Electric fireplaces draw in cool air, heat that air using heating coils, and then gently push the warm air back into the room using a blower or fan. LED light bulbs and a refractor create the illusion of flickering flames. Some, like this Amantii 26-inch fireplace, also include a speaker so you don’t miss the crackling sound of a fire!
These options work well as a supplemental heat source. Electric fireplace heaters allow you to lower the temperature on your thermostat to help save on overall heating costs. Often, they allow you to adjust the temperature on the fireplace itself and may include low and high heat settings. Many options also include a way to turn the heater off while the flame stays on.
Electric fireplaces offer an easy to use alternative to traditional wood burning fireplaces and don’t require the same safety precautions. Unlike both wood and gas fireplaces, electric units don’t run the risk of a carbon monoxide leak in your home.
They offer more benefits, too, including:
Electric fireplaces give off heat using a heating element, typically located at the top of the unit. Many electric units run off 120 volts, though certain fireplaces can connect to 240 volts to generate more heat. They can often warm an area around 400 square feet, though some may heat smaller or larger spaces.
Though electric fireplaces provide less heat than a gas or wood-burning option, they offer a more efficient heating solution. Electric fireplaces convert around 99% of their electricity into heat. Gas and wood-burning units lose heat through the flue or chimney while electric units distribute most of their heat back into the room.
Many electric fireplaces install built-in, but you can also find freestanding and wall mounted electric fireplace options. Each offer their own benefits, such as:
If your home or business already includes a wood-burning fireplace but you don’t want to deal with the hassle of taking care of it, then a fireplace insert might work for you! Fireplace inserts install into an existing masonry fireplace to convert it to either gas or electric while still providing the comfort of a fireplace.
Inserts install into the existing fireplace opening and use a surround to cover any gaps. Often, they only need to slide into the opening and plug in to start. Electric inserts consist of a metal box and may come as hardwired or plug-in options. Depending on their construction, they may require space near the back of the insert to allow for air circulation but not all of them require this. Once you install the insert, you cannot use the original fireplace.
Because they do not produce a real flame, electric fireplaces do not emit any emissions. Therefore, they do not require venting through a vent, flue or chimney.
Unlike gas and wood-burning units, they do not burn any fuel to produce heat. In typical combustion, the fire consumes fuel, like wood or gas, emitting smoke and other chemicals in the process. These can produce carbon monoxide, which is why venting is so important with wood-burning and gas units. You avoid this with an electric fireplace.