dimplex_DF3215 loft 1000 pix
Dimplex DF3215 electric fireplace insert


It’s a question we hear all the time: Do electric fireplaces give off heat?  It’s a common misconception that they do not.  Here’s the truth about electric fireplaces and heat:

  • 99% of electric fireplace models do have an integrated heater
  • Because electric fireplaces run on 120 volts, with a maximum draw of 1500 watts, the heat output is limited to a maximum of 5000 BTUs. That’s enough heat to take the chill off an area of approximately 400 square feet. There are a few models which can be connected to 240 volts, and will generate more heat.
    • By comparison, a gas fireplace might give off 30,000 BTUs, which is too hot for most rooms.
  • With an electric fireplace, the flames may be turned on with or without the heater. This means that you will never have to overheat a room just to enjoy a fire, and that means you can use an electric fireplace year-round.
    • By comparison, a gas fireplace produces heat whenever it is turned on, so its usage period is limited to very cold days.
  • The heat in an electric fireplace is not generated by combustion. This means there is nothing burning inside — the flames are an illusion created by lights. That means that there is no risk of carbon monoxide leaking into your home. It also means that there is no need for a vent or chimney on your fireplace.
    • By comparison, a gas fireplace is burning fossil fuels, ie. natural gas, which produces carbon monoxide and requires a vent to the outside.
  • Electric fireplaces are 100% efficient — all of the heat they produce stays in the room, because there is no vent to the outside.
    • By comparison, a gas fireplace loses 20 – 30% of the heat it produces, out the vent or chimney.
  • The glass on electric fireplaces will never get hot to the touch. This means that they are safe for children and pets.
    • By comparison, the glass on a gas fireplace will get super-heated enough to instantly burn anyone, or anything, that comes into contact with it.

Electric fireplaces are a great option for zone heating, taking the chill off the most-used rooms in your home, without over-heating the rest of the house. And because electric fireplaces cost far less to operate than a gas fireplace, ($50-$80 per year compared to $350 per year) zone heating with electric fireplaces will save on your heating bills.


For more information, read our FAQ’s and our Advantages of Electric Fireplaces chart.

Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors specializes in electric fireplaces.

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