Do you want a traditional wood burner in your home, but with none of the hassle of lighting it, cleaning it and having your chimney swept? Then why not consider an electric stove? You get all the aesthetic beauty of a wood burner, but with none of the messy bits! If that sounds like the home heating solution for you, read our complete guide to the best electric stove fires now.
A note on terminology
Before we continue we wanted to clarify some of the terminology that is used for electric stoves.
A stove has traditionally been a heating appliance that is capable of burning wood, coal or other biomass-derived solid fuels. The stove takes the shape of a metal (usually cast iron or steel) closed firebox with a door on the front, air vent controls and a flue to allow for smoke to escape.
These types of stoves are commonly referred to by a variety of names such as wood burner, wood burning stove, or log burner.
That’s why you’ll sometimes see electric stoves referred to as ‘electric wood burners’ or ‘electric coal burning stoves’. To be clear, these stoves do not burn either wood or coal. They operate purely on electricity. They are merely referred to as electric wood or electric coal burners as they physically resemble those other types of stove.
For the purposes of this article, we will be focusing solely on stoves that use electricity to generate heat.
What are the benefits of electric stoves?
Later on in this article we’ll be providing an overview of the best individual electric stoves on the market right now, but before that we’ve highlighted some of the benefits that come with owning an electric stove.
You don’t need a chimney
With a traditional wood-burning or solid-fuel burning stove you require a functioning chimney and/or twin wall flue. Not only can this increase the initial installation costs, but chimneys require periodic inspection and cleaning. This is because burning wood or other solid fuels can lead to the accumulation of creosote, soot and other combustible materials.
With an electric stove you can completely forget about all of these inconveniences and focus on enjoying the heat from your stove!
Electric stoves are more efficient than wood-burning stoves. Because of the way they operate, electric stoves turn 100% of the energy they use into heat for your room.
Having said that though, the most efficient wood-burning stoves can be as much as 89/90% efficient. Nevertheless, they still can’t compete with electric stoves for overall efficiency.
With an efficient electric stove, you’ll be spending less money to keep your living room warm – something that’s definitely worth being aware of as energy prices continue to creep up.
Clean, simple operation
By their very nature, operating wood-burning stoves involves a certain degree of ‘getting your hands dirty’. Whilst for some people this is part of their appeal, for others, the idea of clearing ash out of the firebox or sifting through firewood is not an appealing prospect.
That’s one of the reasons why electric stoves have grown in popularity in recent years.
Operating an electric stove is as simple as pushing the on/off button. Wood-burning stoves on the other hand require you to learn how to properly light and maintain a fire – as well as cleaning up afterwards.
Ease of installation
Installing an electric stove can be as simple as plugging it in. That’s it! Simply situate it against a wall, put the imitation flue pipe in place (if your electric stove comes with one), and then connect it to your mains electricity supply.
As we alluded to earlier, a wood-burning stove will often need to be installed in an existing fireplace with a hearth and chimney. In addition to this, you may also require a chimney flue liner. As you can imagine, this involves considerably more work than installing an electric stove.
There’s no getting away from the fact that wood-burning stoves produce smoke, other combustibles and particulate matter.
They are certainly more environmentally friendly these days thanks to the launch of the new EcoDesign regulations and clearSkies mark – but if you want a truly green heating appliance, then it has to be an electric stove.
Not only are electric stoves highly efficient, but because the UK national grid is increasingly generating electricity using renewable sources of power such as wind and solar, electric appliances are greener than ever.
Electric stoves are also a great alternative to traditional stoves if you live in a smoke control area.
Some models of electric stove have additional smart features such as remote controls, which makes it incredibly easy and convenient to control them.
Not only can you turn the heat up or down from the comfort of your sofa, but some models even allow you to set seven day timers so that your electric stove will automatically turn on and off throughout the week.
Just because you’re buying an electric stove doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the looks and style of a traditional wood-burning stove.
Electric stoves are not only designed to replicate the look of a traditional stove, but newer models even use VR technology to create incredibly realistic looking and eye-catching flames.
Contrary to what you may think, electric stoves are not more expensive than their wood-burning counterparts. In fact, it’s possible to pick up electric stoves that are considerably cheaper than solid-fuel burning stoves.
Plus, because electric stoves require practically no maintenance, they have very few long term costs beyond the actual cost of the electricity required to run them.
Electric stoves are generally considered much safer than wood-burning stoves. Why? Because they don’t contain an actual fire which could potentially get out of hand.
Wood-burning stoves will become very hot after prolonged use, so if you accidentally touch the stove’s surface you can easily be badly burned. This is a particularly important point if you have small children or pets in your home.
Because of the way they work, electric stoves do not become hot to the touch. So in the event that a curious little hand or paw touches it, there won’t be any tears or yelps…
How do electric stove fires generate heat?
As you can see, there are a wealth of benefits to owning an electric stove. So, if you’re looking for a clean, efficient, attractive way of heating a room in your home, an electric stove is an excellent choice.
But, we know that many people want a bit more detail on how exactly electric stoves generate heat. So, in this section we’ll take you through the most common way in which electric stoves generate heat.
The majority of electric stoves on the market in the UK create what is known as convection heat.
Without giving you a detailed lesson in thermodynamics, convection heat essentially refers to the process of heating the air in a room. In other words, a convection-based electric stove will heat the air in your room – which will then circulate naturally as the air cools.
But, how does it generate this type of heat?
A convection-based electric stove (also known as a fan-forced heater electric stove) will pass an electric current through a heating element (usually a coiled piece of wire). As the electricity passes through this heating element it will cause it to get very hot.
A fan is then used to draw cool air into the stove, over and across the heating element and then out into the room. As the air passes over the heating element it warms up – so you end up with a flow of warm air continually coming out of the front of the electric stove.
How much heat do electric stove fires create?
Electric stoves that use convection-based heating technology don’t provide as much heat as you would get from a wood-burning stove (you’ll generally get 2kW heat output at most from an electric stove).
However a convection-based electric stove is normally sufficient to comfortably heat a room that’s about 400 square metres in size.
To be blunt, if you’re looking for a stove that will act as the primary source of heat in your home, then you are better off buying a wood/solid fuel burning stove. However, if your home is centrally heated and you want an appliance to just take the chill out of the air in your living room, then an electric stove is a great choice.
The best electric stove fires for this winter
As we approach winter, with talk of rising energy costs, a potential levy on natural gas and more, it makes sense to choose an electric stove fire to help heat your home.
But, as you’ve probably seen from a quick Google search, there are literally hundreds of different electric stoves to choose from. To help you in your search, we’ve detailed our most popular electric stoves below.
OER Flametek Alto S Electric Pedestal Stove
If you really want to achieve that authentic traditional stove look in your home, then the OER Flametek Alto S stove is the stove for you.
Featuring an imitation flue pipe, a small log store and a choice of coal, pebble, driftwood, pine cone or crystal fuel beds, this is an electric stove that really looks the part.
What’s more, this electric stove has three brightness settings on its LED real fire flame effect, so if you want to create a homely, warm atmosphere on those cold winter nights, you can simply dial up the brightness to achieve a realistic fire-like glow. And, thanks to its remote control, you can change these settings without leaving your sofa!
This is also a great choice if you only have a limited amount of space in your home thanks to its compact pedestal design.
Broseley Evolution Vue Electric Stove
With a sleek, contemporary design, the Broseley Evolution Vue is an electric stove for those who want an eye-catching focal point in their living room.
As a freestanding unit, the Broseley Evolution Vue gives you plenty of flexibility as to where you place it. Plus it can be configured in three very distinct ways:
- Vue – with a standard plinth base.
- Vue LS – fitted with a standard log store base (but with the plinth removed).
- Vue LS Plus – featuring both the plinth and log store base to create a much taller freestanding look.
Aside from being a particularly stylish electric stove, the Broseley Evolution also features the latest tech including a seven day programmable thermostat remote control AND a rather nifty manual, easy access, touch screen on the top of the stove’s glass.
You’ll also be able to marvel at the stove’s artificial flames thanks to its LED tech which creates an ultra-realistic flame effect and pulsating log bed.
OER Flametek Milo Electric Stove
What are your options if you’re looking for a traditional-looking electric stove to put in an old fireplace? Well, the OER Flametek Milo is certainly one of the best options out there.
Carefully crafted to resemble a traditional wood burner as closely as possible, the OER Flametek Milo will provide an authentic rustic look, whilst also featuring all of the latest tech and features you’d expect from a modern electric heating appliance.
So, what are these features? The Flametek Milo allows you to choose from three brightness settings and three underbed lighting settings, along with a 1.9kW heater.
From a design perspective, this stove also offers you the ability to customise it with a variety of different fuel bed options including coals, pebbles, driftwood or pinecones.
AGA Ellesmere EC5W Wide Electric Stove
Although AGA are best known for their huge traditional kitchen ranges, they also produced a fantastic range of traditional-looking electric stoves.
The AGA Ellesmere EC5W combines the classic good looks of the Ellesmere range with the ease of use of an electric stove. And it certainly does retain a classic look and feel thanks to its robust steel casing and chunky cast iron door.
This commitment to retaining the look and feel of a wood burner extends to the Ellesmere EC5W’s flame effects. You have the choice of three flame effect options (red, yellow or blue), which can also be combined to create a unique flame.
The Ellesmere EC5W also comes complete with a remote control which can be used to change the flame effects, change the stove’s thermostatic control and set the stove’s seven-day timer.
Celsi Electristove VR Arundel Electric Stove
The Celsi Electristove VR Arundel is another contemporary, modern-looking electric stove. Where it differs from many other stoves on the market though is its advanced VR technology.
Thanks to its incorporated Fire Projection Technology, the Celsi Electristove VR Arundel can create super realistic and detailed flame effects. Conventional electric stoves feature flames on a flat screen at the rear of the appliance, but this stove uses VR technology to project the flame illusion to the front, centre and rear of the fuel bed.
So, if achieving the look of a traditional wood burner is especially important to you, pick the Celsi Electristove VR Arundel today.
Stay warm this winter with Direct Stoves
Is an electric stove for you? Whether you’re set on an electric stove or want to try a more traditional wood-burner, you’ll find everything you need to stay warm this winter at Direct Stoves.
We have a massive range of both traditional and modern stoves which are all available with free UK mainland delivery, 14 day no hassle returns and a range of finance options to help you spread the cost.
Shop electric stoves at Direct Stoves today
For more stove buying advice, information and guidance read the Direct Stoves blog…