The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters For Small Homes

Discover the benefits of electric fireplaces with heaters as an affordable and beautiful way to upgrade any corner. We share the top designs for small spaces.

The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters For Small Homes

Our family decided to install a faux fireplace in our home a decade ago, and it remains one of our best investments.

It is also the space in our home that is most remarked upon because of its unusual location. 

This fireplace is nestled in our subbasement, adding warmth to our chilly basement and a cozy corner to read a good book. 

The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters For Small Homes

Remarkably, after a decade of use, the only maintenance required has been replacing the fireplace bulbs after daily use, which is cheerfully glowing in our home office. I can even attest to my pom-pom garland still going strong!

Today, I wanted to share why an electric fireplace heater can be a wise investment and what I wish I had known before installing one in our house. 

What is an Electric Fireplace?

An electric fireplace is a heating appliance that simulates the appearance and ambiance of a traditional wood-burning or gas fireplace without needing a chimney or venting system. 

Instead of burning wood or gas, electric fireplaces use electricity to power LED lights and heating elements that create the illusion of flames and emit heat.

Electric fireplaces typically consist of a mantel, firebox, and heating unit.

But as we show below, they can come in surprisingly fun designs and add additional storage to your home.

How Does an Electric Fireplace Work?

Some units are freestanding and can be placed anywhere in a room, while others are designed to be wall-mounted or inserted into existing fireplaces for a more seamless look.

Electric fireplaces use electricity to power LED lights and heating elements that simulate flames and generate heat.

Some models, like ours, allow you to adjust the flame intensity and heat output for customized comfort.

The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters For Small Homes

Do Electric Fireplaces With Heaters Really Warm a Room?

The amount of heat electric fireplaces produce can vary depending on the model and specifications.

Generally, electric fireplaces are designed to provide supplemental heat to a room rather than serve as the primary heating source.

That said, this pumps out a SURPRISING amount of heat.

On average, electric fireplaces can produce anywhere from 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) of heat per hour.

However, it’s essential to note that the heat output can be adjustable on many models, allowing users to customize the level of warmth according to their preferences.

Additionally, some electric fireplaces come with built-in thermostats and timers, allowing for precise temperature control and automated operation.

Our unit has a dial to adjust warmth to our desired temperature. It is even possible to blow cool air when dialed down while viewing the unit’s faux flames.

This unit also offered the option just to have the electric flame on so we could create a cozy room without the heat. 

While electric fireplaces may generate less heat than traditional wood-burning or gas fireplaces, they offer several advantages, including energy efficiency, safety, and convenience. 

Electric fireplaces are an excellent option for adding cozy warmth and ambiance to any space without venting or the hassle of maintaining a traditional fireplace.

The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters For Small Homes

When deciding where to put an electric fireplace with heater, there are several factors to consider:

Room Size and Layout: 

Evaluate the size and layout of the room where you plan to install the fireplace. Choose a location where the fireplace can serve as a focal point and complement the overall design and flow of the space. 

Consider the heating capacity of the electric fireplace and how it will meet the heating needs of the room.

Place the fireplace in a central location to distribute heat evenly throughout the space.

Electrical Accessibility: 

Make sure that the chosen location has access to electrical outlets to power the fireplace.

Consider consulting with an electrician to ensure an older home can handle the power required to run an electric fireplace. 

In our older home, for example, it can switch off if a vacuum is also running on that same breaker. We weren’t aware of it when adding this to our home. 

Aesthetic Appeal of Electric Fireplaces With Heaters

Choose a location for the electric fireplace that enhances the room’s visual appeal and complements your existing decor and furnishings.

Consider placing the fireplace in a prominent spot where it can be enjoyed from multiple vantage points.

The only downside to this design is that it isn’t the real deal with crackling wood and cozy embers, but it’s a beautiful artificial substitute, especially for small spaces that need a little coziness.

The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters For Small Homes

This is how our laminate fireplace looked after assembling.

While I loved the cozy vibes of this piece, I knew the fireplace could look even better with a fresh coat of paint to brighten it up and hide its laminate wood construction.

You can read my How to Paint Laminate Furniture guide that can instantly elevates any of these fireplace options, including MINE!  

Since I wrote this tutorial, we have had this electric fireplace for a decade now, and the bulbs are the only thing we have had to replace.

To enhance this space, we added a Kamika Perry painting– an incredible local talent from South Bend, Indiana.

I can attest- this is one of our most loved spaces in our home after all these years. If you would like to explore an option like this for your home, I’ve got some great ideas!

The Best Electric Fireplaces With Heaters For Small Homes

This list offers the best types of electric fireplace options to research for your small space.

As suppliers change and move quickly in the furniture market, these selections will put you on a landing page for each style option.

Remember, you can customize any design with paint, so let your imagination go wild!

Here are a few answers to commonly asked questions about electric fireplaces with heaters:

What is the difference between Electric Fireplace vs. Space Heater?

The main difference between an electric fireplace and a space heater is their design and purpose. 

An electric fireplace is designed to mimic the appearance of a traditional fireplace, complete with a flame effect, and often includes mantels or decorative features.

While they both provide supplemental heat, this option offers a focal point for your room. 

On the other hand, a space heater is designed solely for heating purposes, usually featuring a compact and portable design.

Space heaters are portable warmth often used to heat specific areas or rooms. 

While both can help keep you warm, choosing between an electric fireplace and a space heater depends on what your room needs.

Stamped Concrete Fire Pit
Stamped Concrete Fire Pit

Can I Use an Electric Fireplace Outdoors? 

Electric fireplaces are typically designed for indoor use and may not be suitable for outdoor installation. Your best option for outdoors is an outdoor fire pit or table or propane heater.

At our house, we had a stamped concrete fire pit installed.

Between that and renovating a shed, we have created a permanently cozy spot outdoors.

Exposure to the elements, such as rain, snow, and extreme temperatures, can damage an electric fireplace’s electrical components and materials, leading to safety hazards and reduced lifespan.

How Do You Clean an Electric Fireplace?

To clean an electric fireplace, turn off the unit and cool completely.

Remove any dust or debris from the exterior using a soft brush or microfiber cloth.

For the interior, gently vacuum or brush away any loose debris, being careful not to damage the heating elements or wiring.

If applicable, use a damp cloth to wipe down the interior surfaces, including the glass front and logs or crystals. 

As most units are enclosed, we have only had to do this once. 

Finally, carefully reassemble the unit and plug it back in, ensuring all connections are secure. Regular cleaning will help maintain the appearance and efficiency of your electric fireplace for years to come.

I hope this idea can create a joyful and cozy reading corner for your home!

If you are looking for more ideas, don’t miss our incredible guide- The Best Tools for Cozy Reading With Chronic Pain that offer ideas for making this space as supportive to your body as possible.

TELL ME: If you have any experience with an electric fireplace, let us know! Would you consider this a heating option for your home?

Published February 20, 2024 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

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