As electric fireplaces work differently compared to other types of fireplace because there’s no real flame, they may be able to be used outside if they have the right properties.
There are many types of electric fireplace available to suit different needs, but can you use an electric fireplace outside?
Only electric fireplaces rated for outdoor use can be used outside. Electric fireplaces that are indoor use only can only be used indoors, while outdoor rated ones can be used both indoors and outdoors. Outdoor rated electric fireplaces typically have some sort of protection against the weather such as a weatherproof casing.
Not every electric fireplace can be used outdoors. The majority of electric fireplaces are indoor use only and so to be able to use one outside you’ll need an electric fireplace that is rated for outdoor use.
We’ve explained in more detail below why only some electric fireplaces can be used outdoors and which ones can. We also discuss whether our own electric fireplace is suitable for outdoor use and what the issues are surrounding using an indoor rated electric fireplace outside.
Can You Use An Electric Fireplace Outside?
In order for an electric fireplace to be usable outside it must be outdoor rated.
This means that the fireplace can be safely used outside in typically wetter conditions compared to being used inside.
An electric fireplace is different to wood burning or gas fireplaces because there’s no real fire inside. Instead, electric fireplaces produce an imitation of flickering flames by reflecting light off rotating mirrors, and use a conventional space heater to generate the supplementary heat.
In order for an electric fireplace to operate it requires a source of electricity.
The majority of electric fireplaces comes with a power cord and simply need to be plugged into a nearby standard electrical outlet in order to work. Other types of electric fireplace, typically those that are intended to be more of a permanent features in a home, may need to be hard-wired into home electrics.
Either way, an electric fireplace needs a source of electricity to provide the look and feel of a real fireplace in your home.
In order for an electric fireplace to be used outside the electrical components must be sufficiently protected from any wet weather in order to be used safely.
This means that the majority of electric fireplaces available can’t be used outside because they won’t be weatherproof and rated for outdoor use. If you’re looking for an electric fireplace to use outside then you’ll need to consider getting one that is rated for outdoor use.
As an example, we have an electric fireplace stove that we throughout the year around our home. It can’t be used outside because it’s not rated for outside use.
The instruction manual for our electric fireplace stove states that it’s ‘not suitable for outside use’.
The manual also explains that the appliance can’t be used in rooms that experience high amounts of moisture, such as bathrooms.
This will typically be the case for many other electric fireplaces. The majority will need to be plugged into an electrical socket and won’t have the required weatherproofing to be usable outside. If you’re looking to use an electric fireplace outside then you’ll need to get one that is rated for both indoor and outdoor use.
We’ve explained the different types of electric fireplaces here but one of the most common types that can be used outside are wall mounted electric fireplaces.
Wall mount electric fireplaces are a type of electric fireplace that are designed to be mounted on the surface of a wall, but some models can be partially or fully recessed into a wall to be make them look more built in. For information on wall mount electric fireplaces see our buyers guide.
Not all wall mount electric fireplaces can be used outside, but some are rated for outside use.
An example is the Touchstone Sideline Indoor/Outdoor 80017 Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace. It’s rated for outdoor use because it has a weatherproof casing.
This particular model of electric fireplace can either be plugged into an electrical outlet or hard-wired in. As a result of the weatherproof casing it isn’t able to produce heat.
Electric fireplaces generally produce heat in two ways:
- Fan forced heating
- Infrared heating
Fan forced heaters work by using a blower to force air over a heating element, which in turn blows warmer air out into the room. The air within the room stays warm for a period of time after the electric fireplace has been turned off.
See more on how electric fireplace fan heaters work here.
Infrared heaters use infrared light technology to produce heat that can be felt instantly. Infrared heaters are typically able to heat larger spaces compared to fan heaters but the downside is that no residual warmth can be felt once the heater is turned off.
For more information we’ve explained infrared electric fireplaces in another article.
If you’re looking for an outdoor electric fireplace that is also able to produce supplementary heat then consider the Amantii Panorama series of electric fireplaces.
The deep-built forms of their popular built-in electric fireplaces are rated for outdoor use and typically come with fan forced heaters than can be used both inside or outside.
As an example, the Amantii Panorama Indoor/Outdoor Series 50-Inch Deep Built-In Electric Fireplace can be installed either inside or outside.
This electric fireplace can be hard-wired into your electrics or simply plugged into a nearby electrical outlet using the included plug-kit. It also comes with a remote that you can use to control all of the functions of the fireplace.
One thing to note when purchasing one of the Amantii Panorama Series outdoor electric fireplaces is that if you’re looking to use it outside then it must be purchased with the Outdoor Cover.
This stainless steel cover protects the front of the electric fireplace firebox when it’s not in use.
Some types of electric fireplace can be used outside.
If you’re looking to install an electric fireplace outdoors then you must look to buy an electric fireplace that is rated for outdoor use.
For safety reasons, the majority of the electric fireplaces on the market cannot be used outside. An electric fireplace that is rated for outdoor use must therefore be used.
The types of electric fireplaces designed for outdoor use are typically built-in or wall mounted, where they are installed onto or into a wall outside.
Popular models of outdoor rated electric fireplaces can be found from recognized brands such as:
This Touchstone electric fireplace can be used outdoors as it has a weatherproof cover but is unable to produce any supplementary heat.
The Amantii Panorama series of electric fireplaces are rated for outdoor used but must be purchased alongside a cover in order to do so. These electric fireplaces are able to generate heat, even when used outside.