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Electric Fires and Log Burners – A Buyer’s Guide
Warming up in the winter has gotten more and more convenient over the years. While plenty of us have central heating to fall back on, there’s nothing quite like having a cosy, inspiring fire to sit in front of to warm up with. While there are still plenty of homes making use of traditional fireplaces and log burning, a popular trend in recent years has been for homes to take on electric log burners and fireplaces instead.
But what should you look for in an electric fire or log burner? How expensive are they to run on a regular basis? Are there any styles or models you should be looking out for? Don’t worry. In this guide, we will cover all bases for you and will work out roughly how much you should be expecting to invest this winter.
Why Buy an Electric Fire or Log Burner?
Electric fires and log burners carry a huge number of benefits over traditional fireplaces and hearths. While many people may argue that you can’t beat the real thing, there is certainly an argument for ease of use and efficiency.
Electric fires offer you instant, direct heat. You’d otherwise have to wait for a fire to start up and to really get going.
There’s no need to install the fire into your chimney. This can be a costly and difficult process.
More Reasons To Buy
Electric log burners and fires are, on the whole, very affordable to buy outright. Compared to traditional fires and burners, you won’t be paying much out of your budget to get one installed. What’s more, you may well be able to do so off your own back without the aid of an installer.
Burners and fires of this nature have plenty of eye-catching designs. There’s an argument that there’s more variety with electric.
You’ll never have to have an electric fire serviced for safety. What’s more, there’s never a risk of toxic gases being released during use!
While the name suggests ‘log burner’, you won’t actually need to burn anything. You can put in logs or coal to complete the look, but there’s no need to top up on fuel.
So far, so good! However, there are a few things you’ll need to bear in mind with regard to the negative.
Be Aware Of These Potential Cons
Electric fires can be noisy. Look for models which emphasise low noise emission for the quietest experience during regular use.
Some people may find that electric fires simply don’t produce as much heat as traditional hearths. Look for models which have impressive power behind them.
Unlike traditional fireplaces, there are running costs as far as your electricity bill is concerned.
Features to Look For
As with all great modern household gadgets and gizmos, there are always likely to be a handful of features you should be shopping for. The features which may appeal to you could include:
Remote control – yes, you can now switch your fire on and off at the touch of a button. You can even adjust the visual effect of your fire from afar, too.
Adjustable visuals – don’t like the look of the flames? Adjust your settings to create a whole new look that’s all your own.
Wall mounting – many electric fireplaces and log burners now come fully mountable to your wall. With a bit of adjustment and some space planning, you can fit a great electric fire or burner to your living room wall with ease. These models may cost a little extra.
Timer settings – this is a modern standard which isn’t available widespread as yet; however, it’s worth looking out for. Burners and fires will now allow you to choose when your room is heated up, and how long for. Think of this as similar to the timer function on your central heating.
Smart thermostats – once again, this can be similar to how a central heating system operates. A fireplace will automatically determine if it is cold enough to power up. This means there’s no need for you to touch a button!
LED flame effects – there are even different types of flame effects and LED lighting available for you to choose from. Fancy a traditional flicker, or a more aggressive burn? Try and ask for a demonstration if you can so you can see your electric fire in action.
Frequently Asked Questions
As always, there will be a few questions you may wish to ask before you get into buying your first electric fire or log burner.
How Much Should I Pay Outright for an Electric Fire?
The good news is, electric fires with flame LEDs and more are available for less than £60. However, for more power, and for a more stylised construction, you will likely need to look at paying over £200, maybe more. It will depend on what you are looking for from your electric fire in the long run.
How Much do Electric Fires Cost to Run?
The higher the power output, the more money it will cost to run. For example, a low-power fireplace operating at 500W will probably cost somewhere around 9p per hour to run. However, it will cost you around 54p an hour to run the most powerful fires, operating at 3kW. Once again, it is a matter of personal preference, as well as budget.
What is a Fuel Bed?
Many electric fires and log burners have ‘fuel beds’. These are decorative effects which help to add to the aesthetic. You may choose logs, coal or pebbles – and with many models of fire, you can swap and change as you see fit.
What are the Most Popular Electric Fire Styles?
Electric fires and log burners don’t come in one set flavour or style. Opt for a stove for a traditional look, an inset fire for a small cavity, or even a wall-mounted model for that perfect, contemporary aesthetic. There are also more rustic designs available in the form of basket fires.
Electric fires and log burners are relatively cheap to install and run. If the idea of a real fire doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of brilliant brands and models producing electric models on the market today. Why not take a closer look, and try and get a demonstration or two before you leap straight in?