WHAT IS AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE?
Electric Fireplace Benefits
- Little-to-no clearance requirements
- No installation restrictions
- No smoke, harmful byproducts, or emissions
- Long-lasting - won’t corrode from high-heat exposure like wood or gas fireplaces
- Hassle-free installation - Simply plug it in
- A variety of styles to choose from (traditional, linear, built-in, free-standing, etc.)
- Completely safe - no fire, stays cool to the touch
- Flames can operate separately from heat - great focal point for all seasons and climates
HOW DO ELECTRIC FIREPLACES WORK?
Electric fireplaces use electricity and LED technology to create heat and artificial flames, without needing solid or gaseous fuels. You can plug them into a wall socket and operate them with a hand-held remote control.
Electric fireplaces vary in operation based on the brand and model, but they all replace cool air with warm air. The fireplace pulls in cool air, warms it with a heating coil, and pushes the warmed air out into the room using a fan.
Electric fireplaces use infrared heat to warm people and objects, rather than heating the surrounding air. That means all the heat produced stays in the room.
Most models use a motorized mechanism to create artificial flames. This mechanism reflects light off mirrors or metal strips, giving the appearance of a dancing and flickering fire.
Some models, like the Opti-Myst by Dimplex, use specialized technology to create hyper-realistic flames from water vapor. Others feature a video and audio loop of a real wood burning fire to create an immersive, lifelike experience.
Typically, electric fireplaces use LED lightbulbs, which contribute to the overall efficiency, lifespan, and environmental impact. High-quality LED lightbulbs can last up to 50,000 hours, produce 90% less heat, and use less energy than incandescent and CFL bulbs. They also don't contain mercury and prevent environmental contamination when thrown away.
Some electric fireplaces have adjustable flame colors and LED accent lighting. You can use these modern features to set a specific mood, match the season, or complement your home decor. Most models also allow you to operate the flames and heat separately, so you can still enjoy a "fire" in the hot summer months.
HOW MUCH HEAT WILL I GET?
Electric fireplaces typically heat between 400-1,000 square feet effectively. However, each manufacturer will specify a different square footage. Check the owner's manual or product page to confirm the wattage and BTU requirements of your electric fireplace.
WHAT KIND OF ELECTRICAL CONNECTION DO I NEED?
Most electric fireplaces mount to the wall and plug into a standard wall socket. You can also find a model that hardwires into your home's electrical system for a more permanent installation.
To prevent a fuse from blowing, make sure your electrical system can handle another appliance. For electric fireplaces that require higher voltage, you’ll need to hire a licensed electrician to wire the socket. Purchase a surge protector or fire-safe socket to ensure your fireplace and wall outlet won't overheat.
WHERE CAN I INSTALL AN ELECTRIC FIREPLACE?
The biggest benefit of wall-mounted electric fireplaces is the installation flexibility. Most units are zero clearance and won't pose a risk when placed next to flammable objects, like furniture. That means, you can safely put a wall-mounted electric fireplace anywhere you'd like, such as a bedroom or entryway.
Built-in electric fireplaces are slightly different. They have some clearance requirements and installation restrictions to ensure heat doesn't build up in your walls. You'll need to install your built-in electric fireplace with proper ventilation. Clearances and restrictions are brand-specific, so make sure you check the owner's manual prior to installation.
ARE ELECTRIC FIREPLACES SAFE?
Electric fireplaces are the safest option, especially if you have small children and pets in the home. They only use electricity to work and don't create real flames, smoke, or emissions. They're also an excellent alternative if you live in a location that doesn't allow gas or wood burning features.
HOW MUCH WILL INSTALLATION COST?
Electric fireplaces are extremely affordable. They don't require expensive framing, a chimney, fuel, or yearly service, saving you a lot of of money upfront and in the long run. Your initial installation costs may include hiring a licensed electrician, depending on the electric fireplace you purchase. You may also need to hire a contractor to install a built-in unit.
Calculating Cost Per Hour
If you’d like to know what the cost to operate an electric fireplace will be, here’s how to figure it out:
(Watts / 1,000) x kw/hr = total cost per hour
- Look-up the maximum amount of watts your electric fireplace consumes. You can find this information on the fireplace itself, in the owner's manual, or on the product page listing.
- Look-up the local rate for a kilowatt-hour (kw/hr) on your monthly utility statement.
- Take the total watts and divide by 1,000 to convert watts into kilowatts.
- Multiply the kilowatts by the kw/hr rate from your utility statement. This equals your total cost per hour.
For example, say you have an electric fireplace that consumes 5,000 watts and your kw/hr rate is 15 cents. Your total cost would be 75 cents per hour to operate the fireplace:
(5,000 watts / 1,000) x .15 = .75, or 75 cents per hour
To get the total daily cost, multiply the total cents per hour by the number of hours you use the fireplace each day.
WHAT STYLE ARE AVAILABLE?
OUR MOST POPULAR ELECTRIC FIREPLACES
WHAT CONTROLS & MEDIA OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE?
Much like TVs, electric fireplaces are operated by hand-held remotes or by control buttons on the unit.
Most of the time you can customize the media bed in your electric fireplace. Media is brand-specific and generally includes log sets, crystal gems, crushed fire glass, and coal embers.