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How Do Electric Fireplaces Work?

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When temperatures start to drop, it’s the perfect time to make your home more inviting with an electric fireplace. But how do electric fireplaces work? Even though there’s no real fire involved, they can still create the same cozy warmth and ambiance as wood-burning fireplaces. However, if you’re like most people, you might be wondering how. Check out the answers to all your questions below, so that you can enjoy the electric fireplace in your home that much more.

How do electric fireplaces give off heat?

Electric fireplaces are designed to make life simple. They have no real fire, no smoke and no gas byproducts. In fact, all you have to do is plug yours into a wall outlet, just like you would any other appliance. Then, simply press a button to turn the fireplace on. The fireplace will utilize one of several types of heating elements, such as infrared technology to convert electricity into heat energy.

Each model operates slightly differently, but in general, electric fireplaces take in cool air, heat it and then gently push it back out into the room. And, depending on the model you choose, electric fireplaces can produce enough heat to warm a room up to 400 square feet or larger. As a bonus, none of the heat is lost through a chimney, making them much more energy efficient.

Beyond the energy efficiency that users enjoy since no heat is lost through chimneys, electric fireplaces can also make your home more efficient when used in a supplemental zone heating strategy. Supplemental zone heating refers to the use of a heat source to heat only a certain amount of square footage, as opposed to heating the entire house. This can be a great way to reduce heating costs and save as much as 15 percent when you lower your thermostat for your central heating system, while still enjoying warmth in your most-occupied room(s) with supplemental heat sources like electric fireplaces and heaters.

save up to 15% on your next heating bill with zone heating
Supplemental zone heating is a strategy that allows you to heat the space you’re in, when –and where – you need it.

Temperature control is also typically straightforward and flexible with many electric fireplaces offering easy-to-use thermostats. Most ClassicFlame® electric fireplaces, for example, support a temperature range from 62°F to 82°F. So whether it’s a chilly fall day or a cold winter night, you can set the heat however you’d like, whenever you need it. Some models even allow you to view the flames without turning on the heat, making them perfect for summer nights, too.

Can electric fireplaces be converted to gas?

It’s not possible to convert an electric fireplace to gas due to safety concerns. Gas fireplaces require vents that travel through an exterior wall or the home’s roof, which are not provided by emission-free electric fireplaces. It’s also very likely that the construction of your electric fireplace would not be safe for use with open gas flames.

However, it is possible to convert an existing gas or wood-burning fireplace to an electric fireplace with an electric fireplace insert if desired. To ensure proper installation and safe use, be sure to consult a professional to make any necessary modifications to your existing fireplace and chimney or vents.

Can electric fireplaces have real flames?

Electric fireplaces do not produce real flames, which is one of the many reasons homeowners enjoy them. That’s because dealing with real open flames can be a hassle. Not only does fire generate harmful emissions, like carbon monoxide, it also leaves behind a messy pile of ash. Some other drawbacks of real flames include:

  • Putting the flame out takes time and effort (there’s no button to press!)
  • Increased safety risk, especially for children and pets
  • Requires a constant supply of fuel, wood logs and/or kindling
  • Year-round fireplace maintenance

Electric fireplaces eliminate actual flames, which means they also eliminate mess, maintenance, costs and effort. With just a push of a button, you can quickly enjoy added heat in the most convenient and attractive way possible. But you can still enjoy the beauty of dancing flames that look like the real thing with ClassicFlame’s patent pending 3D Flame® Effect.

How does the electric fireplace flame work?

While the flames in an electric fireplace may look real, they’re actually just an illusion of light created by the fireplace’s internal components. Yet you may have seen electric fireplaces that look extremely authentic and wondered just how do electric fireplaces look real?

With help from advanced technology, like 3D Flame Effect, the flames in an electric fireplace can look very realistic. This technology gives the flames the ability to dance and even change color. You’ll find this capability in models like the ClassicFlame® II042, which is equipped with Spectrafire 3D™ to create highly-realistic flames and five unique flame effects that cycle from blue to amber and back again.

Experience an Electric Fireplace for Yourself

The next time you turn on your electric fireplace, you’ll be able to appreciate and enjoy it even more now that you understand how it works. Just grab the remote, sit back and relax. If you don’t have an electric fireplace but have been thinking about getting one, browse our inventory to learn more about our products, how they work and how they can benefit you and your home.

Note: If you have any questions about a specific electric fireplace model, please consult the owner’s manual or contact Twin Star Home directly for more information.