Electric fireplaces add style, charm, and warmth to any home. Best of all, they don’t require any exterior venting or gas lines. If you’ve been dreaming of sitting by a cozy fireplace but don’t have the budget or skills to install a traditional one, you may wonder if you can install your own electric fireplace.
The news is good – you can add an electric fireplace to your home with minimal DIY skills. But you need to choose the right one.
What Kind of Electric Fireplace Can I Install?
If you have already started shopping for electric fireplaces, you’ll see models that are “plug and play.” Others require construction skills because they’re intended for a “built-in” installation.
Built-in electric fireplaces
These models need construction and electrical skills. They’re flush-mounted into the wall by the use of an insert. They require the installer cutting into the drywall, adding the insert, and installing a trim kit. You’ll need experience hard-wiring electrical fixtures.
Built-in models are considered a permanent fixture in the home and should appear to be a seamless part of the structure.
These built-in models require the advanced skills of a professional.
Wall-mounted electric fireplaces
Wall-mounted electric fireplaces are becoming increasingly popular. While they don’t appear to be part of the home’s permanent fixtures, they have several advantages.
First, they’re as easy to install as a television. You can install a wall-mounted model anywhere in your home where there’s a suitable outlet.
Secondly, you can move them anywhere in your home you’d like.
You will need to make allowances for placement. These models do put off heat, so for safety reasons, you need to make sure it won’t adversely affect any other appliances or finishes in your home.
Place your wall-mounted fireplace where there will be at least 3 feet of clearance between it and any combustible materials.
If you’re mounting it on the same wall as a television, allow for at least 8 to 10 inches of distance between them.
Make sure that you install the mounting hardware into the wall studs, as drywall isn’t durable enough to hold the weight of the fireplace.
Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure that the model you purchased doesn’t require clearance behind it.
Do electric fireplaces need their own circuit?
You won’t need a dedicated circuit or special outlet. Wall-mount electric fireplaces plug into any standard 120-volt outlet.
How much heat does an electric fireplace produce?
Wall-mount models usually produce between 4500 BTUs and 6000 BTUs, depending on the model. This is similar to a small space heater and will heat a small- to medium-sized room. Best of all, unlike a wood-burning or gas stove, they’re 100% efficient and produce no dangerous gases.