Electric fireplaces are easy and stylish additions to any home. They look great, and you only need to turn them on for them to work. As the name suggests, electric fireplaces function on electricity, but can an electric fireplace just be plugged into a regular outlet?
An electric fireplace that comes with a power cord can be plugged into a standard power outlet. Some specific models need to be connected another way, but that is always done with the installation of the fireplace.
There are some things to keep in mind when it comes to just plugging your electric fireplace in anywhere. In this article, we’ll discuss all the in’s and out’s when it comes to the outlet requirements for your electric fireplace.
Can You Plug An Electric Fireplace In A Regular Power Outlet?
Every electric fireplace that comes with a standard power cord can be plugged into any regular outlet without a problem. They have 120-volt plugs that function on any typical outlet. Don’t plug your electric fireplace into an extension cord or power strip, as an electric fireplace draws a large amount of power.
Electric fireplaces don’t actually produce a flame, nor does the artificial flame produce heat. The flames are usually made with the help of lights and mirrors, and the heat is coming from a heater unit. With that in mind, an electric fireplace is almost like any other heating unit; It works fine in a regular power outlet, but it should not be plugged into an extension cord or any other shared outlet.
Because an electric fireplace is almost like a ‘fancier’ heating unit, it should be treated as such. Extension cords are made to handle smaller devices such as computers or phone chargers. Heating units require more power, and when you draw that power out of a shared outlet, you can cause damage.
It’s also good practice to pay attention when you’re shopping for an electric fireplace. Most models will display that they’re ‘plug-in’, which indicates that these are fine with regular outlets.
An exception to this is that some electric fireplaces need to be direct-wired. These are rare, but they exist. Luckily, you can just buy an adapter that you can plug into your regular outlet, and your problem is fixed!
Of course, the same goes for electric fireplace inserts. Unless listed otherwise, most electric fireplace inserts can just be plugged into a regular outlet. This is always prominently displayed on the packaging or user’s manual, so it’s not hard to miss!
Can A Build-In Electric Fireplace Be Plugged Into A Regular Outlet?
Build-in fireplaces generally need to be hard-wired into your electric circuit, not plugged into an outlet. They usually require 240 Volt to operate, but the standard American outlet only provides 120 Volt. This will be done by the company that installs your build-in fireplace.
Build-in electric fireplaces generally need to be directly connected to your home’s power circuit (this is called ‘hard-wired’). This, of course, means that there’s no need to plug it in anywhere. In addition, it also means that no visible wires or cords are lying around, which cleans up the look.
|Type of Electric Fireplace||Outlet Requirement|
|Electric Fireplace||Regular Outlet|
|Build-In Electric Fireplace||Hard-Wired|
|Electric Fireplace TV Stand||Regular Outlet|
|Electric Fireplace Insert||Regular Outlet|
|Electric Fireplace Heaters||Regular Outlet|
|Electric Fireplace Log Sets||Regular Outlet|
|Electric Fireplace Mantels||Regular Outlet|
Always be sure to double-check your outlet requirements in your instructions manual!
How Much Electricity Does An Electric Fireplace Use?
Electric fireplaces function on regular 120 Volt outlets and draw about 1500 Watts at 12,5 amp. Fireplaces that require to be hard-wired function on 240 Volt and draw about 2500 Watts. These numbers are based on averages.
Most electric fireplaces can be plugged into a wall outlet, which means they can operate on 120 Volt. This draws about 1500 Watts at 12,5 amps, so it does draw a considerable amount of power, but not at an unreasonable number. It’s actually in line with the standard room-heating devices.
You should also remember that an electric fireplace is basically a room-heating system, so if you turn on your electric fireplace, you don’t need your other room-heater to be turned on. So in a way, it kind of balances itself out.
Electric fireplaces that operate at 120 Volt give off about 5000 BTUs of heat, warming up about 400-500 square feet. Electric fireplaces that operate at 240 Volt give off a little more; 9000 BTUs of heat, which is enough to warm up about 800 square feet.
How Much Will An Electric Fireplace Raise Your Electricity Bill?
The average electricity costs for an electric fireplace are at $0,15 per hour (based on the current $0,12 per kilowatt in the US). If your electric fireplace is on for all 24 hours, it would cost $3,60 a day, which comes down to $1.314 per year (at the max).
Although electric fireplaces draw a considerable amount of power, it isn’t anything out of the ordinary. As mentioned above, every room-heating system requires a considerable amount of energy, and in most cases, an electric fireplace can be much more efficient at it.
In the United States, the average cost per kilowatt is about $0,12. Fireplaces draw a little more than a single kilowatt per hour, and they average out at $0,15 per hour. Compared to the average hourly cost of a traditional electric room heater, which comes in at $0,20 an hour, your fireplace is 25% cheaper!
We can take this data and create a nice table that shows the costs per day, week, month, and year! These numbers are based on the electric fireplace being on for all 24 hours of the day, so these are the absolute maximum costs!
With that in mind, it’s safe to say that it isn’t uncommon for the electricity bill to go down after installing an electric fireplace.