There's nothing quite like an electric fireplace. It's very different from wood-burning or gas fireplaces. Electric fireplaces are in a class by themselves.

Electric fireplaces provide more flexibility than traditional wood or gas-burning fireplaces. They're ideal for warmth on a cold winter’s night, ambiance in the middle of the summer, or a greener approach to heating.


Living room with linear electric fireplace.

How Do Electric Fireplaces Work?

An electric fireplace looks similar to a traditional wood-burning or gas fireplace, but it works very differently. It does not require any fuel, venting, or professional installation of any kind.

They can heat spaces up to 1000 square feet (depending on the model). Flame effects can be adjusted and can be run without heat.

The heat is produced by electricity aided by either a heating coil, ceramic plate, or infrared technology.

Heat Coil

A heating coil heats the air in and around the unit then forces it out into the room with a fan. As the heating element warms up, the fan circulates the heated air into the room. The airflow helps distribute the heat evenly.

Ceramic Plate

A ceramic plate is a radiant form of heat that transfers heat from the unit to objects in the room.


Some electric fireplaces also use infrared technology which directly heats objects within a room. In both cases, supplemental heating is provided for the desired area without the mess, fumes or dangerous gas.

Which Fireplace Is Right for You?


How Is the Flame Produced?

Electric units have no live flame. They have what is called flame effects, or lifelike reproductions. The most common method involves the use of LED lights and mirrors.

The LEDs produce a soft, flickering light that imitates the look of flames. Mirrors reflect the light to create depth and movement.

Some advanced models also incorporate a water vapor system that produces a realistic-looking smoke effect.

The technology varies from model to model, but your guests will do a double take when seeing your fireplace. It takes a closer look to see that they aren't real flames.

How Are They Controlled?

Electric fireplaces come with controls that allow you to adjust the heat output, flame intensity, and other settings. These controls may be buttons, knobs, or a remote control, depending on the specific model.

"Smart" fireplace models can be controlled by an app on your phone. Some apps can be used with voice command assistance. Adjusting your fire can be as easy as a simple sentence or touch of a button on your phone. 

What Safety Features Do Electric Fireplaces Have?

Electric fireplaces are much safer than traditional ones, especially around vulnerable children and animals. They have built-in safety features such as automatic shut-off mechanisms to prevent overheating, cool-to-touch surfaces to prevent burns, and tip-over protection to switch off the fireplace if it is accidentally knocked over. 

The flames themselves do not produce any heat. The fireplace unit stays cool to the touch reducing danger or burn.

Because there is no flame or fuel being burned, there is no harmful smoke or gas (like carbon monoxide) created. You don't need the additional risk of a chimney or any other venting as you do with traditional fireplaces. 

To keep your electric unit in top shape and operating safely, keep it away from liquids, turn it off when unattended, and be sure to use electrical outlets safely.

Learn More about Safety


Living room with electric fireplace and white mantel.


Do Electric Fireplaces Heat a Room?

Electric units provide supplemental heating for rooms 400-1000 square feet in size. You can control the heat and flame effects via remote control or app. As a result, these fireplaces can provide a flame without heat so that it can be enjoyed throughout the year.

All units provided on Electric Fireplaces Direct list a particular amount of space they can adequately heat. The amount of space can vary by manufacturer and type of fireplace.

For example, mantel packages generally heat a larger area than free-standing electric stoves. Because of this, most homeowners use them for larger rooms, while limiting free-standing electric stoves to smaller spaces.

An electric unit gives more options than traditional wood-burning and gas fireplaces. They are an excellent alternative that can be enjoyed for several years.

Trouble with Your Electric Fireplace? 

If your fireplace isn't working the way you expect it to, there are several quick fixes you can do yourself.

Power supply problems: Check if the electric fireplace is properly plugged into a working power outlet. Ensure that the circuit breaker is not tripped. 

Malfunctioning remote control: If the fireplace has a remote control, the issue could be related to these components. Check the batteries in the remote control and replace them if necessary.

Overheating safety feature: Electric fireplaces have built-in safety features to prevent overheating. If the unit overheats, it may automatically shut off to avoid damage. Allow the fireplace to cool down before attempting to use it again. Ensure that the fireplace is placed in a well-ventilated area and that the air intake and exhaust vents are clean and unobstructed.

Blown fuse: In some cases, the issue may be related to a blown fuse within the fireplace itself. You may need to consult the manufacturer's manual to locate and replace the fuse. 

Motor or fan failure: Electric fireplaces often have motors or fans that help circulate the heat. If these components malfunction, it can result in the fireplace not working properly.

Whether you want to shop for a new electric fireplace or need some expert advice, we've got what you need. 

Check out your options today!