Electric fireplace

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The classic “family hearth”, warm and glowing, but instead of fire – electricity. This is an electric fireplace. When it is almost unrealistic to install a real fireplace or stove in an apartment, the primitive craving for fire can be quenched with electric fireplaces of a new generation. The fundamental difference between this device and a simple fan heater or radiator is that a moving picture of fire is added to the heat emanating from it, an illusory fire is a skillful optical imitation of a flame.

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Of course, a real flame in a wood-burning or coal fireplace is even more attractive, but the creation and maintenance of such a hearth, especially in the city, requires a lot of care, time and money. Chimney punching (possible, by the way, only in apartments on the top floors) is associated with the problem of obtaining the appropriate permit and expensive construction work. Well, where in a city apartment to store firewood, coal or briquettes? And what to do if, due to weak draft, bitter smoke creeps into the room?

And the electric fireplace does not create any inconvenience: I bought it, brought it in and plugged it in. The device works silently. The air flow comes from the electric fireplace at a low speed, providing an even distribution of heat from bottom to top. The movement of the “flame” behind the backlit screen is never repeated and looks very realistic, especially in the case of the latest generation of electric fires. All these properties make the electric fireplace indispensable in city apartments, but not only. It is good for country houses and dachas where there is no chimney and no stove installed yet.

Models of electric fireplaces

Depending on the design, electric fireplaces are divided into four types:

Fireplaces with cladding in the form of a decorative portal, similar to the portal of wood-burning fireplaces. They are placed close to the wall.
Freestanding electric fireplace stoves (their prototype is cast-iron, cast, wood-burning stoves with doors and a pipe that is taken out of the room).
Fireplace baskets (also freestanding, imitate metal baskets made of iron strips or rods – fireboxes filled with embers or logs).
Compact cabinet fireplaces, recessed into the wall.

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Each model includes a decorative imitation of a grate, a fuel combustion chamber (ash pan), artificial (“burnt”, “smoldering”) firewood or pieces of real black coal and a moving, flickering “flame”.

The hearths of different firms differ from each other both in appearance and in the nature of imitation of live fire. The fake fuel is made of stamped plastic, tinted and painted by hand. Thus, manufacturers offer “firewood” that is at different stages of “burning out” – from barely touched by the flame to falling apart into smoldering pieces. Some samples turn out to be more successful imitations, others less. Fireplaces look best, in which “firewood” lights up just like real ones and begins to come to life – stirring sparks run through them, the coals either glow or cool down, covered with gray ash, then flare up again, gradually glowing red-hot.

Electric fireplace device

If an inquisitive Pinocchio wanted to figure out what is behind the magic screen, he would be disappointed: the “fire” is made of shreds of silk or thin metal foil, a fan, ordinary lamps, mirrors, an electric motor and red light filters..

The electric fireplace can be operated with or without heating, thereby allowing you to enjoy the game of flame all year round! But most models combine visual effect with heating function. They either have a fan heater or have built-in mirror reflectors that direct heat from the heating elements to the outside (the so-called radiation heaters). The heat flow is thrown forward – the heat spreads along the floor around the fireplace and rises up. The efficiency of the devices is almost 100%. The power of all models is 2 kW, like a conventional electric kettle.

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Many electric fireplaces are equipped with a thermostat. By heating the area around the fireplace to the desired temperature, the owner only has to set the thermostat to this heating level, and the fireplace itself will maintain the set temperature in its area. Modern electronics allow you to add such useful functions to electric fireplaces as remote control, automatic temperature maintenance at a given level, and in the most advanced models even adjust the type of flame to your liking! “Fire” then begins to tremble quickly, “flare up”, then, on the contrary, calms down and subsides. The degree of heating also changes: it is stronger, or to the required degree weaker, or it turns off altogether – in this case, the fireplace shines, but does not heat.

Almost any freestanding hearth can be inserted into the firebox, closed with a frame with a portal. It can also be placed inside a real but non-functional wood-burning fireplace. And an electric fireplace basket with legs can be simply placed on the floor or inside the recess of the firebox and plugged into a power outlet..

Otherwise, rectangular (as a rule, vertical format) electric furnaces, dressed in frames, are mounted. Such models are quite aesthetic and without a fireplace portal. They move easily, put their backs to the wall and look quite self-sufficient..

Frames are made of oak, mahogany, plastic, yellow polished brass. Also, they (like decorative grate grates) are cast from an alloy of tin with lead or aluminum, imitating either blued iron casting or light steel. These materials that are unacceptable for conventional fireplaces (combustible or low-melting, but cheap and effective) are suitable for finishing an electric hearth, since its body does not heat up. Either the main accent is the sleek, shiny brass frame, tinted with the matte black of cast iron, the polished oak frame, or the shiny golden grille. The number of options and combinations is endless. Each company has its own collection of models and interchangeable parts, different in design.

Fireplace portals

As a rule, when choosing a fireplace, they are guided primarily by its price and the beauty of the portal. Be sure to find out what material the portal is made of. It happens that carved wood or marble turns out to be skillfully painted stamped plastic. Naturally, in this case, the product should cost significantly less..

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A relatively new and interesting material for decorating fireplaces is cast marble. It consists of quartz sand or marble chips (80%), resin (19%) and dyes (1%). The impact strength of this artificial stone is seven times that of natural marble. Any desired color and shade of cast marble, any size and shape of the product can be ordered to manufacturers. The portal will consist of solid panels without seams and maintaining a continuous surface pattern. It is important that the color does not turn out to be too bright for the interior or, on the contrary, pale, and the veins look natural. Natural marble and wood are, of course, more expensive than artificial cast marble. But the fireplace portal of them captivates with the natural charm of natural material, nobility. If desired, a portal for an electric hearth can be made independently using blockboards, a baguette, an artificial stone, stucco elements, etc..

Electric fireplace manufacturers

The English corporation CLEN DIMPLEX is the leader in the production of electric hearths. Its products are produced under the brands MORPHY RICHARDS, DIMPLEX, CLEN, BERRY. The company also offers portals for electric fireplaces. Such English manufacturers as BE MODERN GROUP, BERLEY and others are also engaged in the release of electric fireplaces and portals. The English electric fireplaces presented on our market from THE GALLERY COLLECTION differ from other decor of their portals – rich in details, but at the same time restrained. The products are in the style of the era of Queen Victoria, King Edward and King George, as well as Art Nouveau in its English version. Individual fireplaces seem to have come out of the workshop of William Morris, they have many cast iron ornaments and enamel paintings.

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The German company EWT DINAMICS offers electric fireplace stoves and electric fireplaces, both freestanding and built-in. These models are made in the tradition of pragmatic German design. Another German manufacturer – HARK, specializing in fireplaces, including electric ones, gravitates towards the simple but soft Scandinavian design of hearths and stoves. There are simple, slim and elegant models in horizontal or square format, such as the Boston (BURLEY) or Limoge (DIMPLEX). Such a hearth can be placed on the floor, hung on the wall or provided with a cladding with a portal. The high-tech Hursley (DIMPLEX) model is designed in perfect, immaculately clear lines.

Prices for electric fireplaces

The price of an imported hearth of any company is $ 400-600. There are cheaper ones, these include freestanding fireboxes (about $ 150). The most expensive are large-format electrical inserts (up to $ 1000). Accessories for electric fireplaces – decorative scoop, poker, whisk, tongs – cost $ 50-60. Russian-made portals are much cheaper than similar European ones, although they are in no way inferior in quality. Another thing is that some European firms offer their original designs..

A fake hearth is an exquisite deception, but, of course, not perfect. It does not throw off sparks, burning coals do not shoot at it, and red-hot logs do not crack with a pleasant sound. There is neither the cozy smell of heated bricks, nor the spirit of pine resin, nor the scent of burning wood … But there is no smoke, draft, ash, soot either.

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