Considerations When Buying An Electric Fire
The first consideration for Electric Fires is the Flame Technology. The customer should take into account the effect they want displayed, and the budget. There is a choice of the Optimyst, Opti-V and Optiflame three-dimensional flame effects. The Optimyst uses water mist and coloured lighting to create the effect of realistic smoke and flames. The Opti-V utilises an LCD screen and a sound element for a fully rounded fire experience. The Optiflame 3D effect adds depth and custom effects to the flickering flames, for a more cost-effective option . A fourth fire effect is the ambient glow, using light bulbs under loose pebbles or a wood effect casing. This makes it look as if the fire has been burning for a long time. A fifth common flame effect is the ribbon flame. This effect is achieved by using a fan to blow air over a piece of ribbon to simulate dancing flames, while a bulb illuminates it from below.
The second consideration for Electric Fires is the Fuel Bed. To create a more traditional look, a gently glowing log or coal bed is perfect for the Electric Fire. Conversely, if you wanted a more contemporary, refreshing style, pebbles or crystal beds are ideal for the Electric Fire. The Electric Fire usually comes with the fuel bed that suits the design of the fire. However, there are selected Electric Fires which come with a choice of fuel bed. Dimplex electric fires offer interchangeable fuel bed options, to match your style or mood.
The third consideration of buying an Electric Fire is the Heating Requirements. Electric Fires' heat output is usually in the range of 600W to 2kW. The higher the wattage, the fast the Electric Fire can heat the room. Electric Fires are 100% efficient, as they output the same amount of heat as the amount of electricity. For example, an Electric Fire which outputs 2kW of heat, will use 2kW of electricity. There is no heat loss in the process. The Electric Fires have options to select full or half power, and thermostat controls so it only turns on when the temperature in the room drops below a certain level. You can enjoy the ambience of your fire in all seasons of the year, and in any weather.
The fourth consideration of buying an Electric Fire is the Cost. The most basic Electric Fires start from £100 from high street retailers and online retailers. More sophisticated electric fires with realistic effects cost a maximum of £1500. A benefit of Electric Fires is that they are generally cheaper than gas powered or wood burning fires. Electric Fires do tend to have higher running costs in the long term. For example, a 2kW Electric Fire would cost a minimum of 28p per hour to heat your room on full power, whereas a gas fireplace would only cost 8p per hour.
Installation and Safety
The fifth consideration for Electric Fires is the Installation and Safety. Each Electric Fire should have a CE mark, to show it has met European safety and efficiency standards. If the Electric Fire is a simple plug-in type, you will not need a professional to install it. For the more intricate type such as the wall-mounted or inset fire, consult a professional if you’re not confident with DIY. It is always important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, switch off the electricity before starting work, refrain from installing the fire directly above a plug socket, and comply with building regulations if structural work is done.