Electric fireplace?

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    Electric fireplace?

    We are considering buying an electric fireplace next fall to help heat the living room in our home next winter. We have gas heat and it seems like we could maybe save some money buy using an electric fireplace to reduce the gas use and expense. I have done some research on them but am interested to know if anyone has one and what they think of it. Does it work well and has it helped reduce your heating bill?

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    dexterlablab1's Avatar
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    Sure it would probably help reduce your heating bill. But would it make much of a difference since you'd just be running up the electric bill instead?

    You're basically trading off one expense for another.

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    There are several factors here to be considered. It is an important decision that will affect you on long term.
    First of all, get the cost of the metric cube of gas vs the cost of the kilowatt. From any regular invoice. Next, try to anticipate the average consumption per month. For example, you can average your last 6 monthly bills for gas.
    For the electric fireplace, you can calculate. First, estimate how many hours per day it will run. Let's say 10 hours. Next, get it's power from the technical specifications: Let's say 600 Watts. The consumption, we have 600Watts X 10 hours = 6000 Watts-hour or 6 KWH. With an average 30 days per month, that is 180 KWH per month.
    If the cost of the calculated average monthly consumption of the electric chimney is lower than the one of the gas system you are using it, go for it.
    But also, you need to be careful about one thing: which one did recorded the biggest increase in price in the last let's say 1-2 years? the KWH or the metric cube of gas? Try to think it in dollars and also in relative values. If the KWH for example recorded much bigger increases in the last 2 years, it's more likely to increase again in price, and I wouldn't go for it.
    Hope I helped.

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    Mrs. Pirz's Avatar
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    I have not met anyone who has purchased this. Living in Miami we don't have a need for heaters but I will say they look nice It is true however about the electricity, its just replacing one bill for another one. I would probably not go for this but then again I would have to compare which one spends more and then make my decision. Kind of makes me happy I don't live somewhere where the cold is an issue. Good luck on your decision.
    Mrs. Pirz

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    I am in the Pacfic Northwest and in our area we actually have one company for electric and a different one for natual gas. The gas prices are way more than the electric prices. I guess I should have mentioned that in the original post! I really do appreciate all the replies.
    Thanks, sergiu23 for the calculation method and even though I am postive the electric is cheaper, I am going to use that to find out just home much of a difference in cost there really is!

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    Konstantina's Avatar
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    Since the electric bill is much cheaper, by the way I should move there as well, you can definitely get it. It will make your house cozy and you don't have to cut any trees

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    So I'm from the south and here we do not ever have any cold weather. Heck we haven't really had a winter this year. Its just now getting a little nasty, muggy, and cool out, but normally its sunny and hot all day long. With that being said I am very interested in this product for the aesthetic value of it all. It really seems like it would be a very classy addition to any house. And its obviously a heck of a lot safer than using a natural fire place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdgds View Post
    So I'm from the south and here we do not ever have any cold weather. Heck we haven't really had a winter this year. Its just now getting a little nasty, muggy, and cool out, but normally its sunny and hot all day long. With that being said I am very interested in this product for the aesthetic value of it all. It really seems like it would be a very classy addition to any house. And its obviously a heck of a lot safer than using a natural fire place.
    They actually make some that just give you "the look" without blowing out any heat. There are other ones that give you the option of heat or no heat. I have heard that some of them use less energy than a coffee pot but I don't know how true that is!

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    rymick's Avatar
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    I never thought electric fireplaces were much more than decorative. The one I have does not give off heat and I assumed that was the case with them. I'm glad t ohear there are some that are functional, as well.

    We got a pellet stove this year and although it is more work (buying, adding pellets, cleaning the ashes, etc) it definitley cut down on our heat bill. Our electricity bill did go up, but it doesn't compare to the cost of oil! The upfront cost of the stove can be high (around $2000 average) but in my case, I think we will make that back by the end of next year- even with the cost of pellets and electricity.

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    We love our electric fireplace and it does a great job heating up the room. On the flip side, it does raise your electric part of the bill; however, It still lowered our overall bill (if you keep your heat on low throughout the house and use the electric stove in the main room you are in). Do not run multiple electric fireplaces in different room at the same time though--this gets pricey (unfortunately, we found out the hard way when got our bill). They may still have the electric fireplaces at home Depot for under $150.

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    I think electric fireplaces are the way to go because I don't have to worry about burning the house down. Fire is too unpredictable and I wouldn't want to have a mishap. I like having just one bill, and paying a extra gas bill is not necessary. My stove is an electric stove, and if I had a fireplace it would be an electric one. I don't like the old fireplaces because it makes the house smell like burning wood.

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    Waynefire's Avatar
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    Really it depends on the size of your room. I know for my house the living room is not huge so it works out really well for me. However, if you plan on using this to supplement your heat or keep it more comfortable even in a larger room it will do wonders and not really raise your bills that much.

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    happyrocinante's Avatar
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    I bought one a few years ago and we loved it. My house only has baseboard heaters in a few rooms and I learned the first winter not to use them unless I wanted to owe my soul to the electric company. I used a kerosene heater the first year but I just couldn't get over the fumes. So I took to purchasing small electric space heaters. The fireplace heater we got was on clearance at Lowes and worked for about 2 years before the power switch messed up on me. It heats an open room about 200 square feet fairly well. I have a small house but still have to use several heaters. Before you buy one, just take your room space into account. Space heaters, like the electric fireplace, aren't meant for large open rooms. They will run up your bill more if they are trying to heat a larger space. Most of them aren't meant for rooms over 200 square feet and even then sometimes the heaters aren't great. I will tell you that any heater you buy, the cheaper they are the faster they break. I have to usually buy at least one new one every year.

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    Bolt's Avatar
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    My nan had an electric fireplace. I enjoyed staying at her house with my brother but I associate an electric fireplace with old people. I personally think the modern electric fireplaces look cheap and the older ones look outdated.

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    My brother has an electric fire place in his home. I have actually seen it and thought that it looked quite realistic in appearance. He said that it really didn't add any more to his electric bill then he was already paying. Personally I like the idea of an electric fire place more so then wood burning ones. I live in Arizona yet in my neighborhood especially in the month of December my neighbors are always using their wood burning fire places, believe me you can tell by the smell of smoke in the air. One year there was a no burning day on Christmas Eve, but according to my brother you wouldn't have known it because it smelled like they were burning down the forest.

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    An electric fire in a room will cost less than constant central heating in the long run. Gas supplies here in europe are suffering from more and more interruption coming as they do from the continent so electric heating will be the way of the future. For best effects, get a fan heater as you can always dry clothing in front too. Halogen heaters are great for bathrooms as they heat small rooms quickly but dont cost a lot to run.

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    stacyje's Avatar
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    I think electric fire places are ok, but I think that gas is safer, So I will choose electric or gas any day. As far as the bills I think they are all about the same. Unless you have them turned off and on at certain time.

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    TuRon Davis's Avatar
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    I've never used one, but I can imagine that would raise your electricity bill considerably. I fair just fine with space heaters that reduce the cost of using gas. However, if I were looking to living up the decor, I would go with an electric fireplace.

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