Dimplex Electric Fireplace Review
Image from Amazon
When humankind invented fire, our whole world changed. Where most other species on our planet instinctively run from fire, human beings have embraced it as a way of keeping warm, providing light, and cooking food. These days we don’t usually need fire to cook our food or provide light, but we still love fire for the warmth it gives us and the aesthetic value of gazing wistfully into the flames on a cold winter’s night. We embarked on this Dimplex electric fireplace review because we honestly wanted to know: can an electric fireplace be as nice as the real thing?
What Is the Dimplex Electric Fireplace?
Space heaters are a popular way to keep warm, but they aren’t always the nicest-looking things in the world. Humans are aesthetic creatures who crave more than just the utilitarian. When it comes to indoor warmth, we want to be cozy–not just warm. Unfortunately, in the modern world it often isn’t practical to have real fires burning in the living room. Our Dimplex electric fireplace review looks at one of the best ways to strike a balance between cozy and safe.
Why Go Electric?
If you already have an ordinary wood or gas fireplace, you might be wondering why you’d want to go electric at all. There are a couple good reasons to consider electric:
- Safety: you’re much less likely to accidentally burn the house down
- Savings: going electric is cheaper than burning gas or wood in most places
- Convenience: wood fires only go out when they’re done; not when you want them to be done and flick a switch
The Dimplex fireplace insert is an electric fireplace made to be inserted into an existing fireplace. It’s simple to install since it plugs directly into any standard household outlet. If you prefer, however, you can get expert installation.
The insert itself is 23 inches wide and just under 20 inches high, with a depth of nearly 11 inches. It’s a good idea to measure your fireplace before buying to make sure there won’t be any trouble installing it.
The energy draw of this fireplace is 1375 watts at 120 volts. It puts out nearly 4,700 BTUs, which is typically enough to heat a 12×16 foot room if it is well-insulated. Of course this unit is also great as a supplement to the main heating supply. On average, it costs two cents per hour to run this heater on high. You can also choose no-heat or half-heat settings.
The Dimplex fireplace insert comes with a remote control so you can easily adjust it from anywhere in the room. If you want the light and fireplace effect without heat, you can do that. This makes it useful in all four seasons of the year.
As we did our Dimplex electric fireplace review, we realized that the biggest question for many people is how well this insert mimics the cozy quality of a real fireplace. This is a personal issue, so for our Dimplex electric fireplace review we looked at a lot of real-user reviews by people who replaced their wood fireplace with this insert.
The Dimplex fireplace performed very well in this regard. Even people with real fireplaces felt like the Dimplex looked real. This is a big consideration when it comes to getting just the right electric fireplace.
Currently, you can score a Dimplex fireplace insert for about $350. This is very reasonable as such fireplaces go. Some of the more expensive fireplace inserts run closer to $700. You can also find cheaper models, but often these just really don’t have the look of a real fireplace.
How It Compares
For our Dimplex electric fireplace review, we chose three competitors to stack up against the Dimplex. We looked at these three fireplaces:
- PuraFlame Alice 60″ Recessed Electric Fireplace
- Touchstone 80004 – Sideline Electric Fireplace
- Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace 000
Dimplex Electric Fireplace
The Dimplex can heat a room of about 12 by 16 feet. That’s a decent range, but it’s certainly not going to replace your home heating system; nor is it designed to.
In terms of energy efficiency, the Dimplex is a star. At just about two cents per hour, even on the highest setting, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to get warm in the evening.
Some electric fireplaces look just awful, frankly. The Dimplex fireplace has a flame effect powered by two bulbs. These bulbs reflect off a mirror to showcase the full effect. You can get flame effects that look better, but only for a big price hike. At this price range, the Dimplex is simply the best.
Most of us who have a fireplace have it in our living room. That’s also where we tend to keep our televisions. Do we want an annoying whine competing with the sound of our favorite show? No. Does the Dimplex electric fireplace put out such a whine? No.
Dimplex offers a one-year warranty on their electric fireplace. This doesn’t cover the lightbulbs; but those are easy to replace.
- Looks great
- Easy to replace bulb
- Remote Control
- Mirror can reflect things in the room
- Not suitable for very large rooms
PuraFlame Alice 60″ Recessed Electric Fireplace
The PuraFlame Alice is by far the most expensive of the fireplaces we considered in our Dimplex electric fireplace review. There is good reason for this. This fireplace is wide, warm, and offers color-changing effects that you’ll love. Gas or wood fireplaces only burn in normal colors. Why settle for that when the PuraFlame Alice will let you choose from 13 different colors, with or without heat?
This is also a recessed fireplace, meaning you can put it into an existing fireplace area or even have it installed in the bathroom, kitchen, or any other room of the house. You just need two by six feet of space and a 110V outlet.
This fireplace has a blower that can run at either 1500 watts or 740 watts. It comes with a timer so you can set it to warm anywhere from 30 minutes to nine hours. It also comes with a remote control so you can adjust it from anywhere in the room.
This model puts out a lot of heat. On the highest setting it should be able to handle a room of about 10 by 15 feet.
This heater is less efficient than the Dimplex and will cost the average user about $90 a month to run continuously. Of course that’s still far less expensive than using wood or gas for most people, and your final cost will vary depending on where you live and how often you run the heater.
On certain settings, users say it looks “almost like real flames.” Naturally, if you choose the purple setting you are going for a less authentic fire look.
This one is whisper-silent, which is just what you want in the family room.
This electric heater also comes with a one-year warranty. Just be aware that if you use it in any commercial setting the warranty is invalidated.
- Fun colors
- Effective heating
- Can be installed everywhere
- Some users experience installation difficulties
Touchstone 80004 – Sideline Electric Fireplace
As we conducted this Dimplex electric fireplace review, we were pretty impressed with the Touchstone 80004. It’s not ridiculously expensive, yet it has the same features available in many high-end products. This is a long unit that can be installed into any existing fireplace or into a wall in any room of the house.
This fireplace has a front heating vent, so it can be placed right up against a wall anywhere in the house. The logs and crystals give a realistic fire look, while the 5,000 BTU output ensures you can heat any room. You have a choice of hard-wiring this into your electrical system or simply plugging it into an existing outlet.
This unit is one of the best on our list at 5,000 BTUs. You can heat up to 400 square feet with this much power, and the Touchstone does this effectively.
Compared with some of the others in our Dimplex electric fireplace review, this one is a bit less energy efficient. However, if you’re comparing this to using wood or gas, it still comes out on top. It’s also important to consider that higher BTU heaters will be able to heat larger rooms more effectively.
If it’s important to you that your fireplace be realistic, you can’t do better than this one.
This fireplace is much louder than other fireplaces of similar type. We experienced an odd grinding noise we couldn’t place; and other users complained of the same.
Touchstone offers a one-year warranty that includes support. For an extra $100 or so, you can get another year’s warranty. For about $160 you can get a two-year extended warranty beyond the one-year warranty that comes with the product.
- Better warranty than most
- Looks great
- Heats a large room
- Noisier than most
- Less energy efficient than some models
Ameriwood Home Chicago Electric Fireplace
This is the least expensive of the fireplaces we reviewed and an Amazon Choice product. This fireplace isn’t meant to recess into the wall or an existing wood fireplace: it’s meant to function as both a heater and a TV stand. You can choose not only different finishes, but also different styles.
The unit can handle weights of up to 70 pounds. It comes in a variety of colors and styles so you can find the unit that perfectly matches your decor. There are also shelves for DVD, Blu-Ray player, or gaming console as well as cabinets for DVDs, games, or books and holes that allow you to easily connect your movie player or console to the television.
The fireplace itself easily plugs into any standard outlet and is powered by an LED bulb that lasts for 50,000 hours.
You should be able to heat a 400 square foot room with this heater. Combine that with the ability to put a TV on top of it and books inside it and you have a very nice, multi-purpose unit.
This unit is less efficient than some of the others we reviewed; but it is cheaper to run than a wood or gas fireplace.
No electric fireplace can fully replace the look of a true wood fire. Most users report that this unit looks good from a distance, but it just doesn’t look as good as some of the others we reviewed. However, it’s important to consider the look of the fireplace in relation to the overall functionality of the unit as a cabinet and TV stand.
This unit is virtually silent, which is a big plus in comparison to others we reviewed.
Ameriwood offers a fairly standard one-year warranty on all their products.
- Heats well
- Easy to install
- Looks good from a distance
- Can be tricky to install
- Has an initial odor that is off-putting
- Paint may peel over time
There were reasons to like all the units in our Dimplex electric fireplace review. We loved the Ameriwood for homes that don’t already have a recessed fireplace or need cabinet space. We also can’t avoid admitting that the colors on the PuraFlame were really cool. And when it came to realism, the Touchstone was undoubtedly the best.
Yet the Dimplex electric fireplace still held up pretty well. It offers a great balance of value, efficiency, warmth and aesthetic that we don’t think any other unit was quite able to match. In the end, our Dimplex electric fireplace review awards Dimples 4.5 stars out of 5. We would definitely recommend this one to our friends and family.