Image of a home with an electric fireplace

How Do Electric Fireplaces Work?

Having grown up in the Pacific Northwest, I grew up with a fireplace in my home. It was great on those long dreary nights while it was pouring rain outside. It became part of my sense of home and comfort.

However I did not like the muss and fuss associated with having a wood burning fireplace. I hated chopping the wood, stacking the cords of wood needed to last the winter. And I hated cleaning the ashes out of the fireplace.

But now all that has changed.​

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With the advances of modern technology, I can once again have the feeling of home and comfort without adding to my chore list. Electric fireplaces do the trick for me. Maybe they will do the same for you. 

Most people when thinking about buying an electric fireplace, have questions concerning how they work and how hard it is to use them in their home. Hopefully after you read this article, your questions will be answered.​

Frequently Asked Questions About How Electric Fireplaces Work

How Do Electric Fireplaces Create The Flames?

Image of an electric fireplace

Just so everyone understands. The flames in an electric fireplace are not real. They are fake. The realistic flames are produced by using a regular light bulb like a chandelier light bulb  and refracting the light with the use of mirrors. The light is displayed in a three-dimensional pattern that has no defined pattern, and this technique gives the flames a realistic look.

Some of the most realistic electric fireplaces even use water vapor, to emulate smoke. This gives even a more natural look than refracted light alone.​

How Do Electric Fireplaces Produce Heat?

Electric fireplaces work in a similar fashion to an infrared heater or space heater. They have heating coils on the inside of them that are heated with electricity. Next to the heating coils is a fan or blower that blows the heat out of the fireplace and into your room.

Electric fireplaces are the most energy efficient of all types of fireplaces, including gas fireplaces. The cost of running an electric fireplace is much lower than other types of fireplaces.​

How Do You Control An Electric Fireplace?

There are 2 ways you can control an electric fireplace. You can adjust the settings on the unit itself, or you can use a remote control. 

Remote controls vary. Some only turn the unit on and off while others will allow you to adjust the flame, the temperature settings, and turn it on and off.

Some electric fireplaces even allow you to digitally set the temperature setting just like a household thermostat.​ 

Image of an entertainment center electric fireplaceHow Do I Install An Electric Fireplace?

Most electric fireplaces are plug in play unless you happened to buy a fireplace insert or a recessed mount fireplace.

You just hang them on the wall like you would a flat screen TV or your just place them on the floor depending on which type of fireplace you purchased. 

You just plug them in to the nearest electrical outlet and​ away you go to having many many nights relaxing around your fireplace.

Duke Taber is the owner of 3 successful Christian websites and is now taking his skill as a webmaster and using it to help bi-vocational pastors and missionaries do their jobs across the world.