Marc Broussard
By - Indoor Heating & Gas Log Expert
ShoppersChoice.com, LLC

We want to make sure that choosing the right electric fireplace for your home is as easy as possible. We've compiled the most common questions regarding electric fireplaces to help you out. If your question is still not answered, please give us a call at 1-877-743-2269!

How much does it cost to operate?

Electricity rates can vary by region, but on average it costs approximately $.03 per hour to operate the flames and $.08 per hour to operate the flames and heater together. Electric fireplaces are extremely cost efficient and environmentally friendly to run.

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Will an electric fireplace plug into a standard outlet? Does it need to be on a dedicated circuit?

Most electric fireplaces can be plugged into a standard 120 Volt outlet, and no dedicated circuit is required.

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How cost efficient are electric fireplaces?

Electric fireplaces are 100% efficient, and cost significantly less than gas fireplaces to operate. The flame effect is equivalent in cost and power usage of a lamp. Unlike gas or wood fireplaces, warmth is not lost to ventilation, so 100% of the contained heat is utilized. Making Electric Fireplaces less costly and more efficient than gas and wood-burning fireplaces to operate. Electric Fireplaces are also money savers because there is no need for expensive gas or costly wood logs for a traditional fireplace set-up. These units can be perfect also for supplemental heating throughout the house warming certain zones, allowing you to lower/adjust the central thermostat for utility bill savings.

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Is it possible to buy an electric fireplace without a heating element?

Most electric fireplaces come included with a heating element, but they can be used with or without the heat. This means you will be able to enjoy the beautiful fireplace ambiance at all times of the year, even when you do not need to heat your room. Outdoor electric fireplaces typically do not come with a heater, although one may be purchased separately.

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Do I need any permits to install an electric fireplace in my home?

Most Electric fireplaces are ready to use right out of the box; they simply need a standard 3-prong grounded 120-volt outlet with power. If you are hard-wiring a built-in electric fireplace, we recommend using a certified electrician. No permits are needed for either installation.

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Do I need a professional to install this?

Most electric fireplaces come ready to use straight from the manufacturer’s box or may require an easy install. Installation can be compared to hanging a big or long canvas painting. The majority of this process can be accomplished by 1 person capable of following manufacturer’s instructions and skilled enough to use some tools if assembly is required. We recommend using a professional only if you are installing a built-in electric fireplace, as this will require hard-wiring.

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Do electric fireplaces get hot?

The only part of the fireplace that gets hot is the area around the blower when the heat is turned on. Before performing any cleaning or maintenance on your electric fireplace, make sure the blower is completely cool.

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How much maintenance is required?

Electric fireplaces are one of the easiest heat sources to clean and maintain. Our guide to cleaning your electric fireplace breaks down the simple cleaning steps you should take to keep your fireplace running smoothly and beautifully.

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How do electric fireplaces come when they are shipped? Is there any assembly needed?

Wall mount and built-in electric fireplaces come ready to be installed in your home. The only assembly required from a mantel package or media console is placing the electric fireplace insert into the mantel or console, and plugging into your wall.

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Can I get carbon monoxide from this?

No. Electric fireplaces only use electricity, and therefore do not emit any: harmful toxins, fumes, ashes, hazardous emissions or any pollutants.

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Do I need to vent electric fireplaces?

No vent is required for electric fireplaces. These units operate solely by electricity and are self-contained units, so do not require any gas lines, chimneys, or vents. These units are also Eco-friendly and emit no toxic fumes or smoke into the atmosphere.

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Do electric fireplace flames look real?

Yes, many electric fireplace flames are extremely realistic, created with features such as LED lights and glowing ember beds.

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Can I put this in my existing fireplace? Do I have to do anything special when installing?

Only an electric fireplace insert can be placed into an existing fireplace. If you are hardwiring the fireplace in, we recommend using a certified electrician.

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Is it okay to put a TV over my electric fireplace?

You can place a TV over your electric fireplace as long as the heat is blown out from the bottom, not the top.

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Can I build an electric fireplace into a wood surround?

This will depend on each particular model’s approved clearance. Check an item’s owner’s manual for the recommended distance between the item and combustible materials.

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How long are the warranties for electric fireplaces on Gas Log Guys/ Shoppers Choice?

Electric Fireplaces can last for a long time. Depending how often you use your Electric Fireplace their life expectancy is somewhere in the area of 10-20 years. Warranties vary among our manufactures and also between the different models we carry as well. Please see our Electric Fireplace Comparison charts. For detailed warranty information, please see user manuals.

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What are some of the best / top brands to purchase from on Gas Log Guys / Shoppers Choice?

While all of our Electric Fireplaces brands we sale are high quality, Napoleon & Dimplex are two of our most popular brands.

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Do electric fireplaces come with a remote? Can I operate fireplace without a remote?

All of the Electric Fireplaces that we offer come with a basic or multi-functional remote control. Some brands have more elaborate controllers than others, the Basic Remote is limited to giving you the ability to turn the electric fireplace ON or OFF. The Multi(functional) Remotes allow someone, from the comfort of their chair, to adjust features such as: heat output, flames intensity, color of flames/ember bed, timers, etc. Please see our Electric Fireplace Comparison charts to find out what type of controller is included with your fireplace.

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Can I connect my electric fireplace with an extension cord?

No, this would be considered a fire hazard and should never be used as a long-term solution. If your electric fireplace does not reach a standard 3-prong grounded 120-Volt outlet, you must consider other options. Either, this unit must be moved to an outlet that can accommodate these requirements or this electric fireplace needs to be hard-wired (installed) by a certified electrician.

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Are electric fireplaces safe for children, pets?

Electric fireplaces are safe for children and pets on multiple levels. Electric Fireplaces are safe to the touch, because the reflected flames don’t generate heat and the glass front always remains cool. It is like touching your TV screen. These electric fireplaces also do not emit toxic chemicals, ashes, and other pollutants into the air, making it better for your child and/or pet to breath in the fresh air around them.

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Can electric fireplaces be moved after installation?

When you have altered a wall by cutting out parts of it to mount the Electric Fireplace, this may complicate things a bit. However, other Electric Fireplaces that have been wall mounted with brackets can easily be moved around. The same can also be said for the mantles and entertainment media consoles, because none of these units require any dedicated venting from a chimney or b-vent. These units give you a little bit more versatility, because they (Wall Mount / Mantles / Entertainment Consoles) can be moved from room to room, wall to wall, and/or wherever you prefer it to be located.

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What is my coverage area for an electric fireplace?

On average, most wall mounted units can cover a space up to 400 square feet. These are considered supplemental heating sources that complement your home’s central heating. The built-in electric fireboxes have more range and can reach up to 1000 square feet. Please refer to our Electric Fireplace Comparison charts were you can see the coverage area for each of the brands.

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Why would I purchase electric fireplace over a wood stove or gas fireplace?

There are a lot of favorable benefits in going with an Electric Fireplace over a woodstove or regular fireplace. To name a few benefits Electric fireplaces are better with: cost, maintenance, health and safety. Cost: Electric Fireplaces are considerably cheaper than installing either a wood-stove or fireplace. Also, there is no servicing, cleaning and/or inspections cost to worry about with these. Maintenance: Electric Fireplaces have no clean-up of ashes or soot build up. Health: Electric Fireplaces have 0 emissions of cancerous pollutants, smoke, or dangerous fumes. Safety: These are safe for all, including pets, living in your home. Electric Fireplaces are made cool to the touch to prevent children/pet injuries and burns. Also, most units have built-in timers to prevent home fires from units being left on overheating.

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