The Different Types of Electric Fireplace Inserts (and Their Pros and Cons)

By
Home Inspector with Home Inspection Insider

If you're considering getting an electric fireplace insert, you might wonder what your options are. I'll give you a rundown of the different types of electric fireplace inserts and the pros and cons of each one. That way, you can decide which type of electric fireplace insert is right for you and your home.

1. Standard Electric Fireplace Inserts

These are the most common type of electric fireplace inserts. They typically come with a metal surround and a glass front. The standard electric fireplace insert is designed to be placed into an existing fireplace opening. 

Electric fireplace inserts are insertable units that can be placed into an existing fireplace. They come in various styles and can be used with or without gas lines. Many people choose electric fireplace inserts because they offer a more efficient way to heat a room than stand-alone fireplaces.

 

Pros of Electric Fireplace Inserts

  • More Efficient Room Heating – Because electric fireplace inserts generate heat directly into the room, they are more efficient at heating a space than stand-alone fireplaces. This is especially beneficial in homes with poor insulation or drafty rooms.
  • Easy Installation – In most cases, electric fireplace inserts can be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet and are ready to use. No special installation is required.
  • Safer Than Traditional Fireplaces – Electric fireplace inserts do not produce any flames, making them a safer option than traditional fireplaces. They also do not require the use of combustible materials, such as wood or coal.
  • Low Maintenance – Electric fireplace inserts do not require the same level of maintenance as traditional fireplaces. No need to sweep out the ashes or clean the flue regularly.
  • Can Be Used Year-Round – Because electric fireplace inserts do not produce any flames, they can be used year-round without the worry of sparks or embers. You can run them with the heater off and enjoy a realistic flame effect all year.

Cons of Electric Fireplace Inserts

  • Higher Upfront Cost – Electric fireplace inserts can have a high upfront cost. However, they are generally more energy-efficient and require less maintenance, which can offset the initial cost over time.
  • Some Models May Not Fit Existing Fireplaces – Before purchasing an electric fireplace insert, measure your existing fireplace to ensure that the insert will fit. Some models are designed for specific fireplace sizes.
  • Limited Heat Output – Electric fireplace inserts are more efficient at heating a room than stand-alone fireplaces, but they may not be powerful enough to heat large spaces. If you're looking to heat a large area, you may need to purchase multiple units or consider another type of heater.
  • Not as Realistic as Gas or Wood-Burning Fireplaces – For some people, the lack of flames can make electric fireplace inserts less realistic than gas or wood-burning fireplaces. If you're looking for a more authentic experience, you may want to consider another type of fireplace.

2. Plug-In Electric Fireplace Inserts

These units come with their mantle or surround. They just need to be plugged into an outlet to work.

Electric fireplace log inserts are the most realistic type of electric fireplace insert, as they resemble a traditional wood-burning fireplace. They often come with artificial logs in the firebox, giving the illusion of a real fire. Log inserts typically range in price from $100 to $1,000. 

Pros:

  • They're easy to install and can provide a lot of heat.
  • Log inserts are the most realistic type of electric fireplace insert.
  • They often come with artificial logs in the firebox, giving the illusion of a real fire.

Cons:

  • Some people find artificial logs to be too fake.
  • Log inserts require more maintenance than other electric fireplace inserts since the artificial logs need to be replaced periodically.

3. Linear Electric Fireplace Inserts

These long and narrow inserts make them a good option for smaller spaces. These can be wall-mounted or recessed into a wall for a more modern, finished look.

Wall insert electric fireplaces are designed to be recessed into the wall, so they take up less space than other types of electric fireplaces. They typically range in price from $300 to $2,000. 

Pros: 

  • Wall insert electric fireplaces are designed to be recessed into the wall, so they take up less space than other types of electric fireplaces. 
  • They often have multiple flame settings and speeds to mimic real flames closely.

 Cons: 

  •  Some people find that wall inserts in electric fireplaces do not look as realistic as other electric fireplaces because they lack the depth that other models have.
  • Wall insert electric fireplaces can be more difficult to install than other types of electric fireplace inserts since they require special installation brackets that need to be mounted into the studs in your wall.

4. Corner Electric Fireplace Inserts

These units are designed to fit into the corner of a room. Corner insert electric fireplaces are designed to fit into the corner of a room and are often considered one of the most space-efficient types of electric fireplace inserts available on the market.

They typically range in price from $300 to $1,500 but can go for as high as $2,000 or more for high-end models. 

Pros:  

  • Corner insert electric fireplaces maximizes your living space by taking up minimal floor space since they're designed to fit snugly into the corner of your room.
  • Many models come with remote controls, so you can easily adjust settings without getting up.  

Cons:

  • Some people find that corner electric fireplaces do not look as realistic as other electric fireplaces because they lack the depth that other models have.
  • Corner electric fireplaces can be more difficult to install than other electric fireplace inserts since they require special installation brackets that need to mount into the studs in your wall. 

Conclusion

There are many different types of electric fireplace inserts on the market, each with pros and cons. So, which type of electric fireplace insert is right for you? It all depends on your needs, budget, and space limitations.

Do some research to figure out which type of electric fireplace insert will work best for you, then enjoy the warmth and ambiance it provides in your home.

Comments (11)

Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I didn’t know the nuances of all these different  fireplaces. These are wonderful

Sep 28, 2022 09:48 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for sharing this report.

Have a productive autumn.

Sep 29, 2022 04:35 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello and Welcome to the Rain where we all learn from each other and help each other.  Make it a great day!

Sep 29, 2022 08:04 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Hubert, thanks for sharing this valuable information on electric fireplace inserts.  Welcome to ActiveRain, and look forward to more of your posts.

Sep 29, 2022 08:32 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Hubert Miles - Good information to know! Welcome to ActiveRain and thank you for writing your first post!

Sep 29, 2022 10:14 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em: golfArizona@cox.net

 

Hi,

 

Welcome to the Rain. Enjoyed your blog page, and I added you as a friend. I would love the follow back. Bill

 

Sep 29, 2022 02:55 PM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much for following my blog. Your comments are always welcome.

Sep 30, 2022 04:51 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Hubert Miles there is a lot of information here I did not know.  Thank you for sharing.

Sep 30, 2022 02:32 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Hubert Miles also welcome to ActiveRain, and congratulations on successfully posting your first blog on this site.

Sep 30, 2022 02:32 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Welcome to the ActiveRain community. Congratulations on your first post.

Sep 30, 2022 06:39 PM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker
Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope you have a great day.
Oct 03, 2022 02:51 AM