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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:
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
- 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)
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