Pros:Nice flame effect, digital controls and heater, remote controlled.
Cons:Can't adjust temperature from remote, fake flames could be a bit higher.
The Bottom Line: Great digital remote controlled electric fireplace. If you want to be able to adjust the temperature by remote you will need to get a more expensive model.
Last summer I replaced my room air conditioner with a much more powerful model but which lacks a heat mode like my old one had. Now that winter is here I wanted a heater again as I like keeping the rest of the house cooler to save energy and keep the bedroom at a more comfortable temperature.
Recommend this product?
At the hardware store there were many electric fireplaces on display and most of them offer a heat mode. I wanted a heater with digitally adjustable temperature with a remote control. This was the least expensive model with these features, I had been looking at it the last few times I went to the hardware store and this time it was reduced from $300 to $240 and they only had one left of this model so I bought it.
This model is an insert meant to go inside an existing fireplace or into a mantel. The manufacturer also sells them with the mantel included and have many different models of both the electric fireplaces and mantels. I will build my own mantel but more like a library shelf like one of the models on their site, it barely takes more floorspace than the fireplace itself but gives you shelves for storage both under and over the fireplace.
I was a bit disappointed when I got home and tried it to see that the temperature can only be adjusted from the fireplace's buttons and not from the remote which is quite illogical as the remote has the same buttons as the ones on the machine. For the heat mode the remote only allows it to be turned on and off which is better than nothing and I keep it at the same temperature most of the time anyway. If you want to be able to adjust the temperature by remote they have another same size model for $100-200 more that lets you do this, has glass doors that can be opened and a 10 year warranty. It was definitely not worth the extra cost to me and the store didn't have that model anyway.
There are four buttons on the top right of the fireplace and on the remote (they are the same buttons):
-Power: Turns the entire fireplace on or off
-Flame: Cycles the flame brightness from 5 to 1 or off
-Heat: Cycles between 17-27 Celsius (or 62-82 Fahrenheit), heat always on, heat off (on the remote this button only cycles between off and your previous temperature setting)
-Timer: Toggles between 30 minutes, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 hour auto off timer or no timer
Whenever you press a button an LED display lights up in the upper right corner of the fireplace to display the changes you make and then turns off after a few seconds. The numbers are large enough to see from a good distance and the setting icons are all a different color (power: blue, flame: red, heat: amber, timer: green).
Holding down the power button on the fireplace for 10 seconds disables the heater so it cannot be turned on (attempting to turn it on while disabled will cause the logs to flash a few times to remind you it's disabled). You can re enable it by holding power for 10 seconds again. Holding down the heat button on the fireplace for 10 seconds toggles between degrees Celsius and Fahrenheit.
You can operate the unit with only the fake flames, only the heater, or both. If you turn off the fake flames but leave the heater mode on, the logs will keep glowing red like the smoldering remains of a fire to remind you it's still in heat mode, I found that to be a nice touch.
On one site I read that when you set the timer, in the last 2 minutes before it turns off the flames will slowly fade from brightness 5 to 1 and then turn off completely, simulating a fire that's ending. I think a 30 minute fade out would have been much more realistic than 2 minutes. I also find the brightness level even between 5 and 1 to be quite minimal, not only making the fade out effect barely if at all noticeable, but the flame dimming feature not very useful. I set the timer to 30 minutes as well as an alarm 27 minutes from then to see if I could notice the fade out but didn't, but it may be because the difference between brightness 5 and 1 is quite minimal, or perhaps the site was wrong and this model doesn't have that feature.
The fake flames work with LED lights which are extremely energy efficient. With a digital power meter I was able to see the fireplace uses only 4 watts with the fake flames on full brightness and the heater not operating (the manual only said “Less than 10 watts”). The unit doesn't make any noticeable sound in fake flame mode only unless you stick your ear on it. The flames look relatively realistic for a fake fire, with my only complaint being that the flames should be higher, most of them are hidden behind the logs and barely fill half the height of the fireplace, it would have looked better if they were at least 4 inches higher. Although the flames look plenty bright even in a well lit room, they surprisingly barely light up a room in the dark, this can be a good thing as I can leave them on all night and they don't light up the room when sleeping. However if you were hoping to use it for ambiance lighting in a dark room it won't work.
The heater is a forced air type 1350 watt heater and the fan is very quiet and efficient, it only needs to run for 2-3 minutes at most every 10-15 minutes or so to maintain my target temperature (of course this will vary based on your room size, target temperature, temperature of the rest of the house, etc.). The fireplace takes in air from the top and blows out the heated air at the front through a mesh grill above the fire area.
My only complaints are not being able to adjust the temperature from the remote and that the fake flames could be at least 4 inches higher, these are very minimal issues so I still highly recommend this electric fireplace.
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