How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?


Quick Answer

An electric fireplace works by using electric coils and a blower motor to produce heat. The metal coils are located inside of the fireplace, and they begin to heat automatically when the fireplace is plugged into an electrical socket. The blower motor, often referred to as a fan, propels the hot air outward into the room.

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Full Answer

An electric fireplace produces flames by using a regular light bulb to refract light in a three-dimensional pattern. The pattern of the light varies to make the flames appear to flicker, which gives them a more realistic appearance. Electric fireplaces come as an entire unit or as an insert that is placed inside of an existing fireplace instead of real wood, but both types work the same way.

Although a typical electric fireplace only produces approximately 5000 BTUs of heat, none of the heat is wasted. This is because the fireplace's fan propels 100 percent of the heat that is generated by the coils out of the fireplace. Heat is only produced by the coils to ensure that the fireplace remains cool to the touch. Although the fireplace remains cool, any objects that are located near the fireplace are still heated by its air output, so it is still a fire hazard.

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