Electric Fireplace : How they Work

Electric fireplaces are more popular than ever. Their beauty, versatility, cleanliness, and performance are truly impressive.

In this article, we’ll discuss several frequent questions that often arise when the subject of electric fireplaces comes up.

  • How does an electric fireplace work?
  • Do electric fireplace really heat?
  • How to operate an electric fireplace?
  • How long can you leave any electric fireplace turned on?


Electric fireplaces are extremely easy and convenient to use. There are two main adjustments to turn on and off with an electric fireplace. One is the lights and “flames” with the fireplace; the other is the heat. Both functions operate with a remote control. Most remotes have a manual and an automatic mode.

The lighting effects and flames can be operated with or without the heat on. A series of LED lights can be adjusted to the colors and brightness you prefer. Lighting effects are combined with many optional log styles, pebbles, clear and colored fire glass, rocks and glowing embers for the “media” inside your fireplace. It’s truly an impressive look that you’ll be proud to show family and friends.

The heat from an electric fireplace is much like the heat from an electric baseboard unit you might find in a bedroom or bathroom. Typically, the heating element on high will produce 1500 watts of power and half of that on low.


Yes, they do! But, if you’re hoping that an electric fireplace will heat the majority of your house, you’ll need to adjust your expectations. Think “supplemental heat”, particularly in the area within 10 – 15 feet of the fireplace.

The heating element on many electrics is 1500 watts. This translates to about 5100 BTU’s of heat. For comparison, a gas fireplace might have a burner capable of 20-40,000 BTU’s and wood fireplaces and stoves will range from 15-60,000 BTU’s per hour. A forced air furnace in an 1800-2000 square foot home is probably 80-100,000 BTU’s per hour.

So, yes an electric fireplace, stove or insert will heat, just don’t expect too much from it.

General Electric Fireplace _ How they Work _ FAQ_Article - Electric Fireplace Amantii

Electric Fireplace Amantii


Most electric fireplaces can be operated manually by a touch panel or switches, located on the bottom of the unit, or with a convenient remote control. Settings include:

1) the fireplace on, the heater off.

2) Fireplace on, heater on high.

3) Fireplace on, heater on low.

Adjustments for the flame, mood lighting and color effects are typically done with the remote. Be sure to read and understand the owner’s manual, as details for adjustments will vary from model to model.


An electric fireplace can be left on for an indefinite period of time. However, with the heating element on 24/7, you will notice a difference in your electric bill.

That being said, many people leave their electric fireplace operating for extended periods of time, with the heat turned off. Much has been said about the spectacular effects of today’s electric fireplaces. The colors, media options and the inexpensive costs to enjoy the light show are reasons enough to keep your fireplace on all the time! Some folks use electric fireplaces as subdued lighting, left on overnight. Many design the media in an electric fireplace to complement their lifestyle! Some use the fire and ice effects as a subliminal cooling effect in the summertime! But one thing for sure, everyone will have their favorite settings and effects and will find a way to enjoy the fireplace!

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

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Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

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Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

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