How Do Electric Fireplaces Work? Here’s 2023 Detailed Guide

The electric fireplace can make your feel cozier and replicate the look and feel of a real wood-burning fireplace without the hassle of cleaning and maintaining it constantly. But have you ever felt its heat and wondered “How do electric fireplaces work?”

WarmthPedia is here to give you a detailed answer to your question, “How do electric fireplaces work?”.

In this WarmthPedia detailed guide, you’ll also find the common types of electric fireplaces you can install in your home, along with their advantages and the way they work.

What is Electric Fireplace?

What is Electric Fireplace?

An electric fireplace, commonly referred to as a fireplace heater, is an electric heater that resembles the look of a fireplace with realistic-looking flames and aesthetically beautiful designs. Despite being far more durable than the traditional space heater, they nevertheless come with the same safety precautions.

They use internal heating coils to heat the interior air in the room, then a fan system is used to push the hot air back into the room.

They can be used as heaters as well, often consuming 1.4 to 1.6 kW to heat a space measuring 400 sq.ft (37 sq.m). Additionally, more powerful electric fireplaces have a heating capacity of up to 1000 sq.ft.

Common Types of Electric Fireplaces

WarmthPedia has listed below the most popular models of electric fireplaces that you can use:

1. Wall Mount Electric Fireplace

A wall-mount electric fireplace is simple to install; all you need to do is hang the unit on the wall or discretely integrate it into the structure. These units often plug into a 110-volt household outlet and include a small heater.

Even after installation, the recessed finish will still protrude a few inches since the heating element will vent from either the top or bottom to circulate heat.

2. Built-In Electric Fireplaces

Built-in electric fireplaces offer the lowest-profile installation options for seamless integration you’re your favorite living space.

Built-in units are great for new construction or renovating since they’re simple to install and typically just need standard 2″ x 4″ framing with additional depth to accommodate the firebox.

3. Electric Fireplace Inserts

Because they’re made to slip right into an existing space or fireplace opening, electric inserts offer an affordable alternative to the traditional wood or gas fireplace. Most of these plug into a traditional 110-volt outlet and feature a small heater.

To partially fill the opening, these electric fireplace inserts are slightly deeper than traditional electric types.

4. TV Stand/ Mantel Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces with standalone mantels are a great choice for giving the look of a traditional fireplace unit with a lovely surround. This simple 110-volt plug makes these devices easy for anyone to use and doesn’t require any installation.

These fireplaces are extremely helpful in places where it’s not possible to vent a gas or wood fireplace.

Advantages of Electric Fireplaces

WarmthPedia has collected the most common advantages of electric fireplaces:

  • Easy to install
  • Easy to Use
  • Safer to Use
  • No Mess
  • Cost Effective
  • Low Maintainance
  • A Long-Life Span
  • Eco-Friendly
  • Year-Round Use
  • Cost Savings

How Do Electric Fireplaces Work?

How Do Electric Fireplaces Work?

Are you curious about “How do electric fireplaces work?” Simply said, electric fireplaces mimic traditional gas or wood fireplaces in look but don’t require venting or any other type of professional installation. They simulate a flame by projecting a random pattern of LED lights onto a screen.

Cool air is pulled into an electric fireplace when it’s being used, heated internally by a heating coil, and then gently pushed back into the room by a fan. This saves money and is relatively easy to power. The flame can be changed to look smaller or more realistic from an aesthetic perspective.

Some electric fireplaces also have infrared technology, which is used to directly heat objects in a room. More heat is provided in both situations without making a mess or releasing dangerous gases.

Some models only have one line of LED lights at the bottom, while others have two or more LED strips, giving the flames more options, realism, and depth.

The built-in heater in most electric fireplaces works independently from the flame, allowing you to switch it off and enjoy the flames all year long.

Here’s a video explaining how do electric fireplaces work.

How Do Freestanding Electric Fireplaces Work?

How Do Freestanding Electric Fireplaces Work?

A freestanding electric fireplace heats up the air around by heating a metal element. They don’t heat things with an open flame as gas fireplaces do. The type of material your heater is made of will affect how much heat it generates and where you may place it.

They’re just as safe as traditional plug-in heaters in terms of safety because they don’t include any open flames or hot coals.

Install your electric fireplace so that the base is on a level, stable surface. Placing it on an unstable or uneven floor runs the risk of damaging the fire or, even worse, causing injury.

The bottom panel must be securely attached to the base to prevent any potential movement while it’s working. Some types need to be screwed together, while others may be put together quickly and easily at home without the need for any tool by simply slotting them into place.

Because of their high quality and efficient flame effect technology, these types of fireplaces frequently perform just as well as cheaper models.


Your question “How do electric fireplaces work?” has already been answered. Now, you can enjoy the flames, warmth, and coziness of your electric fireplace.

Remember to take all safety instructions provided by the manufacturer and follow basic safety precautions.

Still have any questions about “How do electric fireplaces work?” You can leave them in the WarmthPedia comments box below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

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