Do Electric Fireplaces Have Heaters?
Modern electric fireplaces are beautiful home furnishings, with all the elegance and warmth of a wood-burning hearth but without the associated stress, soot, and muck. Most of them feature controllable flickering ‘flames’, which can range in intensity from a roaring fire to a few small dancing flames, accompanied by a realistic crackling sound and capable of creating the atmosphere of a log fire at a fraction of the expense and effort. With all these wonderful functions, the actual operation of the fireplace can take a back seat.
All electric fireplaces contain some kind of heater or heating element – common sense, really, or else they wouldn’t be providing any heat at all! The flames themselves are not capable of generating heat, so how exactly does the heating element in an electric fireplace work?
Most electric fireplaces use a fan forced heater to spread warmth throughout a room, dispersing it in an even pattern that radiates outwards from the fireplace. Heat is generated inside the fireplace by passing an electric current through a series of metal coils known as the heating element. As these get hotter the air inside the fireplace is expelled through a fan, normally mounted on top of or below the fireplace, and directed into an even dispersal pattern by a grille. This allows the fan to distribute a significant amount of heat over a wide area, and makes it possible for the fireplace to heat an entire room almost instantly.
An intake fan or induction vent elsewhere in the fireplace ensures a steady flow of cool, unheated air into the main firebox, where it in turn gets heated by the heating element, and cycled out through the vents.
The greatest advantage of these heating elements is that they take little to no time to warm up, allowing them to be switched on and generating heat almost straight away. The fans are normally utterly silent, designed to run quietly for years before needing replacement.
Another great thing about the heating system in an electric fireplace is that it provides clean heat with no fumes, soot or any of the other unpleasantness that is often associated with gas and wooden fireplaces. The lack of any actual combustion inside the fireplace means that no soot or any other kind of waste is created, and even the light from the heater is used to help create the lighting and flames effect, making the electric fireplace one of the most efficient forms of heating available.
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