CHOICE membership

Electric fireplaces

I am looking to retire our wood fireplace and install an electric fireplace. Choice has a buyers guide but no reviews of available electric fireplaces so I am interested in recommendations or pros and cons that people have with respect to available options. The Dimplex Winston available at Harvey Norman is the sort of thing I have in mind (to replace an existing fireplace and mantelpiece) but I am open to other possibilities. For instance, I don’t necessarily want a fake log set.

If you are near a Costco they had it for $2,199.

While this other topic is broader it might prove interesting as there are a few references to the product genre you seek.

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Is it principle purpose heating or aesthetics?

If it is heating, Choice has provided information on various heating options in the past:

Generally the most cost efficient way (unless you have a ready cheap supply of wood) is reverse cycle air-conditioning or heat pumps (if you live in Tassie).

It is worth reading the information published by Choice as some background before locking in your decision on the type of heater.

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Thanks. I have just been out looking at options. Why do you only suggest Tasmania for heat pumps? I’m in the southwest of WA.

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In Tasmania, reverse cycle air-conditioning is called a heat pump. If you say reverse cycle air-conditioning to a local in Tassie, they will possibly look at you strangely. I don’t know why they are called heat pumps in Tassie, could be that the cooling function (reverse side of heating) isn’t used often.

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Seems there should be a warning for Tasmanians not to order heat pumps from the mainland where heat pumps are actually heat pumps, and they will get one, and vice versa :laughing:

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I had never heard the term prior to our son and his wife buying a house in Queenstown some 20 odd years ago when it was recommended that he install them which he did.

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Beaut, thanks.

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Most informative.

Note:
Air Source Heat Pump, commonly called a reverse cycle air conditioner uses a heat pump and the thermal capacity of the outside air as a source or sink when in operation.

A ‘heat pump’ hot water system is similar except it heats water in the storage tank and not air in the home. It relies on the outside air as a source of thermal energy.

In colder climates or winter the low outside air temperature can limit the performance of a standard RC air conditioner or Heat Pump HW system.

One alternative is to use the thermal mass/energy from the earth under the back yard instead of the outside air. Air conditioning, heating/cooling for homes that use this method are commonly referred to as ‘Ground Source’ Heat Pumps, or Geothermal Heat Pumps. Obviously not a solution if there is no backyard to dig up for the install.

https://www.geoexchange.com.au/what-is-a-ground-source-heat-pump/

It may be important as @PhilT suggests to clarify which type of heat pump you are considering. Ground Source Heat Pumps also have eco credentials, mostly acquired from their use in cold climate low energy homes. They are the electric powered go to instead of more traditional gas, oil or combustion heating, and suit both underfloor and centralised heating needs.

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Excellent, thanks for this information. It is worth looking at more closely.