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Back to Electric Fireplace Comparison Last update:

How Does Electric Fireplace Give Off Heat?

The ambiance of an electric fireplace can add to the decor of a room. On a cold winter night, they are the perfect solution for heating up a room. Some models create so much heat that they can replace traditional wood and gas burning fireplaces. So how does an electric unit create heat? There are several ways that a unit can produce warmth. It will vary according to make and model.

Creating Electric Heat from a Fireplace

Creating Electric Heat From A FireplaceAn electric fireplace can look realistic. Many models have vivid flames and heat coming from the unit. So what creates this heat source? There is no actual flame on an electric model. The heat from the fireplace comes from an electric or infrared heating element. The cold air is drawn up into the unit. That air is then warmed and forced back into the room. It is all powered by an internal fan.

It works the same way as a portable heater. The more cold air in the room, the more air the fireplace has to heat. The air is converted directly with the help of heating coils. These units can work quickly and efficiently to warm up a room. This is why an electric unit has a heat efficiency of 99 percent. The process is very environmentally friendly. There are no emissions released during the process. It is safe to be used in any area of the home.

Enjoy the Flame Without the Heat

Electric heaters are no longer only a winter device. These units can be used all year long. Most models have a “flame only” setting. This allows the user to just switch to the flame light show without the heat. In the summertime, this is the setting that most owners will use. The units can create the ambiance without having a heater warming the air. The “flame only” mode is also the most economical setting on the unit.

How Well Does an Electric Unit Warm a Room?

In the old days, wood burning fireplaces were the only way to keep a room warm. It provided a roaring fire in a single room. Those fireplaces were always a hassle to manage. Every year, there needed to be a chimney inspection. Logs had to be cut for the hearth. The heat produced from the fireplace was also prone to escaping through cracks and vents.

In fact, about 20 percent to 30 percent of heat from a wood burning fireplace is lost through the chimney. The heat produced by a wood burning fireplace is greater, but it is wasted through the chimney area.

An electric unit does not have any of those issues. The units do not require a vent. That means there is no heat loss from its fans. All the heat produced is coming straight into the room. This is why the electric units are practically 99 percent energy efficient. This makes it a more eco-friendly version of the wood-burning fireplaces.

Electric Fireplace and Their Heat Source

Best electric fireplaces and their heat sourceMost fireplaces run on 120V with a 1500W maximum draw. That calculates to a heat value of over 5000 BTUs for most units. Some higher-end models operate on 240V for a bigger heating value. The 120V models are completely capable of warming up a room of 400 square feet. That is the average size of a living room or bedroom. This is why an electric heater is great for zone heating. They are portable enough to take into any room. A wood or gas burning fireplace can heat only one room. The electric fireplace units can be temperature controlled as well. That cannot be done with a wood burning unit.

These fireplaces do not rely on combustion when creating heat inside an electric fireplace unit. There are no elements that can be burned. That means there is no worry about carbon monoxide seeping into the home. An electric unit does not need to have an external chimney or venting system running throughout the house. The realistic flame is also created with modern technology. An LED light provides the light source for the flame.

Do These Fireplaces Get Hot?

Most people worry about the safety of having an electric fireplace unit. With the amount of heat it expels, does the fireplace become hot to the touch? These models were designed with safety in mind. Most of the coils that warm the cold air are located inside the unit.

They are not within easy reach. That is what makes the unit a good fit for the family. The outside of the fireplace remains cool to the touch. This can help keep pets and children from getting hurt.

Can the Unit Be Left on Overnight?

Since the electric unit has no open flame, it can be left on for the overnight hours. Many units come with an automatic setting. When the unit reaches a certain temperature, it will automatically turn off. It is also advised to turn off the unit when leaving the home. As with any heating element, it is important to make sure that draperies, rugs, and other flammable materials are away from the unit. It may not have a flame, but there is a small chance that enough heat can catch something on fire. The units are great and hassle-free, but safety precautions should still be observed when using them.

Are There Any Other Precautions?

Some basic safety standards need to be observed when using the unit. It is important to always inspect the fireplace before turning it on. If there is any type of spark or smell from it, make sure to have it serviced right away. An electric fireplace unit should always be plugged in directly to the wall. It should never be plugged into an extension cord.

An electric fireplace is a great way to warm up a room. Its simple design helps keep the winter chill away and adds ambience to a living space. Its safety-conscious design is a perfect way to generate heat without the worries of a wood burning fireplace. These units are quickly becoming more popular than the traditional fireplaces.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.
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