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Electric Fireplace Heaters Vs Infrared Fireplaces: Which is Better?

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Electric Fireplace Heaters Vs Infrared Fireplaces: Which is Better?

When shopping around for supplemental heating appliances for your home, you will find a lot of different options. You’ve probably come across fireplaces that are labeled “electric” or “infrared”.

As the homeowner, you care about energy efficiency, energy usage, and the heat output of fireplaces. Although both of them can heat your room, there are tons of differences with these factors.

So how do you choose the type of electric flame fires that would fit your unique situation? Here are the main differences between electric fireplaces and infrared heaters.

Electric Fireplace or Infrared Heaters?

Electric fireplaces and infrared heaters are both amazing alternatives for traditional heating. Instead of using gas or burning wood, electric heaters are safer and more efficient. Since they use electricity, you should learn about their main differences before you buy.

1. Heating Mechanism

Electric fireplace and Infrared heaters have different mechanisms in producing heat. If you want to know how both these heating appliances work, here is a short explanation:

  • Electric Fireplace

It contains a fan and a heating element. When you plug the unit into an outlet and turn it on, the heating element will start to get hot.

While the heating element is heating up, the fan takes the cold air from the room. Then, it will blow through the heating element, producing hot air.

This process will go on in a cyclical fashion until the room becomes warm and comfy.

  • Infrared Fireplace

It doesn’t have a fan that blows hot air in the room. It has a bulb that creates infrared light.

Coils are surrounding the bulb to make sure the heat would be evenly circulated.

A metal reflector inside the unit will then send the warm light into the room. The heat will be absorbed by the objects or the people in the room.

2. Design

  • Electric Fireplace

One of the best qualities of freestanding flame effect electric fires would be their design. Electric fireplaces actually have different styles and designs. The flame effect is so beautiful that it mimics a real fire coming from a traditional fireplace.

A recessed electric fireplace is a great choice if you want a unit that you can install directly on the wall. If you want to cover up your traditional fireplace, an Insert will be a good option. Some units may also be installed on your TV sets.

  • Infrared Fireplace

Infrared heaters are not known for their design as they focus on functionality. This type of heater usually has a compact design. However, infrared heating units are not as appealing as electric fireplaces.

There are elegantly-designed infrared heating units on the market. But, the fake flame technology of electric fireplaces is still a more popular choice.

3. Heating Time

There is a big difference between electric fireplaces and infrared heaters in their heating time. If you are having a hard time choosing between the two, this will be a big deciding factor.

  • Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces take around 20 minutes to heat a small room. It is because they have to convert all the cold air from the room to make the temperature higher.

Since the unit heats the air inside the room, the heat would stay inside for about an hour or more. Even if you turn off the electric fireplace, the room will still stay warm and comfy.

  • Infrared Fireplace

Infrared heaters can heat your room almost instantly. As soon as you open the heater, you will feel the heat right away. Objects and people inside the room absorb the heat from infrared heaters. It means that you can feel the increase in temperature almost immediately.

The heat from infrared heaters doesn’t last long inside the room. When you turn off the unit, the heat will also disappear immediately. Another issue is that you can only experience the heat of the infrared heater if you came across the wavelengths inside your room.

4. Efficiency

You need to look for an energy-efficient unit. Although both of them can fully maximize the electricity that they use, there are a few differences as well.

  • Electric Fireplaces

Electric fires are extremely efficient as they convert 100% of the energy they consume to heat. As long as your room is fully insulated, the heat will stay inside for a long time.

  • Infrared Fireplaces

A 500-watt infrared fireplace produces the same heat as a 1,200-watt electric fireplace. This is because infrared fireplaces are 40% more efficient compared with an electrical fireplace.

However, the problem with infrared heaters lies with the number of people in your room. They can’t produce the same heat if there is more than one person inside a room.

Since people and objects absorb the heat, having more people in the room can reduce its efficiency.

5. Usefulness

They are both useful, but what happens when the weather is sunny?

  • Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are superior when it comes to usefulness. You can use electric fireplaces the whole year-round. This unit doesn’t produce a real fire. You can open the fake flame to complement the interior design of your home.

The switch for the heat and the flame display is different. You can turn off the heating element while enjoying the beauty of the fake flames created by the inset fire. It doesn’t use too much electricity.

  • Infrared Fireplaces

Infrared heaters are usually stored inside your storage rooms the whole year. You will only need to bring them out during the winter season. It is useful during the winter, but not too much in other seasons.

Which One is Better?

Electric and infrared fireplaces both have a lot of advantages and disadvantages. But, if you look at their function and usability, electric fireplaces are clearly the winner. They are more flexible and have more varieties compared to infrared fireplaces.

If you need a versatile heating device inside your house, an electric fireplace will give you the best experience. If you want to enjoy the benefits of an electric fireplace, you can click here to learn more.

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