Saving Money & Energy

Ultimate Electric Fireplace FAQ

When it comes to electric fireplaces, there are a few common questions at the top of everyone’s mind, whether they’re still shopping for the perfect model or already have one at home. So when you asked, we answered! Below you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions about electric fireplaces to help you feel confident in choosing and using yours. Don’t see your question listed? Visit ClassicFlame® the leader in electric fireplaces for more information.

1. What is an electric fireplace heater?

Electric fireplaces are like space heaters in that they produce heat. Instead of igniting a real fire, they’re powered by electricity. All you have to do is plug the unit into a wall outlet and press a button to start enjoying heat. Inside the fireplace, you’ll find a heating element that converts electricity into heat energy. Then, a fan gently blows it out to warm the room.

2. What is an electric fireplace insert?

There are several different types of electric fireplaces you can buy. Electric fireplace inserts are one of them. Inserts can perform all the same functions of a freestanding fireplace, such as providing heat and ambiance, but they’re not meant to be used as standalone products. For example, you wouldn’t see an electric fireplace insert resting on the floor of someone’s living room. In many cases, inserts are placed inside an existing hearth. Doing so offers a great way to convert a gas or wood-burning fireplace into an electric one. And since electric fireplace inserts don’t produce harmful emissions or messy ash, they’re an excellent alternative. To find one for your hearth, measure the dimensions of the opening and then shop for an electric fireplace insert that will fit. And if you don’t have an existing fireplace, an electric fireplace insert can also be built into a wall for a clean and modern look in your home.

3. What is a linear electric fireplace?

When people refer to a linear electric fireplace, they generally mean a wider fireplace, like the Felicity Wall Hanging Electric Fireplace from ClassicFlame®. These can be hung on the wall or built into the wall and often have a sleek, streamlined look. They take up less physical space in a room, making them ideal for just about any area. They also offer a more modern look that immediately catches the eye.

What is a linear electric fireplace?
When people refer to a linear electric fireplace they often mean a wide, horizontal model.

4. Will an electric fireplace save me money?

Yes, and there are a few reasons why. First, electric fireplaces don’t require regular maintenance like gas or wood-burning fireplaces do. There’s no need to hire a chimney sweep or purchase logs, fuel and kindling. All you have to do is plug them in and enjoy. Second, electric fireplaces are perfect to be used as part of a supplemental zone heating strategy. You can use one to heat the room you’re currently using, as opposed to raising your home’s thermostat and heating every room. Additionally, electric fireplaces are much less expensive and easier to install than real fireplaces.

5. Are electric fireplaces efficient?

Electric fireplaces are extremely efficient because they allow you to turn down your thermostat a few degrees and add heat only heat the room, or rooms you use the most – when and where you need it. This is known as supplemental zone heating and helps reduce heating costs and lower your monthly energy bill. Plus, most units can heat the room more efficiently than a wood-burning fireplace can, especially because no heat is lost through the chimney. They’re also better for the environment than wood or gas fireplaces because there are no emissions and no fossil fuels involved.

6. Are electric fireplace heaters safe?

Compared to wood and gas fireplaces, electric fireplaces are the safest way to heat the home. While there are risks associated with any appliance, they’re minimal when the unit is used properly. Because electric fireplaces don’t use real fire, there’s a reduced risk of a house fire and of carbon monoxide poisoning. In addition, many modern units are made with a host of advanced safety features, such as automatic shutoff, to ensure they’re as safe as possible. Even better, electric fireplaces from ClassicFlame® feature exclusive fire prevention technologies, Safer Plug® and Safer

7. Are electric fireplace TV stand inserts safe?

It’s safe to use an electric fireplace insert with a compatible TV stand, like the ones available from ClassicFlame. Electric fireplace inserts, in general, are safe to use on almost any surface, including wood and carpet, so it’s okay to place them in or on a TV stand. The vent through which heat is expelled is usually located on the front of these units to prevent the furniture from blocking it. And since electric fireplaces don’t have real flames and typically come with built-in safety features you can enjoy peace of mind every time you turn yours on – especially if your electric fireplace has a feature like patent pending Safer Plug® that monitors the temperature of the plug and shuts the unit off if it becomes too hot. Safer Sensor™, also available exclusively from ClassicFlame, is an innovative feature that alerts you when the heater is obstructed and will automatically shut off to prevent damage. You’ll find it on products from Twin Star Home™ and ClassicFlame that have doors that can cover the fireplace.

What is the safest electric fireplace?
TV stands with electric fireplaces like the Cabaret feature patent pending Safer Sensor™ fire prevention technology that shuts off the unit if the fireplace is blocked. Stands with sliding barn doors or any doors that can cover the fireplace insert include this exclusive safety feature from ClassicFlame®. 

8. Where should I plug in my electric fireplace?

Electric fireplaces can be plugged into just about any outlet in your home. However, if yours has a three-prong plug, make sure you have a suitable three-prong outlet, and never alter the plug to fit a two-prong outlet. It’s also important to know that you should never plug an electric fireplace into an extension cord or run the unit’s cord under carpeting.

9. Can an electric fireplace produce carbon monoxide?

No – this is not a risk when using an electric fireplace. Wood-burning fireplaces can produce carbon monoxide, but this is not a risk with electric fireplaces – another reason people are anxious to trade in the mess and hassle of burning wood for the easy and comfort of electric fireplaces.

10. Are electric fireplace flames hot?

Even though electric fireplace flames may look real –  especially in units with patent pending 3D Flame® Effect like the ClassicFlame® 26” 3D Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Insert – they’re not. They are simply a beautiful illusion of light. They are not hot and they can’t hurt you. In fact, most electric fireplaces are cool to the touch, so they’re a great choice for families with children or pets.

11. What size room will electric fireplaces heat?

Electric fireplaces are a relative of space heaters and can help you stay warm when the temperatures start to drop. Every unit is different, so you’ll have to read the instructions to find out just how much heating power the one you’re looking at has. Some can heat up to 400 square feet, which is perfect for small to medium-sized rooms, while others can heat up to 1,000 square feet for much larger rooms.

12. What is an infrared electric fireplace?

Infrared technology is one of the heating element types that can be used in electric fireplaces to transform cool air into heat. Models that utilize infrared quartz technology, for example, help maintain a desired temperature without drying the air for a more comfortable environment.

13. What is a ventless electric fireplace?

Ventless electric fireplaces are simply electric fireplaces that don’t need a vent. This is true of many electric fireplaces, including those from ClassicFlame®. Wood-burning and gas fireplaces produce emissions that need a way to escape the house. This is usually done through a chimney and flue. However, ventless electric fireplaces don’t use real fire, and therefore don’t expel anything that needs to be vented. Some electric fireplace units are vented to produce their flame effects, but most are not.

14. Can electric fireplaces look real?

Today, electric fireplaces look so realistic that it can be difficult to tell their flames are artificial. Advancements in flame technology, like 3D Flame® Effect exclusively from ClassicFlame® mean that realistic, dancing flames can be part of your home’s ambiance.  Spectrafire® Plus is another ClassicFlame technology that offers an abundance of choices for the look of your fire – 5 colors, 5 brightness settings, and 5 adjustable speed settings. They also have realistic-looking accent elements, like logs and coal beds, to enhance the design even more. Some homeowners can completely mimic the appearance of a traditional wood-burning fireplace by purchasing an electric fireplace insert and wall mantel combo.

Where can I find a PanoGlow three-sided electric fireplace?
3D Flame Effect, exclusively from ClassicFlame, offers the most realistic flame effect available. Shown here in the PanoGlow® panorama electric fireplace featured in the Hamilton™ collection from Twin Star Home™.  

15. Where is the best place to install an electric fireplace?

Electric fireplaces can be installed practically anywhere. Most of them are safe to use on any surface, and some can even be mounted to the wall. Just make sure the location you choose is indoors and close enough to an outlet to plug in without the use of an extension cord. You should also avoid placement in wet environments, as exposing electrical appliances to water creates a safety hazard. Simply choose the most attractive and effective location based on your preferences and home layout. Some models look best inside a mantel, while others look stunning as a standalone feature of the room.

16. Why use an electric fireplace?

There are many reasons why homeowners choose to use an electric fireplace. Some like to use them to heat their house and save money on energy costs. Others enjoy the cozy ambiance of the flames. And still more appreciate the added safety and minimal maintenance that electric fireplaces provide over other options.

17. Are electric fireplaces worth it?

When you purchase an electric fireplace, chances are you won’t be disappointed. The glow of the flames helps create the ideal atmosphere for entertaining friends or relaxing after a long day. And the warmth that’s generated is a cost-effective and efficient way to beat the chill. You can even enjoy your electric fireplace all year round. All ClassicFlame models allow you to turn the flames on without activating the heat for year-round ambiance. Overall, they provide an easy way to make your home feel that much more inviting and special.

Enjoy Your Electric Fireplace Today

We hope we were able to answer all your questions about electric fireplaces. Ready to choose one for your home?  Visit to find the best unit for you. Also view our Top 10 Reasons to buy an Electric Fireplace.

Cookie Notice — By clicking “I Accept,” you agree to this website’s cookies. You can learn more here. View more