how do electric fireplaces work

How Do Electric Fireplaces Work? Here’s What You Need to Know

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Looking at the numbers, there is no doubt that the electric fireplace industry is a booming one. As a result, many people ask the following question: How do electric fireplaces work? With those people in mind, this guide will go over the technology that makes electric fireplaces possible. In addition, it will provide useful information pertaining to this useful home appliance.

A Brief History of Electric Fireplaces

So, how do electric fireplaces work? Before answering this question, it's important to provide some background regarding their history. The first prototype of the electric fireplace was created in 1912. However, it wasn't until 1940 that it became available to the general public.

Almost a decade later at the beginning of the 1950s, the invention became popular in the United States and some parts of Europe. As a result, various important manufacturers of electric appliances created their own electric fireplace models.

Dimplex Revolutionized the Industry

Consequently, many families decided to replace their traditional fireplaces with this innovative new product. On the other hand, other people complained about the lack of realism offered by these early-day electric fireplaces. This changed in 1988 when Dimplex introduced the first electric fireplace that featured a realistic wood-burning flame effect.

Later, in 1995, Dimplex rose the bar even higher by introducing an even more realistic effect that used lighting, fabrics, and sound effects to imitate flames. Today, the electric fireplace is one of the most sought-after sources of supplementary heat in the United States and the world.

The Mechanics of Electric Fireplaces

The first thing that should be clarified to anyone who asks the question of how do electric fireplaces work is the following: Electric fireplaces do not use fuel or combustible materials of any sort. Instead, they rely on electricity in order to draw enough power to produce heat and visual effects.

In essence, electric fireplaces are heaters that feature a visual effect imitating real flames. Typically, these artificial flames are created through the use of a LED light that is manipulated by various means.

Often, electric heaters also use rolling mirrors to reflect the light and produce the fire-like effect. Additionally, they often feature artificial logs, embers, and other natural objects in order to complete the effect.

Electric Fireplaces Have 2 Heat Inducing Methods

Electric fireplaces can be used with or without heating. When used without heating, they can help create a cozy and inviting effect in any given home. When their heating capabilities are activated, however, they also function as a supplementary source of heat. This heat can be produced in one of two ways:

  • Forced Fan: Electric fireplaces that use forced fans to produce heat do so by blowing overheated air into any given room. Using electric coils, these appliances are capable of heating up the air. Immediately after, a forced fan blows the heated air out of the electric fireplace, effectively heating up a room.
  • Infrared Quartz: Even more popular than the previously described type of electric fireplace is the one that works by using infrared quartz technology. Using this method, heat is produced by an invisible infrared light.

Instead of heating up the air in the room, this method heats up solid objects directly. Of course, this includes the people that are around it. Typically, this heating effect works on any solid object that is located up to three feet away from the electric fireplace. In addition to heating up objects directly, an infrared quartz electric fireplace produces a certain level of humidity in the air around it. The result is a more pleasant atmosphere.

So, how do electric fireplaces work? Normally, electric fireplaces work on a regular 120-volt outlet. In order to make their operation as easy and convenient as possible, most electric fireplaces can be regulated using a simple remote control. Additionally, their temperature can be monitored using a thermostat.

Advantages of Electric Fireplaces

  • Safety: Without a doubt, one of the biggest advantages of owning an electric fireplace is not having to worry about accidents. Despite producing a pleasant amount of heat, electric fireplaces do not create real flames, which makes them basically harmless. Additionally, they are always cool to the touch.
  • Simple use: Unlike regular fireplaces and chimneys, electric fireplaces can be ignited without going through a painstakingly difficult process. As a matter of fact, most electric fireplaces can be turned on with the push of a single button.
  • Cleanliness: One of the best things about an electric fireplace is that it produces little to no dirt. As a result, it needs almost no cleaning. As a matter of fact, using a damp cloth or a duster on from time to time will suffice. Additionally, this type of fireplace produces no pollution.

Electric Fireplace Styles

modern living room with fireplace tv stand as media console

As previously mentioned, one of the most important advantages of electric fireplaces is the freedom they give to their users in terms of styling.

People who want a practical and straightforward form of electric fireplace unit can get their hands on fireplace inserts or logs. This type of units can be fit inside an already existing fireplace or chimney. However, this is not a requirement as all electric fireplaces are capable of functioning safely without any kind of ventilation system.

Luckily for those who want an all-in-one unit, there are more traditional forms of electric fireplaces such as the electric fireplace media console. A great option for people who have limited space is a wall-hanging electric fireplace.

Apart from providing a modern look, they are very practical and take up  little space. As if that wasn't enough, people who want a more mobile kind of electric fireplace can get a freestanding model. This type of appliance can be placed basically anywhere in a room.

In Conclusion

Without a doubt, electric fireplaces are incredibly useful. Hopefully, this guide will have helped answer the question of how do electric fireplaces work. Have you had any interesting experience with electric fireplaces? Let us know in the comments!

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