer
  • remote control
  • overheat protection
  • automatic safety shutoff.

Cons:

  • only one year warranty
  • more expensive than other similar models.

Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace Insert Only

Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace Insert OnlyView in gallery

Versatile and easy to use, this Electric Fireplace Insert adds a warm, stylish touch to any room. Manufactured by The Outdoor GreatRoom Company, its design makes it easy to fit in any space. Install it in your existing masonry or a custom cabinet. Recess it into a wall and enjoy its warmth and eye-catching flames. CSA certified, this unit includes all the safety features you look for. Cool touch surface, adjustable thermostat and a timer make it a good choice for a home with children. You can even fall asleep watching the glowing logs without a worry. The ultra-quiet operation makes it ideal for any room of the house, including the bedroom.

Pros:

  • versatile (compatible with masonry, cabinets, wall mounting)
  • energy efficient
  • two years of warranty
  • realistic-looking flame, logs, and ember bed
  • full feature remote control
  • ultra-quiet two-speed heater fan
  • easy to install and clean.

Cons:

  • mid-range price for average heating performance.

Ascent Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace Insert

Ascent Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace InsertView in gallery

A high-end product that caught our attention is the Ascent Electric Fireplace Insert. It helps bring your chimney fire fantasies to life, thanks to its innovative design. Take full control over every detail, from heat, flame effect, height, speed or color. This stunning firebox will be the center piece in any room, providing a unique experience. And with the Whisper Quiet™ fan, you can enjoy a silent night by the fire. Be aware of any issues with the help of the self-diagnostic LED light.

Pros:

  • remote control for flame & ember bed intensity, blower and heat output
  • self-trimming flange for convenient installation
  • realistic brick panels, logs and ember bed
  • works plugged in 120V or hardwired 120V/240V
  • can warm up to 800 square feet
  • built-in self-diagnostic LED light (alert).

Cons:

  • high-end product
  • warranty of only two years.

Valuxhome Electric Fireplace

Valuxhome Electric FireplaceView in gallery

Enjoy up to eight hours of cozy heating and a convenient sleep mode. The Valuxhome Electric Fireplace keeps the lights off and sound low, for your comfort. This 36″ insert comes with an overheating protection so you can sleep without a worry. Place it in any corner of the room or even under the TV and enjoy the flames, in any color, intensity or speed you want.

Pros:

  • fire crackling sound
  • remote control
  • quick heating for rooms up to 400 square feet
  • variable flame brightness and color
  • built-in timer (up to 9h)
  • versatile design.

Cons:

  • no thermostat
  • only one year of warranty.

3D Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Insert

3D Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace InsertView in gallery

There is nothing better than watching the flames dancing in the fireplace on a cold day. The Classic Flame 23II042FGL Electric Fireplace Insert makes that possible in any home. Suitable for any decor, you can install this infrared quartz insert in your old masonry or in a cabinet. Thanks to its patented safety features, you can put worries aside. The 3D layered flame comes with five brightness and speed settings you can customize as you want. Your home turns into a comfortable, warm haven with this electric fireplace insert. Easy to install and use, this unit has a sensor in the plug that can detect overheating. This way, it can shut off automatically, preventing any unwanted fires. Keep the natural humidity in the air, while raising the temperature for added comfort.

Pros:

  • safer plug sensor for fire prevention
  • overheating protection
  • automatic shut off
  • 3D flame effect
  • infrared quartz heating for comfortable warmth
  • suitable as supplemental heating for up to 1, 000 square feet.
  • fire prevention alerts for obstructions.

Cons:

  • only one year warranty
  • short-range remote control.

Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove with Remote Control

Duraflame 3D Infrared Electric Fireplace Stove with Remote ControlView in gallery

If masonry inserts are not your thing, consider the Duraflame Electric Fireplace Stove. This portable indoor space heater can turn spaces up to 1000 square feet into a warm and cozy spot. Ideal for supplemental heating, this unit impresses with its 3D realistic flames. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. The rustic design hides a durable metal body construction. Control temperature, flame and more manually or by using the remote.

Pros:

  • portability
  • durable metal construction
  • remote control
  • digital thermostat
  • built-in overheating protection
  • automatic shut off.

Cons:

  • only one year of warranty
  • insufficient heating on defective units (according to some buyers).

R.W.FLAME 36″ Electric Fireplace Insert

R W FLAME Electric Fireplace InsertView in gallery

Add a dreamlike touch to your room with the R.W.FLAME 36″ Electric Fireplace Insert. This freestanding electric stove heater brings realistic flames and plenty of supplemental warmth. Customize the flame and heat settings and let the unit do the rest. You can delight your body with the ideal temperature and your eyes with the dancing fire. The two-sided interior brick wall provides that rustic vibe, a perfect match for a gleaming fire.

Pros:

  • multi-operating modes (including energy-saving or sleep mode)
  • touch screen for customizing settings
  • up to 8h timer control
  • long-range remote control (8m)
  • ETL certified
  • long power cable (170cm).
  • overheat protection.

Cons:

  • only one year warranty
  • no thermostat
  • loud fan.

FAQ

Can You Put an Electric Fireplace in a Real Fireplace?

It is possible to install an electric fireplace insert into an existing one if you can provide electricity to the firebox. Electric fireplace inserts are a form of electric fireplace that are frequently used in conjunction with wood-burning fireplaces.

When installed on the hearth, they are big appliances that are designed to accommodate the whole opening of an existing fireplace and rest perfectly within the firebox.

Electric fireplace inserts are available in a variety of sizes to complement your wood burning fireplace. Keep in mind that an electric fireplace insert is unlikely to be a perfect fit for an open fireplace, and thus you can often purchase additional surround to bridge the gap between the electric and open fireplaces, giving the electric fireplace the appearance of being built in.

Do Electric Fireplace Inserts Use a Lot of Electricity?

Electric fireplaces consume approximately 1,500 watts of energy. Operational costs range from 0.003 to 3 cents per hour when used solely for cosmetic purposes (a.k.a. when the flames are activated without the generation of heat). 

If they are configured so that the heater turns on and off intermittently, they consume around 9 cents of electricity per hour. However, if you want to keep the room warm and have the heat set to the maximum setting, the cost doubles to 18 cents per hour. 

When these settings are combined, an electric fireplace costs between $50 and $80 each year, which is significantly cheaper than the annual cost of a gas fireplace, which ranges between $200 and $500. Costs vary according to geographic region and changes in the cost of electric utilities.

What Is the Most Realistic Electric Fireplace Insert?

Numerous electric fireplaces have authentic details, such as realistic or contemporary flames that stand out. Electric fireplaces also offer convenience, providing the atmosphere of a wood-burning fire without the work.

Which Electric Fireplace Is Most Energy Efficient?

Electric fireplaces turn 100 percent of the energy they consume into heat with little to no waste. LED illumination and thermostatic control enable electric fireplaces to consume only the energy necessary to maintain a desired temperature in a room.

Instead of the more standard fan-forced heating technology used in the majority of electric fireplaces, infrared electric fireplaces generate heat utilizing infrared heaters. Infrared electric fireplaces are just as energy efficient as conventional fan electric fireplaces.

Final Thoughts

If you read so far, congrats! You now know a lot more about what makes the best electric fireplace insert. Take all the time you want to go through our recommendations and tips. We encourage you to always make a decision based on thorough understanding of the topic. And if you want genuine flames in your home, check out our top picks for wood burning fireplace inserts. Let us know in the comments what insert truly lights a fire in your hearth!