Different Types of Electric Fireplace Inserts
Many people who are looking to buy a new electric fireplace are doing it for one of three reasons: Either they do not have the space or resources available for an actual gas or wooden hearth, or they are looking to improve the aesthetic of their home. For both of these reasons, the electric fireplace insert is probably the best bet available. An insert is simply an all-in-one electric fireplace that simply slides into the cavity left by your original fireplace. Attractive yet unobtrusive, inserts are easy to install and easily provide more than enough heat for several adjacent rooms. They can also be installed inside a cabinet or mantelpiece for those without a pre-existing fireplace to take advantage of.
Different types of insert have differing features, though all operate along the same basic principle. All use a fan forced heater to spread warmth throughout a room, dispersing it in an even pattern that radiates outwards from the fireplace. Heat is generated inside the fireplace by passing an electric current through a series of metal coils known as the heating element. As these get hotter the air inside the fireplace is expelled through a fan, normally mounted on top of or below the fireplace, and directed into an even dispersal pattern by a grille. This allows the fan to distribute a significant amount of heat over a wide area, and makes it possible for the fireplace to heat an entire room almost instantly. An intake fan or induction vent elsewhere in the fireplace ensures a steady flow of cool, unheated air into the main firebox, where it in turn gets heated by the heating element, and cycled out through the vents.
The main differences come in the added extras that inserts come with. Basic inserts may create the illusion of flickering flames by using alternately-flashing 40-watt candelabra bulbs underneath the log bed to produce a glowing ember effect, while top-end models use video, projection, and even sophisticated holographic technology to create realistic flame effects. Some have built-in audio units that produce the crackling sound associated with real log fires, while others can be used without turning on the heating element, allowing the family to bask around a roaring fire even in the height of summer!.
In short, the type of insert depends on what you want it to do, and how much you’re willing to pay to achieve the effects desired.
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