As we like to say, ‘Home is where the hearth is.’ Still, what’s there to be done if your home can’t accommodate a traditional wood-burning fireplace? The fact is many jurisdictions have banned the installation of wood-burning fireplaces in new houses or as part of a renovation. This leaves you to choose no fireplace, gas fireplace or a type of electric fireplace.
One type of electric fireplace that is fairly efficient and gives off plenty of heat is the infrared electric fireplace.
What is an infrared fireplace?
It’s an electric fireplace but incorporates quartz heating technology which is fairly efficient for an external heat source (i.e. not your furnace).
What is quartz heating technology?
It’s a form of radiant heating which uses infrared waves to heat the surfaces of objects in the vicinity. You may have heard about infrared saunas which does exactly that. While it’s not nearly as hot inside an infrared sauna as a typical dry heat sauna, the infrared waves heat the occupants’ skin so that you sweat and in theory enjoy the same benefits of a traditional sauna. That is the same principle happening with infrared technology used in electric fireplaces.
How cost and energy efficient are infrared fireplaces?
Because infrared technology is efficient as a heat source, these fireplaces are very efficient relative to other electric heating sources.
One estimate suggests it only costs $.12 to $.14 per hour to heat 1,000 sq. ft. That comes to $2.88 to $3.36 per day or $86.40 to $100.80 per month. While that may seem expensive, it’s not, especially for a non-furnace heating source.
Below we set out some 10 top infrared fireplaces.
ClassicFlame 28II300GRA Infrared
ClassicFlame’s infrared electric fireplace is just what your living room is missing. With incredibly realistic firewood and effects, this fireplace has a heating capacity of 5,200 BTU, meaning that it can quickly heat up a 1000-square feet area. Thanks to the company’s proprietary Spectrafire Plus technology, you can select any of the 125 flame effects to reflect your mood. Weather’s too hot and humid? That’s not a problem for this bad boy, as you can keep the flame effects without cranking up the heat.
- The unit can ensure a warm or cozy atmosphere without making the air too dry;
- It has a thermostat that allows temperature adjustment;
- You cannot program the heat output with the remote control;
- The fire effect is not bright enough in daylight, but that is because of LED technology.
Duraflame DFI 5010 01 Infrared Quartz Fireplace Stove
With a 4.5 out of 5-star rating and more than 600 positive reviews, this best-selling infrared heater has recently won the Amazon’s Choice designation for electric fireplaces. Just like the ClassicFlame 28II300GRA, the Duraflame DFI 5010 01 has a heating capacity of 5,200 BTU and a range of up to 1,000 square feet, a feature that can help you save big on your heating bill.
The fireplace sports a yet-to-be-patented 3D flame tech, which creates the illusion of some of the most realistic flames a faux fireplace can offer, and five-speed, brightness, and color settings. In addition, the infrared quartz heat doesn’t dry out the air in the room and the overheat protection will shut down the device to prevent overheating.
The unit also comes with a digital thermostat which enables you to set the optimal room temperature. According to some customers, even in the absence of central heating, this gem kept them warm at night even on nights with temperatures as low as 9 Degrees F.
- You can adjust the heat output via the thermostat and program it with the remote control;
- The unit’s safety features make it safe for use around children and pets;
- The compact design allows easy relocation from one room to another;
- Despite being generally safe to the touch, be careful about what you place on top, as that part can get too warm;
- The fan can be a little bit noisy.
ClassicFlame 23IRM1500-O107 Rolling Mantel with Infrared Quartz Fireplace
This is another best-selling infrared electric fireplace on Amazon that doesn’t dry out the room’s air. With a heating capacity of 5,200 BTU, it can radiate heat up to 1,000 square feet. Its patented safety technology Safer Plug and built-in heat sensors keep a constant watch on the temperature of the plug and shut off the unit whenever there’s a risk of circuit, fire, or product damage.
One of the best parts of this heater is that you can enjoy the flame effect with or without heat, so you and your family can re-create the cozy, gentle rolling fire ambiance year-round.
The unit’s retail price is around $265.
- The product comes fully assembled;
- Quality piece of furniture and nice flame effect options.
- The flame effect spinner is quite noisy and might need a replacement.
XtremepowerUS Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Heater
This infrared heater retails for under $130, but it does its job when it comes to both visual effects and heating functions. It is a Plug & Play unit with great looks and quality wood and craftsmanship. It comes with a RC, overheat protection, flame adjustments (3) and thermostatic temp levels (5). The XtremepowerUS Infrared is cheaper than running the heat pump and on really cold days, it can run continuously for 10 hours before shutting off and restarting.
- Thanks to its smokeless effect it can be used in any room;
- The flame effect is available with or without heat.
- It is smaller than advertised.
Lifesmart Large Room Infrared Quartz Fireplace
This product is perfect for zone heating, i.e. you can heat just a room or two instead of the entire home if you’re just using a part of it, which can drastically trim the heating bill. Deciding on which rooms to heat and when can greatly reduce your energy consumption. The unit can be installed and used in any room as it does not require a venting system. The fireplace’s commercial-grade quartz infrared elements can generate enough energy to heat an entire room.
- the product comes with a beautiful Oak mantle;
- it consumes no more than 1,500 wats when on zone-heating mode.
- it heats less SqFt space than advertised (according to customer reviews).
Plow & Hearth Portable Indoor Home Compact Electric Panoramic Quartz Infrared Heater
This eye-candy infrared stove heater allows you to enjoy the flame effects from each angle. It has a 5,000 BTU heating capacity and thermostat heat control. It can heat a room while staying cool and super energy efficient. Thanks to the infrared technology, it will truly warm you as well instead of just warming the room’s air. The beautiful flame effects are available without heat too. It retails for $170.
- no remote control.
LifeSmart LifeZone Electric Infrared Quartz Fireplace Heater
If you want to add a dash of elegance to your living room, then the LifeSmart LifeZone Electric infrared electric fireplace would be your best bet. There’s no need for someone to come in for the installation – just follow the instructions in the manual, plug it into an empty grounded socket, and enjoy. This model has a total out of 1500 watts, which is more than enough to heat up a 400-square meter room. Other features include three modes (high, low, and eco), overheat safety feature, adjustable flame effect function, and a timer function. The Lifesmart LifeZone can be yours for $185.
- a classy and elegant look
- the fake ‘fire’ can be switched off for when going to bed
- noisy when the heater kicks in.
Duraflame Infrared Quartz Electric Stove Heater
This is a durable and light-weight infrared electric stove heater, which can warm up a 1,000 sqft space. The portable unit comes with beautiful, life-life flickering flame effects that are highly customizable. The Duraflame stove heater is perfect for you if you are into classic wood-burning stoves but would rather skip all the inconvenience and extra costs.
- ember bed and true-to-life sculpted log set
- no thermostat
Whalen Furniture Fully Assembled Chesapeake 32″ Mantel Electric Fireplace
The last item on our list of infrared electric fireplaces has to be something that combines elegance with modern. This little wall heater makes the perfect description of a classic electric fireplace, but it is also sophisticated enough to match any modern lifestyle. It can be yours for $214.99.
- good quality materials
- the fan can be noisy;
- it needs to be assembled.
There you have it, folks – the best infrared electric fireplaces that will definitely give you a run for your money. Some are classic and timeless, while others are functional and outlandish. As always, it’s up to you to choose the right fireplace for your home.