Does An Electric Fireplace Need A Chimney?

An electric fireplace resembles a fireplace in appearance, but it is less expensive, easier to install, and has a lower environmental impact. As a heater, an electric fireplace uses a fan to push heat out and warm your home, but it is best used as a secondary heating source. But do you need a ventilation structure for an electric fireplace? We have researched the topic and found answers for you!

No, an electric fireplace doesn’t need a chimney as it doesn’t release any smoke or harmful gases, and it doesn’t have real flames. With no harmful gases/fuel or any smoke, you do not need to vent an electric fireplace.

It may sound straightforward, but there is more to learn about electric fireplaces. Keep reading as we delve into the benefits and the best practices when using an electric fireplace.

Electric fireplace in room - Does An Electric Fireplace Need A Chimney

Benefits Of An Electric Fireplace

As we hinted earlier, an electric fireplace doesn’t have real flames, smoke, or any harmful gases, thus making it eco-friendly. It doesn’t pollute the air inside of your house as it’s not actually burning. It's good for homeowners who have asthma or a smoke allergy.

It leaves no mess, unlike the traditional wood-burning fireplace. When using an electric fireplace it only requires low maintenance, occasional cleaning, and dusting the firebox, which means it allows you to save a lot of time. The electric fireplace is also efficient and costs just pennies a day.

An electric fireplace may sound like it is more expensive than a traditional fireplace, but surprisingly an electric fireplace is a more affordable choice for enjoying the comforts of a fireplace in your house. The installation costs less money because having a chimney or even a ventilated area is not necessary. You only have to spend 0.3 to 3 cents per hour without heat, and if you’re using it, heating it only costs 16 cents per hour.

An electric fireplace is also portable, you can change its location as you may need some change, and place it anywhere in your house. If you’re living in a condo or small apartment, an electric fireplace is the best choice to keep your indoors warm and comfortable, especially in cold weather.

Different Types Of Fireplaces

These are the most common and popular types of electric fireplaces:

Electric fireplace mantels

These types of fireplaces are made of wood or sometimes metal. You can even find some that are made of solid stone or marble. However, it is usually built from wood and comes pre-installed within fireplace mantels. This is a vent-free box with a realistic flame. It can also enhance the look of your fireplace.

White wooden decorative electric fireplace with a beautiful burning flame. Interior photo on gray background.

Built-In electric fireplace

This type of fireplace is built inside the wall. Compared to other types of electric fireplaces, built-in is designed to be a permanent solution in your home. This electric fireplace may feature cabinets and shelves, serving as living room storage. It also hides a mess to improve the look of your room. It is good for small spaces like condos, apartments, and new construction. Like the fireplace mantels, most of the built-in fireplaces have a remote control.

Coniferous trees with fairy lights placed near wall with electric fireplace on Christmas day at home

Wall mount electric fireplaces

This type can be installed by hanging or installing on the wall of your home, and it doesn’t need a ventilated area. It does require a professional installation to make sure that it is working properly and that the heater is installed according to building codes. Most of these units also feature a small heater and variable flame intensities with remote control.

Electric fireplace inserts

This is the quickest way to add a fireplace to any room. It is a self-contained unit that is similar to a stove. You can place it inside an existing fireplace structure if you already have an electrical outlet inside your fireplace. Basic carpentry knowledge is needed if you want to place it inside your existing fireplace yourself or you can ask a professional to do it.

Electric fireplace in room

Stand-Alone Fireplaces

This is a freestanding fireplace so it doesn’t have to be built in a house unlike the other types of fireplaces. This fireplace might attract some homeowners who do not have the budget to set a fireplace in their home as you won't spend more money, and it doesn’t require a big project.

Modern scandinavian living room with green sofa and a modern freestanding contemporary fireplace

What Are The Things To Consider When Buying An Electric Fireplace?

If you're planning to buy an electric fireplace, you should check what kind of electric fireplace you need. Here are some things to consider when buying one:

  • Always consider the price or the budget that you have. If you think you can go for a more expensive type, buy an electric fireplace. If you only have the exact budget, then you can go for the cheaper one. 
  • Also, know how warm you want your room to be by checking the heating options of an electric fireplace. You need to make sure that it can make your room warm enough.

What type of electric fireplace do you think would suit your room?

If you’re a minimalist and want your room to look aesthetic, you can go for a wall-mounted electric fireplace.

Have a look at this wall-mounted fireplace on Amazon.

If you want to a more classic look, made of wood, stone, or a combination of the two, you can get the mantel fireplace which also resembles the traditional wood-burning. Also, some mantel fireplaces come with shelf storage.


Have a look at this mantel fireplace with storage on Amazon.

Stove fireplaces have an antique look best suited for houses that look rustic and have farmhouse decor. These metal models often emit more heat than other fireplaces.

Have a look at this stove stand fireplace on Amazon.

A freestanding fireplace is also one of the top choices. If you want a portable fireplace that you can move anywhere in your house, a freestanding fireplace is a good-to-go fireplace.

Have a look at this freestanding fireplace on Amazon.

 Lastly, if you’re going for a vintage look, a recessed fireplace/insert is the best option for you. It fits into a wall cavity, where the surface of a fireplace insert is flush with the wall.

Have a look at this recessed fireplace on Amazon.

Many models come with a remote control that is very convenient and controls the fireplace function. Check the unit that comes with remote control and the features that can be controlled using the remote.

When buying an electric fireplace, always check the manufacturer’s warranty. It is usually a 1 to 2 years warranty but longer warranties are of course better. It also shows that the manufacturer believes that their product will last.

Is Modern Electric Fireplace Better Than Traditional Fireplace?

Interior of stylish living room with fireplace

A traditional fireplace needs wood, which means it’s relying on natural resources. Since it will burn wood, it’s necessary to have a chimney or a ventilated area to release smoke. Using a traditional fireplace in your home may not be safe for your children or pets, as they may touch it and get burned. It also needs high maintenance to continue working efficiently.

An electric fireplace is more convenient to use as it has a lot of benefits. It only adds some pennies to your electricity bill, but overall a modern fireplace is the best choice to use.

Where To Place An Electric Fireplace?

You can install it inside your house where you have a power outlet and where you can view it from critical spots all over the room, or you can install it on a wall central to your living room. You can also place it under the TV, but do not place it above the outlet as the discharge vents might blow the heat directly to the outlet itself.

Is An Electric Fireplace Safe?

There are several safety concerns. You might ask: Is an electric fireplace prone to fire? Is it safe for children? Are there toxic fumes?

An electric fireplace is very safe to use. You don’t need to be worried about your children or other members of your household getting burned, because it doesn’t make real fire. Additionally, there are no toxic fumes.

How To Replace An Electric Fireplace Insert?

There are certain steps on how to replace/install an electric fireplace. If you think you can replace or remove the electric fireplace yourself, you can check the guidelines of your unit or call the manufacturer and ask about recommended replacement inserts that are available. You check or verify the measurements of the old electric fireplace and compare them to the new unit. If the measurements are right or you have calculated them correctly, the installation should be completed fast.

In Closing

We hope that we've answered all your questions. As we've discussed earlier, having an electric fireplace also helps the environment, as it does not need a chimney. Always consider the advantages and best practices if you will be needing a fireplace in the future.

For more information about electric fireplaces, you can check out these related articles:

How To Heat A Basement Bedroom?

How Much Space Do You Need Between Electric Fireplace And TV?

Can You Add A Blower To An Existing Fireplace?

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