How to Use Electric Fireplaces Effectively

Updated February 21, 2017

Electric fireplaces offer several advantages over gas fireplaces and wood-burning fireplaces. They are simple to install, inexpensive to operate and provide owners with endless options because they are easily moved from room to room. Electric fireplaces are efficient space heaters that create a cosy and intimate atmosphere in any room, and they offer realistic-looking fire and actual heat. If you purchased an electric fireplace, obtain the most effective use from it with correct installation and operation.

Position an electric fireplace against a wall in the room of your choice. Because electric fireplaces run on electricity, find a location near a standard electrical socket. Avoid putting the fireplace in a location that requires its electrical cord to stretch across the room; that creates a major tripping hazard.

Affix the electric fireplace to the wall using the mounting hardware provided by the unit's manufacturer. Typically, the task requires a hammer, screwdriver and possibly a wrench to put metal brackets on the back of the electric fireplace. Attach the brackets securely to the wall. The brackets hold the unit firmly in place, preventing it from tipping over and causing damage.

Set the temperature when you turn on the electric fireplace. An electric fireplace works as an electric heater with heat coils, producing from 350 to 3,000 watts. Set the thermostat to a temperature range that makes you comfortable. Soon, the fireplace's heat will be fan-forced into the room, warming it up. The advantage of an electric fireplace over a wood-burning fireplace is that all the heat goes into the surrounding area rather than up a chimney.

Adjust the rate at which the unit's fan blows heat into the room by using the electric fireplace's remote control. Most fireplace models feature varying levels of output. Choose between minimum and maximum fan strength, depending on the room's temperature. Change the output at any time as the room temperature adjusts, or set the unit's thermostat to shut off automatically when the room reaches a certain temperature. You can even disable the fireplace's heat option completely and just enjoy the ambience of a realistic-looking fire without any heat.

Create a cosy atmosphere in your home by enhancing the appearance of the electric fireplace. Set up an electric fireplace log inside the firebox that glows and flickers with imitation flames. Some electric fireplace logs come with audio enhancements that provide crackling and popping sounds, mimicking a real fire.


Large and more expensive electric fireplaces must be professionally mounted and hard-wired into a home's electric system. Work with sales staff to make installation arrangements.


While an electric fireplace is quite safe, the artificial log and heating coils inside the electric fireplace can become quite hot. Don't allow children and pets to reach inside the unit.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
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About the Author

Jenna Marie has been editing and writing professionally since 1993. Her editing background includes newspapers, magazines and books, and her articles have appeared in print and on websites such as Life123 and AccessNurses. She specializes in writing about parenting, frugal living, real estate, travel and food. Her nonfiction book was published in 2008. She earned a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Utah State University.