If you think electric fireplaces are a relatively new phenomenon, you’d be right – and wrong. Electric fireplaces were first used as theater props circa 1912 because they were lightweight (and thus portable) and required no messy fuels. Had the world not plunged into the Great Depression in the 1930s, electric fireplaces might have evolved much earlier. Alas, it wasn’t until 1995 that a company named Dimplex first patented electric fire and that signature flickering flame that is commonplace in most electric units. Today’s electric fireplaces continue to advance, offering homeowners a wide choice of features – remote controls, different levels of brightness, modern designs – to fit their particular needs. Here are a few electric fireplaces we love.
No actual chimney is needed for this standalone electric fireplace from Duraflame. The infrared quartz heating not only warms the room but also maintains the humidity for a more comfortable feel. Safety features include overheat protection that enables the fireplace to instantly shut off when needed. Five brightness and speed settings can be controlled by remote control.
Thanks to its extremely thin size, this unit can either be placed on a wall or in a recessed area. A remote control can choose between 12 flame colors, 12 bed colors, five brightness settings and the energy-saving mode of the fireplace. It also features an automatic shutdown to avoid overheating.
PuraFlame’s electric model comes with a three-sided interior brick wall and clean glass front, so there’s no need to worry about dust or ashes. It has an adjustable thermostat and can provide supplemental heat for up to 400 square feet.
We never tire of this slim, modern design for electric fireplaces. Unlike some of the competing models we recommend, this unit from Touchstone needs in-wall installation. It has two heat settings, a faux log with five brightness settings and multiple color modes.
This model from Ameriwood has multiple storage areas to accommodate DVDs, gaming systems and even a TV set up to 50 inches wide. It can warm up a room up to 400 square feet and can be operated via a remote control (included).