How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?

electric fireplace

Back in the 1950s, electric fireplaces were essentially small heaters that simulated the effect of a real fireplace. Nowadays, technology has advanced to the point where it can be hard to tell the difference between a real and an electric fireplace. Because of this, many homes and businesses have made them an integral part of the decor.

So, how does an electric fireplace work? Keep reading to find out!

What Is an Electric Fireplace?

An electric fireplace is a device that produces heat while simulating the look of a real fireplace. This means that it will look like a fire within a fireplace. However, unlike a real fireplace, an electric fireplace does not actually contain anything that is on fire.

So, how is this possible? Most electric fireplaces contain fake wood and a setting that mirrors a real fireplace. However, there are a lot of electric fireplace options out there that vary in the way they produce fake flames.

The most common way this effect is produced is through a trick of the light. Lights will project images that resemble flames onto the back of the fireplace. Often, the lights will continuously shift in a way that makes it seem like the flames are flickering.

Other fireplaces use more elaborate tricks. For example, some use screens that display a video of flames in order to produce this effect.

How Do Electric Fireplaces Produce Heat?

Electric fireplaces don’t just look like real fireplaces, they act like them too. Like a real fireplace, an electric fireplace will produce heat. This heat is usually provided through a fan located somewhere on the fixture.

Now, you may be wondering how this heat is produced if there is no fire. The answer is that the heat comes from a simple electric heater.

All electric fireplaces contain an electric heater within. This heater is typically similar to what you will see in a space heater.

However, in an electric fireplace, the heater is hidden within the construction. The heat from it is then sucked up by the fireplace’s fan and exits into the room.

Overall, this gives the illusion that the fake flames are producing heat. Meanwhile, the truth is that an electric heater is producing the heat while the “flames” simply provide a light show. Though this may sound like a big trick, the effect is remarkably similar to what one would experience when sitting in front of a real fire.

Types of Fireplaces

All electric fireplaces give the illusion of flame while producing heat. However, they vary dramatically outside of these two features.

Some are built into a wall. In residential spaces, this gives them a look and feel that is almost identical to a traditional fireplace. In commercial spaces, they are often even larger, sometimes running the length of an entire hotel lobby.

Others are freestanding. This means that they have the ability to be moved from room to room without much hassle. This makes them very similar to space heaters, while still retaining the elegance of a fireplace.

Freestanding options come in different styles as well. Some are made to look like old wood-burning stoves. Others are designed to look more like traditional fireplaces, with the intention that they are set back against a wall.

Different models also produce different levels of heat. Depending on your needs, this may be something to seriously consider when picking one out. Some situations will require an electric fireplace to heat a whole room while other situations will just require the fireplace to give the room a little ambience.

Electric Fireplaces 1


An electric fireplace mimics the look and feel of a real or gas fireplace. However, it isn’t just a nice substitute. It has advantages that actually give it an edge over its counterparts.

First off, these fireplaces are simple and easy to operate. Often, they are turned on and off with the flick of a switch. This eliminates any worry about starting or putting out a fire.

A real fireplace contains a flame that may produce stray sparks. These have the potential to start a fire within the room. Meanwhile, a gas fireplace requires a gas line, which always has the potential to start a dangerous gas leak.

However, an electric fireplace has neither of these problems. It doesn’t contain an actual flame, which reduces the risk of setting a fire, and it doesn’t use gas at all, completely eliminating that problem. This makes an electric fireplace safer than other types of fireplaces.

An electric fireplace is also far easier to install. In most cases, an electric fireplace is a single unit that is simply placed inside a room. In this case, installing a fireplace is so easy that it is often possible for a homeowner to install their own.

Meanwhile, other fireplace options are a lot harder to install. A real fireplace requires a chimney or vent in order to remove smoke. A gas fireplace requires a gas line, which is expensive to install if it is not already present.

Finally, an electric fireplace is inexpensive and easy to maintain. In most cases, running an electric fireplace will cost less than buying fuel for other fireplaces. Plus, it doesn’t require the same level of cleaning or maintenance that other options require.

How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?

An electric fireplace is simply a device that takes all the advantages of a real fireplace without all of the hassle. They also have safety and cost-saving benefits that are unavailable otherwise. All of this makes them a great addition to many different homes or businesses.

If you are interested in an electric fireplace, make sure to contact Dreifuss Fireplaces to see what options are available for you.

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