An electric fireplace is a heater designed using electrical components to emulate the warmth and look of traditional coal, wood, or gas-burning fireplace. These are typically safe and simple to operate, and once they have been installed, you plug them into an electrical outlet and turn them on. Additionally, you won’t require a professional to have it installed, and it can be placed anywhere in the home, be it the kitchen, bedroom (choose the best bedroom fireplace heater you can on this page), or living room.
In this post, we will cover various operational aspects of an electric fireplace, such as:
- Steps for installation
- How to operate the fireplace with and without a remote control
- Using a mobile app with the fireplace
- What to look for in an electric fireplace
- Features of the fireplace
- Benefits of the Fireplace
- Tips for maintenance and servicing
Setting up the fireplace
Electric fireplaces need some electrical wiring and structural modification when set up. With a bit of carpentry and electrical knowledge, you can install the fireplace on your own. You will need some building materials for the installation. These include a wall finish, screwdrivers, saw, leveler, gloves, pliers, and a drill. All electric fireplaces can be installed in combustible fireplaces without fireproofing.
When setting up a premium electric fireplace, some clearance is required, such as keeping the front at least 3 feet away from combustible materials such as drapes, curtains, and bedding. You should also test the fireplace for its functioning before you begin the installation. Then, you should use the following steps for the actual installation.
- In your installation manual, check for the recommended wall opening size. This will typically be larger than the dimensions of the firebox and can use regular drywall.
- The electric fireplace also has a regular 3-prong cord that you can plug into a standard electrical outlet, which you can install inside the opening. Other options involve the removal of the cord and hardwiring the fireplace. This typically requires a licensed electrician to help you with both tasks.
- Insert the fireplace in the opening that has been prepared in your wall and make sure that it is level.
- Drive the mounting screws through the unit into the wall studs using the pre-drilled holes at both sides and the top.
- The decorative log set should be installed in the fireplace once it’s fixed into the wall. You can switch on the fireplace insert any time after installation.
- Finally, install the front glass panel, which gives your fireplace a finished look, and you are all done.
Using a remote control
Modern electric fireplace models are available with a remote control, which operates all the specific functions built into the fireplace. If a remote control option appeals to you, you should do some research about the unit and whether it comes with a remote. Additionally, be sure to check on the features that can be controlled using the remote.
Nothing is as good as the simplicity of an electric fireplace remote control. They come in different forms, such as the on/off remote controls, which are easy to use. Timer remotes provide you with the ability and freedom to set your fireplace for a specific duration, and you no longer need to actively manage it. A thermostat remote allows you to control the heat intensity based on a set temperature and is used to ensure you are comfortable.
There are also programmable remote controls which you can set to predetermined parameters such as day of the week or time of the day. Wall-mounted controls allow you to control the setting on your fireplace by making use of a wall switch. Be sure to look at different kinds of remote controls whenever you are going to make a purchase and select one that will best suit your needs and provides you with the convenience you require for your home installation.
Operating the fireplace without a remote control
You probably might be asking yourself this, Can I turn on my electric fireplace without a remote? Some models are available with a remote, while others do not have one. Remote controls are not functional when their batteries run out or they are broken. Perhaps you have just lost the remote control. It is essential to know how to operate the fireplace without a remote control in these cases.
Locate the fireplace’s controls and turn the fireplace and the flame on. Some controls are used to determine and set the electric fireplace’s heat setting, such as low heat, medium heat, and high heat.
If there is a thermostat dial on the fireplace, it should be set above the room’s current temperature. Setting it below means that the heater will not turn on as it does not match surrounding temperatures. The thermostat regulates and maintains the heat output to keep the room at the right temperature.
Flame effects can be controlled using the flames switch, which you must turn on if installed differently from the main power switch. You can use the flame dial to control the flame’s brightness or how dim the flames appear. Check the owner’s manual for instructions on using the flames on your specific fireplace model and how to vary them to match your taste.
When turning off the electric fireplace, you should start by turning off the high heat switch followed by the low heat switch. This is followed by turning off the main power switch, which should also turn off the flames.
Then, turn off the switch on the wall and remove the power cable. For safety reasons, always ensure that you turn off the fireplace before unplugging it. Following the correct order when turning off the fireplace is essential as it ensures that all the electrical components are protected from power surges and damage. This ensures the longevity of the fireplace and more years of service due to the proper care of your fireplace. Always refer to your specific fireplaces manual for how to properly turn on and turn off your electric fireplace.
Using a smartphone when the physical remote is lost
A remote application for your smartphone is the solution for when your physical remote is lost or damaged. It is a new addition to home automation. It provides you with a means of controlling and monitoring the ambiance and heat provided by your fireplace whenever you are out of the room. You can now maintain the heat from your electric fireplace with the simple tap of a button on the app. The application uses the available Wi-Fi network to control the fireplace settings. Any mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, or Android device can be used for the fireplace controls.
The smartphone app also allows for monitoring the electric fireplace from one smart device, and it is simple, compact, reliable, and easy to install. So long as you have internet access, you can control your electric fireplace from anywhere. Another benefit of using your smartphone is getting better insights and data to work with. All the statistics you will require to ensure that your appliances are in proper working order will be clearly visible from the application. You will also get to know when the fireplace is in need of maintenance or repair and whenever there is a power outage.
What to look for in an electric fireplace
A fireplace is used for the ambiance that it creates, as well as for heating a room. They can also be operated on a flame-only setting and typically use up to 1.4 to 1.6 kW of electricity, heating a 400 sq. ft. room with throw rugs for added comfort. They also vary in heat efficiency based on their design, and this is a factor you should be aware of when shopping for electric fireplaces.
Before you purchase your electric fireplace, there are some things that you will need to keep in mind. One of them is that there is usually no real flame in the fireplace. You also do not need a vent or chimney but will require a nearby electrical supply socket in the wall. You also have the option to buy electric fireplace that you can insert into an existing fireplace.
Additionally, ensure that the wattage of the electric fireplace heater is enough to comfortably heat the entire room, and be sure to check out the electric fireplace’s warranty. The fireplaces also come with various options, such as a thermostat, remote control, and LED lights. Electric fireplaces with infrared heaters can heat larger-sized rooms and are the best option when you have a vast space to heat up.
You also need to know where you will be installing the fireplace, either on the floor or mounted on the wall. The style should match your tastes and blend in with the surrounding décor. Remember, you cannot use an electric fireplace during a power outage as it needs a regular, uninterrupted supply of electricity to function.
Another item to check before purchasing is if the flame and heat functionality can be used separately. The flame is used to add ambiance to the fireplace and does not affect the heat production. Select a fireplace design and color scheme that complements your home.
Ease of installation is another factor to consider when selecting the fireplace for your home. Standalone fireplaces do not need anything else apart from being plugged in, and the installation should not be too complicated for you. You will need an electrical supply close to the fireplace, and if you do not have one, have a professional electrician install an electrical outlet close to the fireplace. However, professional installations are known to increase the fireplace’s purchase cost, and you are better off with self-installation.
A manufacturer’s warranty is something that you need to check before buying the electric fireplace. An extended warranty is known to be better and protect your investment for much longer and demonstrate the manufacturer’s confidence in the durability of their product.
Electric fireplace features
One of the electric fireplace’s main features is the different realistic flames that it produces when in operation. These flames have been designed to create a surreal effect in any room and enhance its look and feel. You can easily adjust the intensity of the flames and brightness levels to match up with the mood you intend to achieve with your setup. The flames can vary in size and color.
Some electric fireplaces provide log crackling and popping sound effects that make you feel like you are seated next to the real thing. Not all fireplaces offer sound effects, and you should watch for this feature when shopping for an electric fireplace for your home. The sound effects can also be varied, as typical fireplaces include more than five different sound effects. Additionally, the sound effects can be turned on or off whenever you don’t need them.
A backlit LED touchscreen makes manual control of the electric fireplace simple and straightforward. This means that you can adjust the fireplace’s basic settings using this screen and modify many other useful aspects. It controls the fireplace manually and has simple buttons and controls to accomplish your goals.
Electric fireplaces are sometimes accompanied by a smartphone application that controls the hearth while the user is comfortably seated. The application connects to the fireplace and can be used to adjust the settings for the hearth and monitor its current configuration. Key statistics about the fireplace operations are visible from the application and serve to enhance the electric fireplace usage.
Benefits of an electric fireplace
Some of the common benefits that you will instantly notice from the electric fireplace include:
- Absence of fumes – The realistic flames appear once the fireplace has been connected and turned on. The fireplace does not use combustibles and is considered safe for your home. There are no real flames, and you do not need to be worried about smoke filling your home. This provides you with the look and feel of a real fire without inhaling potentially toxic fumes.
- Low maintenance – Using wood and real fire creates ashes, dust, and fumes, which leave a considerable amount of soot and residue in your chimney. This will require you to regularly clean the chimney with a blower or hire a professional chimney sweep, which is costly. However, this is not the same for electric fireplaces as no fumes or smoke is produced, meaning there is no soot or residue to clean. Maintenance requirements vary compared to typical fireplaces, and it is effortless to run.
- Low Operational Costs – The initial cost of the electric fireplace is a mere fraction of the total operational costs. You will not have to create a budget for chimney cleaning or purchasing firewood when you have it installed. This makes the cost efficiency of this setup even more attractive.
- Energy efficiency – During the winter months, energy bills will increase if you constantly use your home’s heating system. You can heat the room with an electric fireplace without significantly increasing your electric bill using a dedicated circuit. This is known as supplemental heating and workmanship, saving money while keeping your home comfortable. Electric fireplaces use less electricity and save you money on energy bills.
- Longevity – Electric fireplaces will last a very long time and are less prone to problems such as rust and corrosion. With regular cleaning and maintenance, even after using them for many years, they will still look and operate like they are brand new.
- Simple installation – You don’t need to tear down walls or carry out extensive remodeling to have them installed during the setup process. Typically, all you need to do is place it against the wall and plug the fireplace in. The installation is straightforward but depends on the style of portable electric fireplace that you choose. Some can be left standing on the floor, while others can be hung on the wall to save you on floor space. The only huge consideration is where to plug in the fireplace when performing the installation.
- Safety – Most people are concerned about their fireplace’s safety as they are known to get very hot and dangerous for children. Others also emit toxic fumes, and when you switch to electric fireplaces, you no longer have to worry about all this. Some even have an automatic shutoff option so that you don’t have to worry when you are no longer at home. They are also cool to the touch and do not hurt children if they get very close.
- Enjoy nature indoors – When you cannot get out very often, the fireplaces are the best way to enjoy a bit of nature from inside your home. They are a perfect choice for busy people, and people who do not go outdoors often will love the atmosphere created by the electric fireplace.
- Year-round enjoyment -The best feature of the electric fireplace is that you can use it all year round, with or without heat, no matter the weather outside.
- A remote control – This is also an option for some electric fireplaces and one of the benefits. It also allows for effective troubleshooting.
With plenty of feature options and designs, there is an electric fireplace to suit everyone’s needs and style. Someone might be looking for something that gives them additional storage space, while others might want a more traditional-looking mantel. Regardless of your needs, it is almost guaranteed that you will find a fireplace that will fit your home’s style and tastes.
Tips for maintaining and servicing
Since typical electric fireplaces do not have a real flame, very little maintenance is required for operation. However, you will need to clean the vents on the heater to remove any dust to ensure smooth operation and that the fireplace lasts for much longer.
Maintenance sometimes requires replacement parts and the ability to take the fireplace apart. Always ensure easy access to the on/off switch and electric plug when you need to clean the fireplace, preventing overheating or possible electric shock. Always use a soft cloth or gloves when changing out the LED bulbs as they may be hot. The 120-volt fireplace lasts longer with regular maintenance and a clean operational environment.
You can use the serial numbers to look for replacement parts for the electric fireplace, such as the heating elements or LED bulbs that may need replacing. You can also check your user’s manual or call your local fireplace dealer for replacement part information.