How to Install an Electric Fireplace – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of this article is to address some commonly asked questions about How to Install an Electric Fireplace. All fireplaces come with installation instructions, and these vary from model to model, so it is not our intent to provide a how-to guide here. If you are considering one of our electric fireplaces, and you would like help understanding the installation instructions, or have technical questions, you can get answers by reaching out through the Installation Help page on our website.

Napoleon Entice NEFL72CFH
Napoleon NEFL72CFH Entice electric fireplace installed on the surface of the wall.

Is it hard to install an electric fireplace?

The answer to this question will depend on the experience of the installer and the type of electric fireplace being installed. The most complicated electric fireplaces to install are those that are built-in to the wall. These require framing skills that are beyond a weekend handyman. However, there are also electric fireplaces that may be hung on the wall surface, and these require a familiarity with hand tools like a drill and level. You also need to be able to determine how best to anchor the wall bracket, so that it is attached solidly to the wall. If you are not comfortable with tools, then we suggest that you select a plug-and-play model, like a stove, or a mantel package. Mantel packages may require some assembly, so you will need a bit of patience and an extra pair of hands, but they are not complicated. And there are also mantel packages that are fully assembled – just plug in and enjoy. So, is it hard to install an electric fireplace? Not if you pick the right model for your skillset. We have curated easy-to-install fireplaces on our website, on our Stay-at-Home Improvement page.

Do electric fireplaces need their own circuit? Can you plug an electric fireplace into a regular outlet?

Yes, most electric fireplaces can be plugged into a regular outlet. However, the majority of electric fireplaces need their own circuit because they have heaters built in. There may be multiple outlets on a single circuit, so just because you are plugging the fireplace into its own outlet, does not mean that it has its own circuit. A dedicated circuit means that the outlet for the fireplace has its own circuit breaker on your electrical panel. The heaters on electric fireplaces draw up to 1500 watts, which is all the power available on a regular 120 volt household circuit. If it is not possible or desirable to run a new circuit for the fireplace, then your use of the heater may be limited. Without the heaters, electric fireplaces draw very little power, as the flames are all created with LED lights. If you do decide to create a new circuit, please remember, all electrical work must be done by a qualified, licensed electrician.

Do electric fireplaces need to be vented?

Because there is no combustion inside electric fireplaces, there is no need for a vent. There is no burning of fossil fuels, so there are no fumes or carbon monoxide to be expelled, and no need to draw fresh air into the fireplace. This is one of the primary reasons that it is easier to install electric fireplaces instead of gas.

How much does it cost to have an electric fireplace installed? Is it cheaper to run a gas or electric fireplace?

The cost to install an electric fireplace depends on whether or not electrical work is needed before installation. The charge for our installers to deliver and install an electric fireplace starts at $150, while the cost of electrical work would generally cost several hundreds of dollars, depending on the complexity of running the line to the fireplace. However, the cost of electrical work will generally be less than the cost of venting a gas fireplace and running a gas line.

Dimplex BLF7451 linear fireplace
Dimplex BLF7451 Prism electric fireplace

How high should an electric fireplace be from the floor?

Some electric fireplaces are made to sit at or near floor level. These tend to be more traditional styles that mimic wood-burning fireplaces. The popular linear styles, which are wide but not very tall, are meant to sit above floor level by 12 to 36 inches. How high you put the fireplace can depend on whether or not there is a TV above, and whether or not you will be sitting or standing when viewing the fireplace. Generally, if there is a TV going above a linear fireplace, we place the bottom of the fireplace at 12 to 16 inches off the floor, with the bottom of the TV no more than 42 inches off the floor.

How do you hide the cords on an electric fireplace?

Hiding the cords on an electric fireplace requires some planning. If you’re installing a mantel package or stove, you would ideally have the fireplace positioned in front of the outlet, so the cords are hidden. If this isn’t possible, then placing a chair or potted plant next to the fireplace, in front of the electrical outlet, would be desirable. For wall-mounted fireplaces, the best bet is to put a conduit over the cord, and paint it the same colour as the wall. If you can position the fireplace above a bench or sofa, or console table, then the furniture will hide the cord. We have also created custom frames around wall-mounted fireplaces, to cover the cord and outlet.

 

Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors specializes in electric fireplaces and custom designs. Their Toronto-area showroom features over 50 all-electric units from major brands like Amantii, Dimplex, Dynasty and Napoleon. They are NFI Certified Hearth Design Specialists with over 25 years of experience with interiors and renovations. In addition to electric fireplaces, they carry all of the wall covering materials needed to complete the wall, such as stone and brick veneers, wood and metal panels, and leather. They can also complete custom projects using their team of contractors and cabinet makers. 

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