Fake fireplaces are essentially space heaters with lighting effects that resemble flames. A 1,500-watt space heater uses 1.5 kilowatt hours of electricity every 60 minutes it is in use. Using a fake fireplace for more than a few hours a day will likely increase your daily electricity consumption and result in higher electric bills.
A 1,500-watt fake fireplace left on for eight hours will use 12 kilowatt hours of electricity. At that rate, in one month you would use 360 kilowatt hours just to heat one room a few hours a day.
Several models feature 750- and 1,500-watt settings, which gives you the option of controlling the heat output and amount of energy you use to keep an area warm. According to Consumer Reports, the only efficient way to use a fake fireplace for warmth is to use it to keep one room warm with the fireplace and turn off the heating system in the other rooms.
If your utility company charges for electricity on a tiered schedule, your bill can increase tremendously. Once you have used up your baseline allowance of electricity per month, your rates increase for every kilowatt hour used. Utility companies may have as many as four rate tiers. The highest tier may be as much as four times that of the baseline rate.
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