Not everyone has a home with a fireplace. Additionally, it is not feasible to install a fireplace in every home. For those homes that wish they could have a fireplace, but cannot, there are electric fireplaces. Electric fireplaces use lights to give the appearance of flames. In many cases, electric fireplaces are equipped with a heater so that they heat the room as well. I took a look at some of the options that Lowes has to offer and I made it a point to choose different styles.
First let’s take a look at the Scott Living 56 inch Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace. This one is not made to look like a typical, real fireplace. This electric fireplace is housed inside of a TV stand. It will work for a television that is up to 62 inches. It has separate shelves and you can choose either a grey oak or a walnut finish. The color depends on how the fireplace is assembled. One side of the panels is grey oak while the other is walnut. This being able to choose your color, while setting up, is a great idea. The heater portion puts out 5,100 BTUs. It comes with a remote control and a thermostat. The temperature can be controlled and so can the brightness of the flames. This unit sells for almost $680 dollars and is the most expensive of the fireplace heaters I am reviewing today. It also has the lowest reviews. To be fair, the Scott Living fireplace has only been reviewed by two people. One loved it and one found that their fireplace had some defects out of the box and that the flames stopped moving after a short time. Because of this, I would be a bit leery of putting so much money into this fireplace heater. That is, until it has a few more positive reviews.
Next we have the Muskoka 35 inch Fan Forced Electric Fireplace. This fireplace also does not look like your typical fireplace. Instead, it looks much the same as a flat-screen TV with a stand. It can also be mounted on the wall by purchasing additional hardware. It is black and the “fire” looks more like embers. There are 7 different colors to choose from for the embers. The picture on the box shows green and blue as two of those options. Furthermore, the colors can be changed with just the push of a button. This fireplace also is a heater and it is also capable of producing 5,100 BTUs. This fireplace heater also comes with a remote control but this Muskoka heater comes with many more settings than the Scott Living one does. Along with the color options, this fireplace has 4 different brightness options, 4 backlight settings, and 2 ember color choices (black and white). The heater has a timer and the thermostat can be set to specific temperatures. This fireplace appears to be the easiest one to assemble. It is not clear if the base come pre-assembled or not. Either way, this fireplace heater could be installed within only a few minutes. It is not an expensive price at only $159 either. The Muskoka electric fireplace only have 4 reviews and received a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5. Apparently one can only access the fireplace setting with the remote and that poses a problem if the remote is lost.
The Duraflame 45 inch Infrared Quartz electric fireplace looks like a real fireplace complete with a mantle. It is nearly 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide and is 8 inches deep. It has a faux quartz and wood finish mantle. The fireplace part is a screen depicting logs and a dancing fire. Of course, the brightness is adjustable. A heater is included and it has the slightly higher BTU rating of 5,200. This unit also comes with a remote control and a digital thermometer. However, unlike the Muskoka fireplace, this Duraflame fireplace heater can be adjusted using buttons both on the body of the unit itself as well as with the remote control. Over 150 people have reviewed this Duraflame fireplace heater and it has earned a rating of 4.5 stars. The price is just shy of $400. Overall, people are pleased with purchasing it. They also state that setting it up is very easy.
Last but not least, we have the Pleasant Hearth 31.75 inch Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace. Like the Duraflame, the Pleasant Hearth model looks very much like a real fireplace might. The size difference in the two models is minimal. However, thie Pleasant Hearth fireplace has a cherry wood finish. It also has a screen with the fake fire and firewood in it. However, I must say that this particular model looks nothing like real fire. The “fire” has more of a spikey, orange grass look to it than other models do. This particular fireplace also has a heater but it only has 5 heat settings. It cannot be set according to any thermostat. Instead, you must pick from different degrees of heat ranging from low to high. The brightness can be controlled, as in all of the models, and it does come with a remote control too. This absence of options is reflected in the price tag as this unit is under $200. With over 50 reviews, it also receives 4.5 stars. This Pleasant Hearth heater fireplace is the only one of the 4 I have reviewed that states it requires no assembly. You simply plug it in and it is ready to use.
As you can see, there is a faux fireplace heater out there for everybody. They range in size, price, and style. These models do show that the less expensive options tend to have less features. That is not a problem for some. However, others would rather pay extra in order to have exact temperature control and different settings. Style will depend on the space you have available for your fake fireplace as personal preference. No matter what you choose, make sure to have it professionally installed, even if it is just plug and play. You need to make sure that your house is wired right before plugging in any heater.