Not every home can have a real fireplace. Open fires cause accidents, so firefighting services do not allow the presence of fireplaces in apartments. But this only applies to sources of real fire, but electric fireplaces in this case will be an excellent alternative..
Electric fireplaces with the effect of a living flame will be able to fit into the decoration of your home, make it even more comfortable and, at the same time, will not require material costs for the purchase of firewood or coal. These devices differ in the type of design, in the type of imitation of flame and smoke, as well as in the options used (allegedly) fuel.
Structures are divided into:
- outdoor (very reminiscent of a classic wood-burning fireplace);
- portable, which, thanks to their compact size, low weight and the presence of wheels, can be freely moved from room to room;
- wall-mounted (these are thin decorative panels, different in size and built into the wall);
- built-in (they are attached to the wall or to the portal);
- fireplace baskets (they look like metal fireboxes with embers or logs);
- angular (symmetrical and asymmetrical);
- wall-mounted electric fireplaces 3d (they do not heat the room, but are used as decor in the interior);
- built-in hearths with impressive parameters, which have a three-dimensional effect. They have high heating power and additional functions in the form of a speed setting system for the flame and a remote control.
The device of the electric fireplace and the principle of operation
It has been known about electric fireplaces for a long time, but earlier it was just an iron box with open electric spirals. Such a device, of course, is capable of heating, but it will not become a decoration for the room, rather, on the contrary.
And then they came up with the effect of a living fire in an electric fireplace – a real miracle of modern engineering thinking!
The illusion of fire in the fireplace is of indescribable beauty thanks to the use of pieces of silk fabric, water vapor and halogen bulbs. The flickering algorithm of the lamps is not cyclical, it is different all the time, just as the tongues of flame move differently in a real fireplace. Reflection of light in the smallest particles of evaporating water creates a complete illusion of real fire, even when viewed from a very close distance.
- Live flame effect device.
Living fire in an electric fireplace is called the effect of recreating the process of real burning wood or coal. This effect is achieved using a device that generates cold steam. And again everything is arranged simply: water vapor comes out of the woodpile, which is highlighted. It is important that the backlight is bright enough.
And visually no steam is visible, but the complete impression is created that the woodpile is on fire. Such a fireplace will also humidify the air, which is beyond the power of the present..
- Capacity imitating a firebox.
If you are going to buy an electric fireplace, you need to decide on the choice of the firebox. To do this, you need to know how the device works..
And it is arranged quite simply: the cut pieces of silk fabric are blown from below by a fan, which makes them sway in the air stream and really look like a flame of fire. It turns out even more spectacular if the fabric is illuminated by light bulbs..
The effect will be even steeper if mirrors are built into the firebox, which will repeatedly reflect the backlit flame of the “fire”, which can finally confuse and you will believe that there is a real fireplace in front of you.
Heat is generated by heating elements: spiral and tubular (heating elements). The fan dissipates this heat, while the electric fireplace can consume no more than 2 kW of energy.
- Imitation of smoldering firewood with coals.
You can simulate fire in the firebox of an electric fireplace in different ways..
- Live fire effect.
The firebox of such a fireplace is filled with artificial pebbles, coal or wood, and the image of the fire is achieved by red flashing lights. Most of all, this method is suitable for steam-based electric fireplaces..
- Fireplace broadcast.
Here, on the fireplace monitor, a video picture with glowing coals or logs is projected. In this case, not only a flame can be depicted, but also other pictures, for example, a panorama of a landscape or a fish in an aquarium..
According to the types of “consumed fuel”, electric fireplaces are:
- with imitation of smoldering coals. This is when the pallet, located behind the electric fireplace grate, is filled with coal, and thanks to the illumination from below, it takes on the appearance of a heated heat;
- with “burning” logs in one style or another. The fact is that you can buy them with different stages of “burning” – and a little burnt, and burned out almost completely.
Imitation of a grate
The visibility of the grates in the electric fireplace is achieved due to the decorative material cast from an alloy of tin, lead and aluminum. Such grates turn out to be similar either to cast iron with a blued shade, or to light-colored steel..
For a real fireplace, such materials are absolutely unacceptable because of their flammability and fusibility. But an electric fireplace is another matter, and with such cheap and spectacular grates, you can perfectly decorate its electric hearth, without worrying about the fact that the body can be heated.
The design has many options: either the electric hearth turns out to be smooth and shines with a brass frame with a black matte cast iron shade, then it is framed by polished oak, then it shines with gold gratings. And such options are countless, how many firms – so many models and interchangeable parts made according to different designs.
Framing, decorative elements
When we choose an electric fireplace, we always pay attention to the cost and beauty of its frame. It is imperative to find out what kind of material was used for it, because visibility can be created alone, and then in fact marble or wood can turn out to be something like stamped plastic, which costs several times cheaper.
About marble and decorative stone “marbled”
Not so long ago, decorative material, namely cast marble, began to be used as a frame for the fireplace. Its composition:
- quartz sand or marble chips – 80%;
- resin – 19%;
- dye – 1%.
This decorative material is seven times more durable than natural marble. At the same time, the shade of cast marble can be ordered by the manufacturer in the way that your imagination comes up with, and the shape and size of such a decorative product can also be at your request. Thus, it is possible to achieve a portal frame consisting of solid pieces without a single seam and with a continuous pattern on the surface..
Here it is important to observe the intensity of the color, which would be in harmony with the interior, as well as the naturalness of the veins. Such a decorative element is much cheaper than natural material, but the frame from it looks no less charming and noble.
Features of choice
A device simulating a live fire in an electric fireplace and a room heating device are independent systems. Due to this, it is not at all necessary to turn on the fireplace for heating – you can do it just for the pleasure of watching the dancing “tongues of flame” and get aesthetic pleasure.
In addition, in many modern electric fireplaces, water vapor is produced, and it is cold and will also not heat the room, but only slightly humidify it, because it is obtained not from heating the water, but using ultrasonic waves..
About additional functions of modern electric fireplaces
We did not have time to get used to the magical “living fire” in the electric fireplace, when another innovation appeared: now the electric fireplace can also recreate the effect of water spray from a mountain stream!
And for some manufacturers this was not enough, and they improved the electric fireplace even more. Now you can buy a fireplace with an audio system, so you can warm up, admire the “tongues of flame”, and listen to your favorite music. And today quite a few electric fireplaces already have a minimal sound system with the sound of logs that crackle from the fire..
An electric fireplace is, first of all, a heater, and if it is used for this very purpose, then one cannot do without a large consumption of electricity. It is better to turn it on for heating only as an additional source of heat, which means – for a short time. But you can admire the function of living fire indefinitely, because in this case, a very small amount of electricity is consumed.
Judging by the reviews, the electric fireplace, as a rule, is purchased so that you can create a cozy and comfortable atmosphere in the house, as well as decorate the interior of the room with it. For many buyers who did not succeed with the installation of a natural wood-burning fireplace, the electric hearth turned out to be the ideal solution to the issue of installing a fireplace in the apartment..
Electric hearth in the interior
The most important component of an electric fireplace is, of course, its hearth. This is, one might say, the heart of this electrical appliance. The design of the hearth and its technical capabilities depend on:
- how powerful the heat flow will be;
- how realistic the “flame of fire” will be;
- the presence of all kinds of visual and sound effects.
Thanks to modern engineering developments, an electric hearth today is not just the heat emanating from an electric fireplace, but it is also an opportunity to watch how firewood smolders and how streams of light smoke rise up from a burning coal, as well as listen to how firewoods crackle.
About classic electric foci
A classic home fireplace is an electric appliance that looks very much like a wood-burning fireplace in a classic design.
The firebox in this model is vertical and open. The set for the classic hearth comes with coal or other components that imitate logs of firewood. This type of electric hearth is most suitable for emphasizing the status of your home and giving it even more coziness and comfort..
Wide electric hearth
Large-format foci are most common. Their orientation is horizontal; on sale they are equipped with a large firebox both in depth and in volume. Often the walls at a wide electric hearth are imitated as natural brickwork.
Most models have glass in the front of the fireplace, although there are models with curved blinds and doors. The difference between such hearths is also in the size of firewood for them – they are as close as possible to the size of natural logs. They often have LEDs for even better fire simulation. And some models are also equipped with burnt natural logs in places..
Such a large hearth can perfectly fit into the interior of a spacious room that requires additional massive elements. Such foci are the most spectacular, and this is understandable, because it is simply impossible not to pay attention to their non-standard sizes. The best electric hearth cannot be found in an apartment with a large area or in a spacious house outside the city..
About narrow foci (multi-foci)
Narrow hearths are considered an absolute breakthrough in the electric fireplaces market. Multi-focus will be a unique solution in any interior and in any room: in an apartment, in a house outside the city, in a hotel hall or a supermarket.
The peculiarity of a narrow hearth is the variety of its use: it will look harmoniously with any decorative portal.
A narrow hearth is quite capable of being a completely independent object. It will look great against a wall with a portal or with decorative stone masonry. Any option will be stylish, unusual and modern.
But, at the same time, it can be placed in the summer period, when the room no longer needs to be heated, and in a natural wood-burning fireplace.
We do it ourselves
If you want, you can make a portal for an electric hearth yourself. But first of all, of course, you need to have the hearth itself, which is the inner part of the entire structure of the fireplace. We choose the model at our discretion: by style, by material of manufacture, small or larger.
To begin with, you should:
- decide on the place of installation of an electric fireplace;
- acquire a hearth;
- develop a drawing;
- stock up on all the necessary decorative materials and tools.
When everything is ready, you just have to get to work. This is best done under the guidance of a knowledgeable specialist, since not having enough experience, you can simply ruin the entire structure. You can also use the help of an experienced decorator and an electrician – knowledge in these areas is fundamental when creating an electric fireplace with your own hands..