- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 03 Mar 2017
What are electric fires?
Electric fireplaces are similar to conventional coal, wood and natural gas fireplaces, except that they are plugged into the wall and require no fuel. This also means they are easy to clean, do not require a lot of maintenance, and do not emit fumes.
Electric fires were invented in 1912 but only became popular in the 1950s. They can be fitted with a ‘flame only’ setting, where they mimic the flame effects of a conventional fire. They can also be used as heaters and consume approximately 1.4 - 1.6 kW of energy, which can heat a 37 sq. m room.
How do electric fires work?
Electric fireplaces generate heat through heated metal coils which use electricity. The heat spreads through the room by a fan. The heat is 100% efficient, as none of the heat is wasted; the fan pushes out 100% of the heat generated by the coils.
There are several different types of electric fires, such as:
Can be placed anywhere in the home and works by adjusting the heat settings and the flame intensity by remote control.
Wall-mounted electric fires
Can have a large variety of styles (contemporary or modern); placed on walls.
Electric fires with fire baskets
Electric insert fires
Also called inset, these fireplaces sit in a recess on the wall.
Advantages of electric fires
Electric fires provide many different benefits for properties, both residential and commercial:
- There is no need for chimneys or flues.
- Electric fires can be portable.
- There are no gas emissions.
- Electric fires are easy to clean and low maintenance (no ash or soot, for instance).
- There is no need to remodel the space where the fire will be installed.
- Electrical fires can be highly economical.
Disadvantages of electric fires
Electric fireplaces also present some downsides, which include:
- They are not as realistic as fires with real flames.
- They do not generate as much heat as conventional fires.
- Due to them only being able to work with electricity, they can be less efficient than other fires.
--Real Flame 09:05, 27 Feb 2017 (BST)
Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Whole-life costs consider all costs associated with the life of a building, from inception to disposal. Find out more here.
Reports emerge of injuries caused by Apple employees colliding with the campus' glazed walls.
The winners of NIC's ideas competition on transforming the Cambridge to Oxford arc discuss their concept.
Create new habitats and improve air quality and wellbeing.
New report provides 12 key actions which could close the structural talent gap in the construction industry.
These can be used to find out whether a proposed development is likely to be approved. Read more here.
Studying a built environment degree? Check out our helpful student resources section.
New BRE research paper explores how blockchain technology can benefit the built environment industry.
Timber is a natural carbon sink, but it must not end up in landfill at the end of its useful life.
BSRIA has collaborated with the Department of Health on research into air permeability in isolation rooms.