Heating elements are an essential component of all electric fireplaces that utilize fan heaters to produce heat.
In order for an electric fireplace to generate supplementary heat to compliment the flames, it needs a form of integrated heater. The majority of electric fireplaces have a built-in fan forced heater that uses both a blower and heating element to warm up the air within the room.
So what is a heating element for electric fireplaces?
The heating element is one of the main components found as part of a fan forced heating system located inside an electric fireplace. The heating element will typically be found in front of the blower and will warm up the air as it passes through the fireplace and out the front of the unit.
However, not all electric fireplaces will have a heating element. In this guide to electric fireplace heating elements we’ve explained in more detail:
- What heating elements are.
- Where they are located in an electric fireplace (with real examples).
- Whether you can replace a heating element in an electric fireplace.
- How to replace the heating element in an electric fireplace.
You can also find the complete list of replacement heating elements for electric fireplaces here.
Electric Fireplace Heating Elements Explained
Electric fireplaces work by producing the flame effects and heat separately.
There’s no real fire in an electric fireplace and so the look of flickering flames is generated using a combination of lights and rotating mirrors.
The flame effects don’t produce any heat and so an electric fireplace will use a form of heater to generate supplementary heat.
You can read more about how electric fireplaces work here, which shows in detail how our own electric fireplace stove works.
An electric fireplace typically incorporates one of two types of heaters:
- Fan forced heaters
- Infrared heaters
Some models of electric fireplace may also use a ceramic heater, but fan and infrared heaters are the most common, with fan heaters being found in the majority of fireplaces.
The two main components of a fan forced heater include a heating element and a blower.
An electric fireplace fan forced heater works much like a conventional home space heater, where a blower pulls in cooler air and forces the air over a heating element that generates warmer air for the room.
The heating element is typically located in front of the blower and a fan forced heater is typically located near the top or the bottom of an electric fireplace.
We have an electric fireplace stove that uses a fan forced heater to generate the heat. The heater is located at the base of the unit and sticks down from underneath.
Here’s what the heater looks like from the inside of our electric stove:
In our particular model of electric fireplace the heating element is located just in front of the blower, and can be seen working in the photo below which was taken while the heater was operating.
All electric fireplaces that use a fan heater will have a heating element.
Electric fireplaces that use another form of heater such as infrared or ceramic will not have a traditional heating element.
Can You Replace The Heating Element In An Electric Fireplace?
In many cases the heating element can’t be changed within an electric fireplace.
However, the heating element may be able to be changed in certain models of electric fireplace.
For our particular model of electric fireplace the manual states that there are ‘no user serviceable parts’, meaning that the heating element isn’t designed to be replaced and there are no replacement parts available for it.
Consult the instruction manual for your particular model of electric fireplace to check whether you can replace the heating element.
How To Replace The Heating Element In An Electric Fireplace
In order to replace the heating element in an electric fireplace you’ll need to open the access cover.
The access cover on an electric is typically located on the back of the unit, but varies across different models of fireplace. For our specific model of electric stove, we needed to remove the rear panel of the unit in order to get to the heater.
The location of the heater inside your electric fireplace will depend on the model but ours was located at the base of the unit. The location of the blower will help you to identify where the heating element is.
You’ll then need to remove the heater and replace the heating element itself, or depending on the model of fireplace replace the whole heater unit including the blower.
The video below shows exactly how to replace the heating element in an electric fireplace:
The heating element is an integral part of a fan forced heater, which are found inside many electric fireplaces.
Heating elements won’t be found in electric fireplaces that use infrared or ceramic heaters, but the heating element is typically located just in front of the blower inside a fan heater.
The heating element can be changed in some electric fireplaces, while it can’t be in others. Whether it can be will depend on the model of fireplace.
Replacement electric fireplace heating elements can be found here, but you’ll need to consult the instruction manual for your electric fireplace to confirm whether the heating element can be changed, and if so which part will be required.
In the first instance check out our guide to the most common problems experienced with electric fireplaces and their solutions, to help you to identify what may be causing your heater to not be working.
Not all electric fireplaces can be fixed. In fact, if our electric fireplace stove stops working due to an internal fault then there’s nothing we can do about it except replace it. This can be the case for many models of electric fireplace.
For inspiration on getting a new electric fireplace check out our in-depth buying guides for all the different types of electric fireplaces here.