I’ve put this article together as a step-by-step guide on how to use an electric fireplace, using my own electric fireplace as a demonstration.
This guide on how to use an electric fireplace includes:
- How to turn on an electric fireplace (without the remote)
- How to use an electric fireplace heater
- How to adjust the temperature on an electric fireplace
- How to make your electric fireplace brighter
- How to turn off an electric fireplace
Electric fireplaces allow you to have a realistic looking fire in your home, without the need for a chimney or flue, and with minimal mess and cleaning.
Electric fireplaces are different compared to other types of fireplace, including traditional open fireplaces, wood burning stoves and gas fireplaces, as electric fireplaces don’t produce a real flame.
The electric fireplace that I’ll be using as an example throughout the article is a freestanding electric fireplace stove. Here’s a photo I took of it located inside my living room fireplace:
There are various types of electric fireplace from different manufacturers, and so the controls on my particular electric fireplace may not be exactly the same as those on another model. However, this article should give you a very good idea on how to use your own electric fireplace, as the main concept behind the components and controls are similar across all models.
How To Turn On An Electric Fireplace (Without A Remote)
Some models of electric fireplace come with a remote, while others don’t. My electric fireplace didn’t come with one, but I’ll be explaining how to turn on and start an electric fireplace without a remote.
Remote controls won’t work without the fireplace being plugged in, and can either be lost or the batteries run out, and so it’s important to understand how to use your electric fireplace without one.
As an electric fireplace runs on electricity, it must be plugged into a nearby wall socket, and the socket switched on before the controls on the fireplace can be used to turn on either the flames or the heater.
It’s recommended that electric fireplaces be always plugged straight into an electrical wall socket, rather than being connected into an extension cable or surge protector.
The manufacturer of my electric fireplace states in the manual that the use of an extension cord is not recommended with the appliance.
Once plugged in, you’ll need to find the controls on your electric fireplace to be able to turn it on.
The location of the controls will differ between wall-mounted or recessed electric fireplaces, freestanding electric fireplaces and electric fireplace inserts, but are typically found on the front or sides of the unit.
The controls on my particular model of freestanding electric fireplace are located behind a cover on the front (as my electric fireplace looks like a wood burning stove, where the ash pan compartment would be).
Here’s what the controls look like on my electric fireplace, including what their purpose is.
A – Thermostat Dial
B – Main On and Off Switch (turns on the flames)
C – Low Heat Setting On and Off Switch
D – High Heat Setting On and Off Switch
E – Flame Effect Dimmer Dial
On my particular model of electric fireplace, the main switch (switch B above) must be turned on before the heater can be used.
Turning on the main switch (B) turns the electric fireplace on, and also turns on the flames at the same.
Many models of electric fireplace have two heat settings.
There are two heat switches on my electric fireplace; one for the lower heat output and one for the higher heat output. The main switch (which turns the flames on automatically) MUST be turned on in order for the heater switches to turn on the heat.
Furthermore, the low heat switch must be turned on before the high heat switch will work.
Electric fireplaces typically have separate switches for the heating and flame elements, allowing you to use them separately, or both at the same time.
To get the flames to work on an electric fireplace, simply turn on the flame effect switch.
How To Use An Electric Fireplace Heater (And How To Adjust The Temperature)
To use the heater on a typical electric fireplace:
- The electric fireplace must be plugged in and switched on at the wall.
- The power switch on the electric fireplace must be turned on.
- The heat switch on the fireplace must be turned on.
- The thermostatic dial must be set to above the current room temperature.
Some of the controls on your electric fireplace will operate the heater, while the others will operate the flame functionality.
Many electric fireplaces come with high and low heat settings, and may have separate switches for each.
Ensure that your fireplace is turned on at the wall and on the appliance itself. The main power switch on my electric fireplace must be turned on in order to use the heater, but there are separate switches to control the heater.
On my electric fireplace, the controls highlighted in red below are used to operate the heater.
The low heat setting is operated by turning on the middle switch:
The high heat setting is operated by turning on the switch to the right (the low heat switch must be on for my model of electric stove for the high heat switch to do anything).
The controls for every model of electric fireplace will be different, and so it’s important to refer to the instruction manual for your particular model of electric fireplace for procedures on how to turn the heater on.
While the heater switch(es) control whether the heater is working on low or high setting, many electric fireplace also incorporate a thermostat to help keep the room at a constant temperature.
With a thermostat set to a particular temperature setting, an electric fireplace can continuously regulate its heat output to ensure that the room stays at the right temperature.
If the room is colder than the temperature set on the thermostat, the heater will turn on until the temperature is reached. Once the set temperature has been reached, the electric fireplace heater will keep the room at this temperature
An electric fireplace heater won’t turn on if the thermostat dial is set to a temperature lower than room temperature.
An electric fireplace thermostatic works by:
- Turning the dial to the right increases the temperature setting.
- Turning the dial to the left decreases the temperature setting.
Thermostats on an electric fireplace typically make a ‘click’ noise when the dial has been turned to the current room temperature.
To set your preferred room temperature, switch the heater on and turn the thermostat dial temperature up, past when it makes a click sound. Your electric fireplace will then heat the room up.
Once the room has reached the desired temperature, turn the thermostat dial back until your hear another click sound. The electric fireplace will then adjust the heat output to keep the room at the current temperature.
Some models of electric fireplace may have the temperature written on the dial, but unfortunately our fireplace doesn’t.
How To Control The Flames On An Electric Fireplace (And How To Make Your Electric Fireplace Brighter)
To use the flames on an electric fireplace:
- The fireplace must be plugged in at the wall and the wall socket turned on.
- The power button on the electric fireplace must be switched on.
- The flame effect switch must be turned on (if separate to the main power switch).
- The flame dial can then be used to control brightness of the flames.
Some of the controls on your electric fireplace will operate the flames, including whether they are on or off, their brightness, and any flames effects.
On my particular model of electric fireplace, the main switch turns on the fireplace and the flames, and a dial controls how bright or dim the flames are.
When the main switch is turned on, the flames start on the brightness setting currently set on the corresponding dial.
An electric fireplace brightness dial works by:
- Turning the dial to the left reduces the brightness of the flames.
- Turning the dial to the right increases the brightness of the flames.
With the dial turned all the way to the left, here’s what the flames look like on minimum brightness setting:
With the dial turned all the way to the right, here’s what the flames look like on the maximum brightness setting:
Here’s a quick video showing the difference in brightness between the highest and lowest settings:[Video]
On my particular model of electric fireplace, the flames cannot be turned off without switching the whole fireplace off. The flames therefore must be on in order for me to turn the heater on. This may not be the case with other models of electric fireplace.
As all models of electric fireplace operate differently, you will need to check your manufacturer’s instruction manual to confirm how to turn on and use the flames on your particular model of fireplace.
How To Turn Off An Electric Fireplace
To turn off an electric fireplace, the procedures to turn on the fireplace should be reversed.
To turn off my electric fireplace, I follow this order:
- Turn off the high heat setting switch.
- Turn off the low heat setting switch (this turns the heat off).
- Turn off the main power switch on the electric fireplace (this also turns the flames off).
- Turn off the switch on the wall socket.
- Remove the power cable from the wall socket.
The instruction manual for my electric fireplace recommends that I always switch off the fireplace before unplugging it from the socket, and to always unplug the appliance when it’s not in use.
Be sure to check your user manual for the right procedure when turning off your electric fireplace.