How Does An Electric Fireplace Work?

Electric Fireplace

Are you thinking about installing an electric fireplace in your home? They are ideal for heating rooms without storing and burning wood, creating smoke, or starting a fire. They also look fantastic in various styles and can fit into most decors to integrate a safe home heating solution. Electric fireplaces are adaptable so you can put them anywhere, before and after home construction or renovation.

We are all used to wood-burning fireplaces and have seen gas ones, but you may be unsure how electric will perform. This is how an electric fireplace works for those looking for a better heating solution.

How They Are Powered

We all love the look and feel of a fireplace, but some homes don’t have a built-in chimney or structural support for a wood-burning one. Light the dried timber inside the firebox to power a wood fireplace, producing heat and flame. A gas fireplace pumps fuel into the unit to ignite. 

Electric fireplaces use electricity. Depending on what you want, a built-in fireplace will be hard-wired into the electrical system within the home and have a dedicated circuit breaker. Many other models have a standard plug to connect to a wall socket. This makes it convenient to place the unit anywhere you want.

How They Produce Flames

Part of a fireplace’s allure is its dazzling light display. It can be mesmerizing to watch the flickering flames of a wood-burning fireplace, which can also be recreated in an electric fireplace.

A fireplace captures attention with its brilliant light display. The enchanting dance of flames in a wood-burning fireplace is also mirrored in electric fireplaces, creating a mesmerizing experience.

Flames can be created through various methods, such as water vapour. A heating unit transforms water into vapour and LED lights generate burning effects. In mechanical ways, rotating rods and flash mirrors reflect LED lighting to simulate flames. 

Chemical products like Sterno can provide a consistent flame, but you’ll need to refill a reservoir for this approach. Finally, holographic techniques project flames above the logs, crafting a lifelike appearance, while reflective surfaces enhance the 3D visual.

How They Produce Heat

Almost all electric fireplaces have an integrated heater, and because they run on 120V, they produce enough heat for a 400 SF room. With other fireplaces, they combust fuel, wood or gas, and produce carbon monoxide. However, electricity does not burn, making it completely safe. 

Heat is generated by convection, using a heating element such as metal coils and a fan to expel heat into the room. There is no heat loss because there are no ventilation systems to eliminate smoke like in a traditional fireplace, so they are highly efficient. There are also infrared fireplaces that heat directly by rays hitting objects and being absorbed for heat. 

How They Make Sound

A wood fireplace gives you warmth, viewing spectacle and crackling log sounds. Because an electric fireplace doesn’t burn anything, they strive to recreate the effect by adding audio to the mix. Some models have electronic components and high-quality speakers to produce cracking sounds, creating a more realistic experience for fireplace enthusiasts.


Some older homes have a chimney flue, but it is not operational, making the fireplace unusable. You can insert an electric fireplace into the firebox to fill the void and reclaim the original intent.


These models transform an empty wall into an instant focal point for a fireplace. It has a mantle that wraps around the fireplace; some are even built into larger entertainment units.

Wall Mounted 

You can hang your fireplace on a wall for a sleeker look. This looks impressive and doesn’t take up much room while still giving you the authentic look of a fireplace. It plugs into a standard outlet. You can have an electrician move the plug to conceal it behind the unit so you don’t have a cord hanging down the wall.


You can build your electric fireplace in any room or location during construction or renovation. It looks amazing in the bath area of an ensuite or higher up on the wall in the living room. 


How about a fireplace in the middle of the room? You can use an electric fireplace to separate a larger room or move it around like a space heater. It still gives you the look and feel of a fireplace and heats any room you need. This is how an electric fireplace works. Visit your local fireplace store to see all the different models and pick one that compliments your home. It will be an excellent design element and practical appliance in any room.

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