Electric fireplaces are a great way to enjoy the looks and warmth of a fireplace in your home without the downsides of having to setup, clean and maintain a real fire.
The heater on an electric fireplace can therefore be left running for as long as desired, but can you leave an electric fireplace on all night?
For safety reasons it’s not recommended to leave an electric fireplace on all night. Electric fireplaces should always be operated in line with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Although electric fireplaces can be considered one of the safest forms of fireplaces, it’s not recommended to leave an electric fireplace on overnight.
We’ve explained in more detail below why, and shown what the manufacturer of our own electric fireplace recommends in terms of leaving an electric fireplace running unattended.
Can You Leave An Electric Fireplace On Overnight?
Electric fireplaces differ from other types of fireplace such wood burning or gas because there’s no real fire.
Instead, electric fireplaces use a number of electrical components in order to create the experience of a real fireplace, and so require a source of electricity to operate rather than traditional types of fuel such as gas and firewood.
Electric fireplaces typically create the look of flickering flames thanks to light being reflected off mirrors that are strategically placed on a rotating bar.
Most electric fireplaces also have a form of heater integrated into the unit to allow heat to be generated.
We’ve discussed in another article why the heater in an electric fireplace can be considered to be a space heater, but essentially the heater in an electric fireplace shares many of the same components and works in the same way as a conventional home space heater.
Therefore, an electric fireplace should be treated with the same respect as when safely using a space heater, such as not plugging them into any form of surge protectors, extension cables or power strips.
An electric fireplace should also not be left on all night.
The Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI) explains:
Before using any space heater, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Never leave a space heater unattended. Turn it off when you’re leaving a room or going to sleep.ESFI
We have an electric fireplace stove and we try not to leave it with the heater running while it’s unattended, and we never leave it on over night.
Although an electric fireplace can come with many safety features such as timers and overheat prevention technology, we don’t leave our electric fireplace on overnight because we don’t think that it’s worth the risk.
The instruction manual for our particular model of fireplace also states that it shouldn’t be left alone.
There’s no specific mention in the manual about leaving an electric fireplace on overnight, but by sleeping while an electric fireplace heater is running can be considered as leaving it unattended.
The main concern is with the heater in an electric fireplace. The heater is typically a fan forced system with a blower and heating element, but can also be ceramic or infrared.
These forms of space heaters draw a lot of power and can be hot to the touch.
In comparison, the components that produce the flame effects in an electric fireplace don’t draw as much power as the heater and don’t generate any heat.
Many electric fireplaces, like ours, give you the option of only having the flames effects operating without the heater being on.
As a result, we would be comfortable in leaving our electric running unattended if only the flame effects were on, but not with the heater on as well. There’s also no need to have just the flames effects running on an electric fireplace overnight and so it’s best practice to turn an electric fireplace completely off before going to sleep.
Overall, electric fireplaces can be extremely safe appliances when used correctly but shouldn’t be left on overnight.
To use and enjoy your electric fireplace in a safe manner:
- Read and understand the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific model of electric fireplace.
- Sensibly operate the heater on an electric fireplace.
- Take into consideration safety tips for the use of space heaters from established bodies such as ESFI.
How Long Can You Leave An Electric Fireplace On?
Guidelines recommend not to leave an electric fireplace space heater on while unattended, but how long can you leave an electric fireplace on for?
Electric fireplaces can be left on for as long as required. If an electric fireplace needs to be left unattended then it should be turned off before doing so.
As it’s not recommended to leave an electric fireplace on all night, a good method can be to use the heater on your electric fireplace to bring the temperature up within the room to your desired temperature before going to sleep.
Many electric fireplaces can come with an integrated thermostat allowing you to set your desired temperature for the room.
Our electric fireplace has built-in thermostatic control allowing us to set a temperature for the room.
An electric fireplace with a thermostat will bring a room up to the set temperature and continuously turn itself on an off to keep the room at this constant temperature.
Choosing an electric fireplace with this functionality can be great in getting a room to a certain temperature before turning the fireplace off and going to sleep.
To find the right electric fireplace with thermostatic control for you see our complete buyers guides for all the different types of electric fireplaces.