15 Frequently Asked Questions about Electric Fireplaces

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1. What are the Reasons to Buy an Electric Fireplace?

Electric Fireplace decor ideas

People purchase electric fireplaces for many reasons. The main reason is for the atmosphere and mesmerizing mood they create. They are decorative for your home and office providing supplemental heat to any room.

With an electric fireplace, you will not have to clean ash messes or create chimneys or vents to put combustion materials into the outdated masonry fireplaces that used wood logs or gas. They are eco-friendly never putting pollution into the environment. You simply switch them on and control the heat and faux flames. The heat is circulated throughout the room with a very quiet heater for immediate warmth.

They are available as wall- or corner-mounted, and are portable, meaning they can be moved easily from one room to another. Freestanding models are offered with a console stand for adding a television and components to the top and cabinets for CDs and media on the sides of the main firebox cabinet.

2. How do Electric Fireplaces Operate?

Electric fireplaces are powered by electricity only. Plug them into a 3-prong grounded 120-Volt outlet and they are ready to go!

These units are highly efficient and are 99% cost effective. You can turn your central heat thermostat down and save money.

3. What are the Best Brands to Purchase?

A fireplace is very personal for each individual’s taste, décor, and what they want to achieve with the fireplace. Presented here for your evaluation and consideration are impartial and fair reviews to help you in your selection process.

Some electric fireplaces use LED long-life lights for the flame effect and others use infrared, incandescent bulbs, and a simple illumination process. Current technology has evolved so that electric fireplaces are more efficient and beautiful now. LED lights are the best present-day method in today’s marketplace; however, all electric fireplaces work well.

4. How Much Area do They Cover

The most widespread electric fireplaces will heat an area of 400-square feet. Infrared electric fireplaces will heat a 1000-square foot space. Since neither type is a primary heat source, they will efficiently provide supplemental heat to the square footage stated in the descriptions.

5. How do I Adjust the Heat?

Less expensive electric fireplaces provide low and high heat levels. They utilize a fan-forced/blower to circulate the warmed air throughout the room. Some fireplaces feature electronic thermostats where you can control the temperature at the degrees you prefer and that temperature setting will be maintained.

6. Do the Faux Flames Look Real?

The electric fireplaces with today’s technology look very authentic. The flame effects are hypnotic similar to wood logs burning. The flame colors range from yellow, orange, red, blue, purple, and a combination of these colors. See the descriptions for the many fireplace types and flame colors and judge for yourself what you would like to have in your home. You can see a video for a real-life viewing experience of the fireplace flickering faux flames as below:

7. Do Electric Fireplaces Require Maintenance?

You might need to replace incandescent bulbs every two to three years. LED lights never need to be replaced.

Regular dusting and vacuuming is all that needs to be done for your fireplace to operate and look beautiful.

8. What About Installing Electric Fireplaces?

Electric fireplaces are very easy to assemble by usually only one person with a Phillips or flat head screwdriver or an Allen wrench. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions with an Owner’s Manual included in the box. After assembled, simply plug into a standard 3-prong grounded 120-Volt outlet and turn it on. How easy is that?

9. Will I Need a Contractor or Electrician to Install the Fireplace?

All electric fireplaces today are plug-and-play. If your circuit breaker is not 150-Amp, and most are, you might need an electrician to do moderate wiring. If you are electrical-savvy, you can do this yourself. If you need an extension cord, it must be 14-AWG and 12 is even better to handle the load requirements. Never use a thin extension cord not electrically rated to safely attach to the existing fireplace cord. Never use a 2-inch 3-prong receptacle; it is not grounded for an old-fashioned 2-hole outlet, even though it has a ground plug-in on the end. Never plug other items into the same outlet or your circuit breaker will trip to the off position.

10. Can Electric Fireplaces be Moved Once Installed?

Electric fireplaces are called “portable,” meaning they can be unplugged and moved to other rooms. Fireplaces with mantels and surrounds can be easily moved as well, since there is no venting. Unplug, and move it. A wall-mounted unit can be moved too, but you would have to move the mounting also.

11. Are Electric Fireplaces Safe for Children, Pets, and Elders?

The electric fireplaces are very safe. The flame effects are created by reflected light projected on a screen. Touching the unit is the same as touching your television. The emitted heat from the heater is no hotter than the heat from a hair blow dryer. Be cautious and watch the little ones and pets, including seniors.

12. Do Electric Fireplaces Have a Remote Control Unit?

Depending on the fireplace you purchase, most units come with a remote control. Some remotes only turn the unit on or off. Other fireplaces have features for levels of heat, flames, and other qualities programmed into it. The more high-end electric fireplace you purchase will have more features on the remote.

13. Will the Fireplace Operate Without a Remote?

Electric fireplaces can be manually operated. As an added convenience, remote controls are provided. If the remote should malfunction, the manufacturer for a small cost can replace it.

14. Do I Need to Add a Chimney or Venting Ducts?

No chimneys or venting is required or needed! They are electric self-contained fireplaces and are environmentally friendly. They do not emit carbon dioxide (CO2), smoke, or any pollutants into the atmosphere.

15. Are Electric Fireplaces Cost-efficient?

Electric fireplaces are inexpensive to operate because you do not need to buy real wood logs or burn expensive natural gas as with an old-fashioned masonry fireplace. Electric fireplaces cost pennies to operate each hour. The heat generated stays in the room; it does not go up in smoke through a chimney or vent. With electric heat, there are no risks due to carcinogens and no irritants as from wood logs or gas burning fireplaces.

We hope we answered your questions and concerns for purchasing the perfect fireplace just for you.

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Nancy Arsenault - January 3, 2017

I have a beautiful piece of furniture my brother made me 30 years ago to house a large stereo system (multiple components). I wonder if I could use it to house an electric fireplace. What would I need to do? Some kind of firebox or do they come with it?

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