A built-in, 220 volt fireplace requires a bit of carpentry to install since it’s recessed and mount flush to the wall, but the eye catching results are worth the effort. Beyond visual appeal, they offer the opportunity to double the heating capacity of a conventional electric fireplace.
Most traditional plug-in electric fireplace mantels are not capable of hard wiring into a 220 volt circuit due to firebox design limitations. However, with a “built in” electric fireplace, you have the option of plugging it into a standard 110 volt outlet or hard wiring it into a 220 volt circuit.
Instead of the standard 1,440 watt (5,000 Btu) heating output of a plug-in fireplace, a built in will boost heating capacity to 2,700 watts (12 amps), or 9,000 Btu’s. In terms of coverage, 9,000 Btu’s will heat up to 800 square feet versus 400 square feet for a 5,000 Btu unit.
The two premier manufacturers of built in, 220 volt fireplaces, are Dimplex and Classic Flame. Between them they offer a dozen different models ranging in widths from 33″ to 52″ with prices starting around $800.
Detailed installation instructions are included with every unit and are within the skill set of an experienced do-it-yourselfer with good knowledge of electric circuitry. Since 220 volt fireplaces are built-in, they can be installed in exterior as well as interior walls and make stunning patio heaters.
The flame effect for electric fireplaces in general has come a long way in recent years approaching the realism of actual flames. As an added bonus practically every type of electric fireplace lets you use the flame effect with or without heat for year round enjoyment.
The log set is included with the firebox and options such as stainless steel trim, bi-fold glass doors, and wall mounted thermostat can be added to enhance appearance and functionality.
A built in fireplace also offers health benefits and convenient operation not found with a wood burning fireplace. You and your family will avoid harmful gases, air born particulates, and the continual labor required to operate and maintain a wood burning fireplace – never mind the mess.
And unlike a fireplace with mantle – electric or wood burning – the in-the-wall design saves space and presents numerous opportunities for unique installations limited only by your imagination.