Fireplace in Your Bookcase, Anyone?

October 18th, 2011 · 4 Comments

Every once in a while, I see a product on the Costco website or in the Costco product emails that warrants comment.  This time it came from the Costco.ca weekly email message.  They have a variety of new products, and even some services, that are listed in these messages with links to further information online.  If you haven’t signed up for the Costco US or Costco Canada emails, you really should.  It’s a great way to get a look at the featured products or services.  You can sign up at the respective websites and they’ll send you a couple of emails a week (I think but it might just be one per week).

Everything in one place: fireplace, wine fridge, and media

But, on to the real reason for this post: electric fireplaces showing up in odd places.  I realize it is cold in Canada and can totally believe that there is a big market for electric fireplaces.  After all, they are easy to install and don’t need special venting or any fancy tools.  Nor will they require you to put in tile or do any sheetrock or plaster work.  So, there’s all that going for them.  Normally, I’ve seen the kind that you can hang on a wall or set in a corner or something that look like they’ve got a regular fireplace surround.  But now apparently, there’s a new breed of electric fireplace and they’re showing up in some kind of interesting or odd places, depending on how you look at it.

Through the Costco.ca website you can now buy an electric fireplace that is part of a bookcase or an entertainment cabinet or even an entertainment cabinet with a wine fridge.  Somehow it seems wrong to have a bookcase right above your fireplace, electric or not.  I would also think that there might be heat issues with putting your electronics right next to or right above an operating electric fireplace.  I mean, we have problems with heat build up from running a DVD player an a stereo receiver, I can’t imagine what it would be like to throw an electric fireplace into the mix.

However, if you’re wanting to add one of these into your room this is a great way of combining two needs: fireplace and storage.  Currently, there are eight different fireplace and cabinet or bookcase options on Costco.ca, so most likely there’s one that would appeal to your and match your decor.  Prices range from $389.99 to $849.99 for the super fancy one with the integrated wine fridge. They all claim that they can heat a space of approximately 400 square foot.  How efficient are electric fireplaces?  Are they really an effective heating method or are they kind of pricey to actually run?  All of the fires seem to be simulated with LEDs now, so at least that is the more efficient type of bulb.  I also noticed that some of them can run with just the cozy fake fire look but no heat output, which is nice and bound to be more energy efficient.  But I am guessing that most people get these as a way to boost the heating power of a room without doing anything too invasive and DIY-ish.

So, if you’re looking for a way to cozy up your living space and possibly add a bit of supplemental heat, plus have a handy place to put your media equipment, then this just might be a good option for you.

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4 Responses so far ↓

  1. 1 Robin from Orlando // 2011.10.22 at 5:27 pm

    An old apartment had a gas fireplace that looked so fake, I was skeptical when I saw one of these new electric ones in Costco last year.

    I think the image was digital, and looked better than gas jets behind a fake log. The heater blows a comfortable heat straight out. For my 3 minute test, if I wasn’t directly in front of the heater I’d have not felt it.

    I thought the Costco pieces I’ve seen are very attractive and give people a place to hand those Christmas stockings. 😉 Either Costco or BJs had a small one that looked odd with just a small frame around it.

    BTW, those gas fireplaces didn’t give off any noticeable heat.

    • 2 Kimberly // 2011.10.25 at 6:07 am

      I found out that our gas fireplace put out a decent amount of heat one time when our electricity went out for a few days. And despite the fact that we were in Austin, it was cold; the power went out because of a break in the line from an ice storm. I think up to that point we had only used it a couple of times. But hey, it kept us warm!

  2. 3 Emily @ Bentobloggy.com // 2011.10.18 at 8:15 pm

    I couldn’t help but laugh at the DVD/s above the fireplace! lol

  3. 4 steve // 2011.10.18 at 10:42 am

    Bought one last year at Costco as an entertainment center. Have no issues with heat from the fireplace. I was a little concerned with an XBOX, BLu Ray, DirectTV and Receiver, which all generate alot of heat.

    But everything is cool. Highly recommend.

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