An electric fire; suitable as a main heating system?

With gas prices rising and wood fire emissions being discredited, people are looking for alternatives to heat the home. The electric fire is on the rise, but is it suitable to do the same as the gas and wood fire when it comes to heating the house? In short; is the electric fire suitable as a main heating system?

In this blog, we discuss the following:

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Is an electric fire suitable as a main heater?

The electric fire is not suitable as a main home heating system. And we hear your question already coming: "But it has a heating element in it, right?" Yes that's right! All DRU electric fires are equipped with a heating element which you can easily operate via the fire's remote control. The heating element in the fire heats the room in which the fire is located to a pleasant temperature. The electric fire is intended as local heating and will (probably) not be suitable as main heating.

Why do people choose an electric fire?

If you can't heat the whole house with an electric fire, why do people increasingly choose an electric fire? Nowadays, most homes have central or even underfloor heating that keeps the temperature constant throughout your home. But what if you don't need the same amount of heat throughout the house? If you stay a lot in the living room or kitchen, it is not always necessary to heat the rest of the house as well, and that is where the electric fire can save you a lot of heat and gas!

The electric fire is very suitable to use in combination with central heating. Feel free to turn your underfloor heating down a degree and only heat when necessary with your electric fire. In the evening, for example, when you are sitting comfortably in the living room. In this way, you save on your central heating's gas consumption but you can comfortably heat with your electric fire whenever you feel the need. 

An electric fire with heating; atmosphere and additional heating

As we told you earlier, the electric fire is not suitable as the main heating system in your home, but as additional heating, the electric fire is perfect! With a projection of flames - almost indistinguishable from the real thing - and the heating element inside the fire, the electric fire provides the room with the same atmosphere and warm feeling as a gas or wood fire gives you. The electric fire is therefore an excellent, environmentally-conscious alternative to a gas or wood fire when used in combination with central heating!

How much heat does an electric fire give?

No main heating, but how much heat does the electric fire provide? DRU electric fires have two heating settings. You can choose to use no heating setting, or turn the heater on at the first or second setting. When you use the electric fire on the highest heating setting, the fire heats the element up to 28 degrees. That is enough to make the room where the fire is located feel pleasantly warm within half an hour. 

Unlike a gas fire or wood fire, the heating element of the electric fire is not able to actually raise the temperature in the room. This is because no combustion takes place and therefore no radiant heat is released. So the electric fire does not actually heat the room. But it does create a pleasant and warmer feeling in the room by blowing the heat given off by the heating element into the room by means of a fan.

The operation of an electric fire with heating in a nutshell

The atmosphere of real fire, pleasantly heating the room, no emissions and stoking up with just the push of a button; we are talking about the electric fire. Perhaps you have never seen one in real life, or even heard of an electric fire with heating, so we would like to explain how an electric fire with heating works.
A fire powered by electricity
An electric fire works on electricity. Just plug it in and press a button to switch on the electric fire and the 'flames' start dancing. When the electric fire is on, this does not necessarily mean it is heating. You operate the fire's heating element separately from the flames. This allows you to regulate not only the atmosphere, but also the heat that the fire gives. 
No combustion, but atmosphere and warmth
The fire runs on electricity and does not burn. So what you see are not real flames, but a projection of flames. The heat you feel comes from a heating element. Electricity generates the heat in the heating element and a fan blows this into the room, making it feel warmer. The electric fire, unlike a gas and wood fire, does not emit radiant heat. Raising the temperature in the room, an electric fire cannot do that, but the heat from the fire does make it feel warmer. 

Is the electric fire not what you are looking for, or do you want to know which fire best suits your needs? With the help of our blog, you can choose a fire or stove that suits you in 5 steps!

Choosing a fire or stove in 5 steps

The consumption of an electric fire with heat output

Today's electric fires consume between 50 and 2000 watts per hour. If you do not use the heating element, the consumption is about 50 watts per hour. If the fire is on the highest heating setting, it uses about 2000 watts per hour which is enough to create a warmer feeling in the room where the fire is located within half an hour. 

We make a simple calculation of the cost of stoking the electric fire with heat output which is heating for two hours at the highest level and then left on without heating for another hour:

- 2 hours * 2 kWh * €0.775 (average energy rate per kWh in August 2022) = €3.10
- 1 hour * 0.05 kWh * €0.775 (average energy rate per kWh in August 2022) = €0.3875

An average evening stoking an electric fire with heating will then cost you about €3.49. That's a lot less than what it costs to light a gas fire or wood fire these days!

A tip from us
Do you have solar panels? Then using an electric fire is even more economical!

Calculate your consumption

The pros and cons of an electric fire highlighted

The electric fire is still fairly new. It is therefore logical that you probably don't yet know exactly how the fire works and (perhaps more importantly) what the advantages and disadvantages of electric fires are. We therefore explain the most important pros and cons of the electric fire for you:

  • The electric fire fits into any home in (almost) any place. The electric fire emits no emissions and it is therefore not necessary to connect it to a flue. All you need to fire electric is an available socket!
  • The electric fire is easy to install and environmentally conscious. No combustion takes place when you fire an electric fire. Not only do you then fire environmentally consciously, but no combustion also means no need to connect the fire to a flue or the gas network. This makes installing the electric fire very easy.
  • The electric fire is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. A disadvantage of having no combustion may be that it does not create real flames and smell, but the projection of the flames is almost indistinguishable from the real thing. In addition, stoking an electric fire is very safe because no combustion takes place.

Above are just some of the advantages and disadvantages of the electric fire. Would you like to know more and see all the advantages and disadvantages of an electric fire? We wrote a blog about it!

Read the blog

Do you still have questions about the electric fire with heat release?

We regularly receive questions about the electric fire with heat release. Have we not yet answered your question in this blog? Then take a look at the frequently asked questions about electric fires, or ask one of our dealers.

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