Do Electric Fireplaces Give Off Heat?

Paramount Electric Fireplace Insert in Living Room

We all enjoy the flickering flame of a fireplace, but some of us want to use our hearth to heat (or partially heat) our home. So the question is, “Do electric fireplaces give off heat?”

Many units do act as heaters, and they can work surprisingly well to warm up a room or small space similar to a high quality space heater. That said, it doesn’t mean that an electric model is best for you. This will depend on the space you want to heat.

How Heat is Generated from an Electric Fireplace:

Since electric fireplaces don’t actually have a real flame, the heat typically is generated from a built-in infrared or electric heater. Therefore, you can calculate the cost to operate your fireplace as a heater by the unit’s wattage, multiplied by the kWh rate your electric company charges you, multiplied by the time your use the unit.

Watts x kWh Rate x Hours of Use

For example, let’s say you buy a 1500W electric fireplace, and your electric company charges 15 cents kWh. If you run your fireplace for 8 hours/day, you can expect to pay about $1.80 per day in energy cost. You can calculate your costs here.

Keep in mind that in many locations, you can lower your energy cost simply buy running your appliances during non-peak hours. In addition, most fireplace heaters give you the option to run at different heat levels – like 750 watts and 1500 watts.

Electric Fireplace Cost Saving Factors:

The advantage that electric fireplaces have vs gas or wood-burning is that many models provide the option to turn on the flickering flame with or without the heat. Therefore, if you want to run the unit in the summertime without additional heat, you can still enjoy the fire.

When you operate an electric fireplace without heat, it costs significantly less to run. You can enjoy a flickering fire for only pennies per hour! (Like this modern electric fireplace TV stand.)

Long Electric Fireplace TV Stand with Blue Flames

Also, many consumers overlook the maintenance cost when shopping for and comparing their options. Electric fireplaces require minimal maintenance, servicing, repair or replacement parts. Therefore, they usually last longer with less expense.

Adjustable Heating Controls Can Also Save You Money:

Electric fireplaces are more efficient than gas or wood-burning ones because they have helpful features:

  1. Exact Heat Control: You can set the temperature precisely with electric fireplaces. They use built-in thermostats to keep a steady temperature, preventing wasted energy.
  2. Using Less Energy: Electric fireplaces let you control how much heat they make. This helps save energy compared to gas or wood fireplaces that usually work at fixed heat levels.
  3. Handy Timers: Electric fireplaces have timers you can set. This means you can decide when the fireplace turns on and off. It stops unnecessary energy use, giving you more convenience.

How Well Do Electric Fireplaces Heat?

Sonax Electric Fireplace and TV Stand

Electric fireplaces can effectively heat a 500-1000 square foot room, but their heating capacity may differ from wood burning or gas fireplaces. With electric fireplaces, heat output typically ranges between 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units). This is sufficient to warm smaller to medium-sized spaces effectively.

Compared to traditional wood-burning fireplaces, which can produce 20,000 to 100,000 BTUs per hour, electric fireplaces generally provide less intense heat. Gas fireplaces fall between electric and wood-burning in terms of heat output, generating around 7,000 to 30,000 BTUs.

Electric fireplaces work well in small spaces because they send heat straight into the room. This stops heat from escaping through chimneys or vents, unlike wood or gas fireplaces that lose heat this way.

Even though electric fireplaces don’t give as much heat as wood-burning ones, they’re good for steady heating. They let you change temperature settings and usually have thermostats for exact heat control. As a result, you can stay cozy without the upkeep needed for wood or gas fireplaces.

Do Electric Fireplaces Distribute Heat Evenly?

Electric fireplaces can warm a room fairly evenly, although certain factors can influence uniformity. For example, the placement of the fireplace, room layout, furniture positioning, and airflow can impact heat distribution.

Normally, electric fireplaces use a fan-forced heater to push warm air into the room, which helps in even heat dispersion. However, due to convection currents, some areas might experience slight temperature variations.

Therefore, consider placing the fireplace in a central location for ideal air circulation. Plus, avoid blocking the heat flow with obstacles like furniture and decor.

Napoleon Allure Electric Fireplace

Additionally, larger electric fireplaces like the 72″ or 100″ Napoleon Allure may enhance the evenness of heat distribution in a space. Overall, while electric fireplaces generally distribute heat evenly, factors like room layout and airflow can impact the consistency of warmth in different areas of the room.

How to Maximize Heating Without Increasing Cost:

Different things like insulation, room setup, how high the ceiling is, and the weather can change how well a fireplace warms up the space.

Also the Environmental Protection Agency states that a significant amount of that heat is lost up the chimney. Electric fireplaces are more energy efficient because they don’t lose a portion of the heat they generate.

Electric models’ power consumption directly influences their heat output: higher power equals more heat. Yet, this also entails increased operational costs.

Farmhouse Electric Fireplace with Mantel to Heat a 500 Square Foot Room

To maximize warmth from an electric fireplace without spending lots of money, don’t heat a giant space with high ceilings. Instead, add them to small to average-sized rooms up to 500 square feet. Alternatively, you could use them for ambiance (use LED flames only) in a larger living room.

In summary, electric fireplaces are efficient for heating smaller to medium-sized rooms between 500-1000 square feet, offering controlled warmth and convenience, although they may not match the high heat output of traditional wood-burning fireplaces.

Electric fireplace heaters can be found in a variety of styles: wall-mounted, free-standing models, TV stands with built-in fireplace inserts and smaller portable units.