Things to consider before getting an electric fireplace

As you’ve found this post, we’ll assume you’ve decided that gas fireplaces and wood burning stoves are not for you. And that’s fine - electric fireplaces are a great choice.

But what do you need to look out for before buying an electric fireplace? What are the potential pitfalls? Is it as simple as just unboxing and plugging in?

Decide how much heat you need

How hot does your fire need to be? This might sound like an utterly daft question, but there’s a reason you’re looking for an electric fireplace and it will be for one of two reasons: you’ll want to adequately heat a room, or you’re looking for a feature which will accentuate the room (you may even rarely turn it on!).

If it’s the latter, go for the fireplace which draws the lowest voltage and has the smallest output. If you want to heat the room and it’s contents cost effectively, there’s a little bit of math to be done…

The heating equation

Most electric fireplaces will run at 120 volts, or 1,500 watts. To find out the kind of area that will heat, simply divide the wattage by 10. So, a 1,500 watt fireplace will heat 150 square feet. If you need more, find one with a higher range. Simple!


Choosing the wrong style of fireplace can ruin a room’s interior design. To avoid this common mistake, consider the room itself. Is it contemporary? Rustic? Pick an electric fireplace which matches the design choices you made when decorating the room. Thankfully, we live in a world where there are a tonne of fantastic fireplace designs to choose from.


The ideal location for a fireplace isn’t always immediately obvious. Consider whether or not you want it to be the focal point of the room, or perform a more silent but functional role. Also bear in mind that, although electric fires don’t emit real flames, they do blow out hot air, so avoid placing them near curtains or other types of fabric.


Unlike gas fireplaces, there’s little to worry about when installing an electric fireplace. It’ll need a power source - that’s it. Just ensure the source of power is nice and close to the fireplace’s intended home!


Electric fireplaces are relatively easy purchases, given their ease of installation and inherent safety. Follow the tips above and you’ll find the perfect electric fireplace in no time at all.

You may be swayed towards a gas fireplace during your search, but remember the benefits of electric fireplaces. They can be placed anywhere, within reason, and can be moved to other rooms if required. You’ll also never need to refuel; a quick flick of the ‘on’ switch is all that’s needed.

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