Electric Fireplace In Existing Fireplace

Can An Electric Fireplace Really Heat A Room? (We Tested It)

In Electric Fireplaces, Indoor Fireplaces by James O'KellyLeave a Comment

Electric fireplaces work much like space heaters to provide heat to your home, but can an electric fireplace really heat a room?

Using an electric fireplace is a great way to heat a room. From testing, an electric fireplace was able to increase the temperature within a room by 13.5°F (7.5°C) within 4 hours.

I bought my electric fireplace to use both as a heater for my home, and as a way to enjoy the view of a fire without having to build and maintain a real fire.

It isn’t always necessary to turn on the central heating when staying in one room in your home for an extended period of time. I therefore wanted to know how much my electric fireplace to could warm a room by in my home.

I’ve undertaken a number of different tests to see how well an electric fireplace can heat a room, as well as whether an electric fireplace can heat a whole home.

I used my living room as the basis for my tests. It has a large open fireplace with a nearby electric wall socket that allows me to locate an electric fireplace inside of the open fireplace.

Here’s what my electric fireplace looks like inside my living room fireplace:

Electric Fireplace In Existing Fireplace
My electric fireplace used for the tests

This is the freestanding electric fireplace that has been used in my tests, and is an appliance that has been designed to look like a wood burning stove. The fireplace has two heat settings:

  • Low heat setting that has a power of 925W.
  • High heat setting that has a power of 1850W.

The tests were undertaken in my living room that has a size of 160 sq. m. (15m2), with dimensions of 13.5ft (4.1m) x 12.1 (3.7m). It’s a modest sized room that isn’t too big or too small.

There is one door to the room, and all of the windows in the room were closed during the tests.

Can An Electric Fireplace Heat A Room?

My first tests were undertaken to see whether an electric fireplace could heat a room.

I performed tests based on four different scenarios to see what the outcomes would be. The four scenarios included using my electric fireplace in my living room:

  • On high heat setting with the door closed.
  • On low heat setting with the door closed.
  • On high heat setting with the door open.
  • On low heat setting with the door open.

Testing the fireplace for these four different scenarios could give me an insight into how much difference is made when leaving the door to the room open, or using the low heat setting instead of the high heat setting.

To measure the temperature in the room, I used the thermostat for my central heating system. It’s normally located in the hallway, but is detachable and so I placed it in my room where I would normally sit. The fireplace was located on the other side of the room; otherwise the results would have been over exaggerated by having the thermostat close to the fireplace heater where it’s the hottest.

Test 1 – High Heat Setting With The Door Closed

For the first test, I ran my electric fireplace on full power (1850W) one evening in my living room. The door to the room was also left closed for the entirety of the test so that the heat generated by the fireplace wouldn’t quickly escape the room.

Electric Fireplace High Heat Switch
Full heat setting switch on my electric fireplace

The test started at 6pm with a starting temperature of 57.3°F (14.1°C). The thermostat had been left in the room for a while before the test started to ensure that it read the correct room temperature at the start of the test.

I took the temperature reading at the start of the test (0 minutes) and then turned my electric fireplace on using the high heat setting.

I then recorded the temperature in the room every 10 minutes by using the app on my mobile to read the temperature shown on the thermostat. I simply took a screenshot at every 10 minute intervals to save the temperature recordings.

Here’s a screenshot of the temperature at the start of the test:

Electric Fireplace Heat Room Test

The test lasted 250 minutes (4 hours 10 minutes), and I was sat in the room for the entire duration of the test.

The results of the test are shown in the table below:

Time (Minutes)Temperature (°F)Temperature (°C)
057.414.1
1058.114.5
2058.814.9
3059.715.4
4060.415.8
5061.116.2
60 (1 hour)61.716.5
7062.216.8
8062.817.1
9063.317.4
10063.817.7
11064.217.9
120 (2 hours)64.918.3
13065.618.7
14066.919.4
15067.619.8
16068.020.0
17068.320.2
180 (3 hours)68.920.5
19069.220.7
20069.620.9
21070.021.1
22070.321.3
23070.721.5
240 (4 hours)70.921.6
25070.921.6
Total change13.5°F7.5°C

I’ve also represented the results graphically as shown below:

Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room
Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room

The results show that the temperature in the room rose by 13.5°F (7.5°C) within exactly four hours from the start of the test.

The results also show that the temperature in the room continued to rise fairly consistently throughout the majority of the test, but the temperature started to level out towards the end. The last two readings of the test showed no change in temperature in the room.

A screenshot of the final temperature recording of the test:

Electric Fireplace Heat Test

Here’s a picture I took of the thermostat itself after running the electric fireplace for just over 4 hours (the temperature fell slightly between ending the test and taking the photo):

Thermostat
The thermostat used to measure the temperature in the room

The results indicate that, given time, an electric fireplace can significantly increase the temperature within a room.

I was wearing a jumper at the time of starting the test and had to remove it after around 2 hours of heating with a room temperature of about 65°F (18°C). I also had to leave the room at the end of the test because the room had become uncomfortably hot. (The cats loved it though).

I was actually quite shocked how much heat an electric fireplace could put out. Leaving the central heating on for four hours in my home wouldn’t have increased the heat in a room by such a large amount.

Test 2 – High Heat Setting With The Door Open

For my next test, I performed the same test as the previous one, but left the door to the room open for the entire duration to see what effect would have on how well an electric fireplace can heat a room.

Therefore, the conditions for this test were:

  • Electric fireplace on high heat setting (1850W) for the duration of the test.
  • The door to the room was left open for the duration of the test.

This test started at 5pm, and I ensured that the starting temperature in the room was exactly the same as the first test, of 57.3°F (14.1°C).

Again, the thermostat was left in the room for a while before the test started to ensure that it was acclimatized.

Temperature recordings were also taken at 10 minute intervals, and the results for the second test are presented in the table below.

Time (Minutes)Temperature (°F)Temperature (°C)
057.414.1
1057.714.3
2059.115.1
3059.915.5
4060.615.9
5061.316.3
60 (1 hour)61.716.5
7062.216.8
8062.817.1
9062.917.2
10063.517.5
11063.817.7
120 (2 hours)64.217.9
13064.618.1
14064.918.3
15065.118.4
16065.318.5
17065.318.5
180 (3 hours)65.518.6
19065.518.6
20065.518.6
21065.518.6
22065.518.6
Total change8.1°F4.5°C

Screenshots taken from the start and the end of the test:

Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room
The temperature at the start of Test 2
Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room
The temperature at the end of Tets 2

I’ve represented the results of the table graphically, both for degrees Fahrenheit and degrees Celsius, as well as comparing the results to those from Test 1.

Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room
Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room
Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room
Can Electric Fireplace Heat Room

The results show that while heating a room using an electric fireplace on the higher heat setting of 1850W, and when leaving the door to the room open, the temperature in the room rose by 8.1°F (4.5°C) within three hours.

This indicates that electric fireplaces can still heat a room efficiently even when the door to the room is left open.

However, the results also show that leaving the door open to the room can prevent the temperature in the room from reaching as high as it would have been able to if the door had been left closed.

The results show that the temperature in the room plateaued at 65.5°F (18.6°C), and the temperature didn’t rise above this number for nearly an hour. This is compared to the previous test where the door was closed throughout, and the temperature continued to climb towards 70.9°F (21.6°C).

Although much of the heat being generated by the electric fireplace was being lost out of the open door, I still noticed a big difference in temperature when walking in and out of the room. Even though the door was open, the fireplace wasn’t warming up the rest of the house very efficiently.

If you want to maximize the heat for a particular room from an electric fireplace, keeping the door closed to the room will help to achieve higher temperatures.

Further Reading

How To Use An Electric Fireplace

What’s Inside An Electric Fireplace?

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