9 Things to Know Before Buying Outdoor Electric Fireplace

Outdoor electric fireplaces provide many benefits when compared to other patio heating options. They are straightforward to install and add value to your home. They'll also extend the patio season to a year-round affair that your friends and family can enjoy with you. Besides its practical uses, an outdoor fireplace is cozy and creates a beautiful aesthetic in your outdoor living space.

You can find lots of style ideas on for everything from traditional to modern, charming brick to cast iron or clay. The design possibilities are endless, but there are some essential factors to consider before you make a purchase.

Natural Gas Outdoor Fireplace
Natural Gas Outdoor Fireplace

Prioritize Simple Installation

Depending on the space you're working with, you'll choose between a wall-mounted or a freestanding electric fireplace for your yard or patio area.

Wall-mounted fireplaces are popular for those with limited square footage, like a condo balcony, because it doesn't require any floor space. Most come with the brackets to mount the heater, making it a simple installation process.

For portable freestanding fireplaces, installation is even easier. As long as you have access to a 120V electrical outlet to plug in the fireplace, you just put it into position on your patio. They are relatively lightweight and manageable to install between two people.

It Must Be Outdoor Rated

Electric fireplaces meant for indoor use should not be transferred outdoors. When an electric fireplace is exposed to the elements, it must be weatherproof and outdoor rated. It's always important to check the model you're looking at and ensure its design can handle the elements.

Otherwise, you can open yourself up to a host of problems like rust or electrical failure due to moisture damage.

Get a Warranty

An outdoor electric fireplace is a significant investment, so choose a manufacturer with a limited warranty for peace of mind. You can find them ranging from one to ten years, so your new purchase is covered for the immediate future.

Ensure you are using the product correctly to qualify for the warranty. Improper usage, including using an indoor model outside, using the wrong power source, or placing it in a hazardous location, can invalidate your warranty.

Steel Wood Burning Outdoor Fireplace
Steel Burning Outdoor Fireplace
Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit
Steel Propane Outdoor Fireplace
Gas Outdoor Fireplace

Do Not Use an Extension Cord

Wherever you decide to put your electric fireplace, whether on the deck, patio, or balcony, ensure that it is within reach of the outlet you intend to plug into. Never use an extension cable to plug in your outdoor electric fireplace because the amount of energy being transferred through the cord creates heat, causing the protective insulating coating to melt.

Overloading an extension cable like this can cause a fire, so you should always make sure you have a fireplace location close to an electrical outlet.

Chimneys and Venting Are Purely Visual

Unlike wood or gas burning stoves, you do not need to worry about venting with an outdoor electric fireplace. There are no emissions from it, which is environmentally-friendly and efficient. This means that if you want to get a chimney for your outdoor fireplace, it's purely decorative, and you should make a selection for aesthetics rather than functionality.

Realistic Flame Aesthetic

If you're hesitating to buy an outdoor electric fireplace because you'll miss the romantic dance of traditional flames in a fire pit or wood stove, there's no need to worry.  Electric fireplaces use a refractor to reflect light from an LED bulb, creating the illusion of real flames.

Not only are these flames just as beautiful as the real thing, but they don't produce harmful emissions, ash, or pose a threat to kids or pets who might be playing in the yard.

Outdoor Fireplace
Outdoor Fireplace

Lights Fast, Burns Clean

An outdoor electric fireplaceis an environmentally sustainable option for heating your patio or yard. It doesn't burn a fuel source but instead uses an electric heater resulting in zero emissions. The only factor to consider here is that your electrical bill will increase with significant outdoor fireplace usage.

Electric Fireplace Longevity

Outdoor electric fireplaces have a long lifespan, making them a worthwhile investment. Depending on the amount of usage and how well protected they are from the elements, they can last for ten to twenty years. This is roughly equivalent to the lifespan of wood-burning stoves.

Many manufacturers provide warranties from one to ten years, so your purchase can be protected for up to half of its life. You can prolong the life of your fireplace with regular preventative maintenance and an outdoor cover.

Research BTU Ratings

A BTU is a British Thermal Unit and represents a measurement of heat. The square footage and openness of the outdoor location will make a difference in the BTU rating you need from the electric fireplace you select.

A higher BTU means a greater heat output. For an outdoor electric heat source, BTU generally ranges from 30,000 to 100,000. Keep in mind the size of the space you'll be heating. If it's a small balcony, you'll be okay with a lower BTU versus trying to warm a large patio or garden. If the space is partially enclosed, you can select a unit with a lower BTU rating.

The benefit of heating with an electric fireplace is that you'll feel the effects quickly in the immediate vicinity, and all it takes is the push of a remote control button.

Concrete Propane Fire Pit Table
Concrete Propane Fire Pit Table

Shop Outdoor Electric Fireplaces

Once you've considered all of these factors, you're ready to search for the perfect electric fireplace for your outdoor entertaining space. After checking off all the technical boxes for the right fit, you get to move onto the fun part - selecting the fireplace style that suits your needs.

There are endless benefits to an electric fireplace as long as it's operated and installed correctly. Safe for entertaining family and having kids around, these artificial flames will warm your heart and your hands as they create a cozy atmosphere for year-round gatherings.

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