If you’re new to the world of electric fireplaces, shopping for one of these wonderful units can be confusing. Although they all require just a standard household outlet to operate, here’s a quick A-Z on some of the common terms you may come across when evaluating functionality and design.


Shorthand for British thermal units per hour, BTUs are the standard unit of measurement for heat output which is equal to the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1 degree at a constant pressure of 1 atmosphere.

Built-in Firebox

A ventless electric fireplace that can be hooked up quickly and inexpensively anywhere an outlet is found, built-in inserts are typically hardwired installations (either 110v or 220v) that provide 4600-9600 BTUS of heat.

Direct Wire

A fixture that is wired directly into your electrical grid with no extension cord type connections to an outlet.

Electric Fireplace Inserts

Inserts are the general term that encompasses three different kinds of electric fireplaces – log sets, plug-in fireboxes and built-in fireboxes. Which type you needs depends if you’re building a new fireplace or retrofitting an existing log or wood hearth and how permanent you want the installation to be.

Electric Stove

A freestanding electric fireplace, electric stoves are small, portable devices that come in both classic and traditional designs, but are typically regarded for their early Americana appeal.

Ember Bed (Fuel Bed)

Décor touches that emulate the glowing coal or wood in a fire, ember beds are another layer that add to the realism of electric fireplaces. They come in a variety of materials from colored stones and pebbles to more natural elements like river rocks.


The part of a fireplace where fuel is combusted, in an electric fireplace, the firebox is the viewing area size, which can range from 16-33” for mantel packages.

Fire Crackler Sound System

A small, lightweight unit we sell as an option to make your electric fireplace sound as real as it looks. Operable with just 3 AA batteries, conceal it anywhere near your unit.

Infrared Heater

A different type of heat output, infrared heaters work by transferring radiant energy to objects in a room, much like the sun warms the earth. They can warm up to 1,000 sq.ft. and provide moister, more comfortable air.

Log Insert

Shaped like actual logs with metal grates and simulated ashes, most log inserts are hand finished for ultra-realistic design. Electric log inserts replace existing grates, burners or log sets for retrofit applications.


The most advanced electric fireplace technology in the industry, the Optimyst line by Dimplex utilizes a hidden water reservoir to produce real 3d smoke and pulsating flames.

Plug-in Firebox Inserts

Created to pair with a cabinet, entertainment center or mantel package, plug-in fireboxes require no gas lines, masonry, siding or contractors, just a standard wall outlet. It’s a box-like structure that can heat up to 5000 BTUs.


A patented technology offered on many Dimplex units, Purifire is a revolutionary air treatment system that circulates and cleans the air up to 4x/hour to remove dust, spores, mold, pollen, dander, and other allergens.


The new flame technology from ClassicFlame, Spectrafire creates an even more realistic flame with an optional blue glow.

Supplemental Heating

Any device that provides additional heat for your home outside of your central thermostat.

Trim Kits

A frame for an electric insert that is used to make a more attractive face and wall transition.

Zone Heating

A way of heating and cooling your home that allows you to turn down your central thermostat to focus the warm or cold air only in rooms you use the most rather than distributing it uniformly. By supplementing your heat with a device like an electric fireplace, you can save up to 10% off your monthly electric bill.

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