Electric Fireplace: How To?

How to Start an Electric Fireplace?


Starting an electric fireplace is done one of three ways. All are super simple! The fireplace can be operated by a touch panel or switch, usually located on the top or side of the unit. One tab will turn it on/off and other buttons will turn the heat on/off and adjust the liveliness of the flames.

Another way to start your electric fireplace is with a remote control. Make sure there’s fresh batteries in the remote and the power to the fireplace is on. Most fireplaces will require the main power switch be in a certain position when using a remote.

The remote will control: the unit being turned on/off, the heater being turn on/off and high/low, the temperature function and can adjust the lighting effects on the equipment.

Remotes usually use a line of site to operate, so it’s important to make sure you point the remote to the center of the fireplace each time you press the button. You’ll hear a beep and there may be a slight delay for the receiver to respond to the transmitter.

The third way to start your electric fireplace is with a wall thermostat. This operates the same way the thermostat for your furnace works. Wiring is run from the back of the fireplace to the thermostat in the wall. Simply set the desired temperature and when the thermostat starts calling for heat, the fireplace cycles on. When the thermostat is satisfied, it turns the heat off.

Of these three ways to start an electric fireplace, the remote control option is certainly the most popular.

3D rendering of cozy living room on cold winter night in the mountains, evening interior of chalet decorated with candles, fireplace fills the room with warmth.

Electric Fireplace by Ambiance


Anytime and/or all the time is the answer to this question! That’s because leaving the flame and lighting effects on for several hours a day, costs just pennies! Much has been said about the spectacular effects of today’s electric fireplaces, so why not enjoy them every day? The colors, media options and the inexpensive costs to enjoy the light show are reasons enough to keep your fireplace on all the time!

If you’re looking for ambiance and atmosphere, the fireplace can be on day and night. Use the heating feature on the fireplace only when you’re looking for supplemental heat for a brief period of time. Continuous electric heating can be quite expensive.


Leaving an electric fireplace on all the time is not going to cause any damage to the equipment. However, with the heating element on, the damage is going to be felt in the balance of your checking account! Unless your home is specifically designed for electric heat, heating with electricity is an expensive way to go. If you’re looking for heat from your electric fireplace, it’s best to think of it as supplemental heat, not your main heat source.

Some folks use electric fireplaces as subdued, night lighting that’s left on overnight for the kids or elderly. Others use the fire and ice effects as a subliminal cooling effect in the summertime! Many consider an electric fireplace as “moving wall art”! We’re guessing that anyone who operates the remote will have their favorite colors and effects! The flames and light show on your electric fireplace cost pennies a day. So, keep it turned on and enjoy it!


Electric fireplace equipment does not need a lot of regular routine maintenance. Keeping the batteries fresh in the remote probably tops the list. Most require AAA’s.

Cleaning the kids’ fingerprints from the glass can be done with a common household glass cleaner using a non-abrasive cloth. Let the glass thoroughly cool before cleaning.

And, if you have dogs or cats in the house, make sure the fireplace is kept free of pet hair and dust bunnies. Use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to gently remove any dirt, dust, lint or other debris from the vent openings and control areas of the fireplace.

The Best Electric Fireplace Decor Ideas for 2023

Going into 2023, you might be considering new ways to elevate your decor in a unique and contemporary way, or maybe you’re simply looking for a new home project to lose yourself in. One thing is certain, we here at WE LOVE FIRE® love everything that has to do with helping you make your home become an environment that makes you feel relaxed and inspired. And what is more relaxing or inspiring than an electric fireplace? When it comes to adding elegance to any room in the house, we don’t think anything can beat this modern insert.

With this helpful guide, we’ll give you the best electric fireplace ideas to create a decor you will never want to take your eyes off.

According to Wayne Visbeen & Napoleon, a Hot Spot is a place in your home where relaxation, socialization, and functionality come together to create emotional attachments, shape attitudes, and with the right amenities, increase the appeal of your home. Here at WE LOVE FIRE®, we believe that with the electric fireplace, you too can achieve a Hot Spot that will help your family to connect on a deeper level in your home.

In fact, electric fireplaces are the chameleon of interior home decor. That is to say that there are many different models and styles that can fit seamlessly into any room of the house. Depending on where you decide to have it installed, an electric fireplace brings a distinctive ambiance. On one hand, a fireplace is known to look riveting in its natural habitat; the living room. The immediate feeling of warmth and cheer makes it a central element for family gatherings or simply for unwinding after a too-long day of work.

On the other hand, some electric fireplaces are riveting works of modern art, rea

dy to completely turn the vibe of your home into one that can only be found at the most sumptuous art galleries. In the bathroom, for example, a large clawfoot tub can be set before your electric fireplace for a soothing atmosphere. Or, in the dining room, set your electric fireplace to the no-heat mode and let only the appearance of flames release a sizzling and energetic mood that will keep the conversation flowing throughout the evening.

While electric fireplaces lack the crackle and pop of firewood and the smell of burning logs, they have the benefit of being able to revitalize any space and with the appropriate supporting style, you can still enliven your every sense. As surrounding decor, a thick, lush rug and a set of fragrant candles can be placed in the vicinity of your electric fireplace in almost any room.

For example, in the master bedroom, install an electric fireplace on the bed headboard to add a romantic flair. On the other hand, an electric fireplace in your teenager’s bedroom will give it a dramatic look to fit their current style.

Take your basement bar and game room to another level with an electric fireplace and capture the warmth and feeling of your favorite pub.

The Best Electric Fireplace Decor Ideas for 2023 – Electric Fireplace Stylus Cara by Napoleon
Electric Fireplace Stylus Cara by Napoleon
Fret not, for electric fireplaces stay cool to the touch, as they have top-of-the-line heating fan outlets that prevent the surrounding areas from getting any heat, making them a safe option for your family home. This means that you do not have to worry about the little one’s fascination with fire and can place a large-screen TV right over the display of fire and enjoy the combination of warmth and entertainment at your fingertips.

Some models of electric fireplaces are even built into a TV stand for the addition of functionality and storage to its natural splendor. As a bonus, most models of electric fireplaces have LED light options to set the flame display to the color combination best suited to your mood. While electric fireplace

s do not produce real flames, they give the impression of reality. Use it to set the tone of the film you’re about to watch or to impress your party guests when you’re hosting a lavish dinner.

The heating fan outlet also means that the decor you choose to place around the fireplace will never be damaged by heat exposure or pollutants. Consider placing a wooden mantel over your fireplace for a rustic touch to your space. It has the additional purpose of being an eye-catcher when properly decorated, giving a natural flow to the room it is in.

You can easily find items around your home to add to your mantel for a more personalized look, or even go on a walk to collect nature’s bounty and bring the outside i

nto your environment. You can also take a trip to your local thrift or antique store for unique and eco-friendly treasures to liven up your space.

Looking for some more mantel inspiration? For a complete handbook on how to decorate your dream fireplace mantel, head to We Love Fire’s Decorating Your Mantel – The Complete 2022 Guide.

For more interior design inspiration or to know more about the captivating architect Wayne Visbeen, explore the vast world of WE LOVE FIRE®, your destination for everything that ignites the soul.

Buying Advice For Gas Fireplaces Part 2

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the differences between a zero clearance (ZC) gas fireplace, a fireplace insert and a gas log set. In this article, we’ll focus on specific questions regarding ZC gas fireplaces and practical tips along with solid suggestions when shopping for one.

Both the National Association of Realtors and the National Association of Real Estate Appraisers say that the addition of a quality gas fireplace in a home can increase the price of the home by several thousands of dollars. This number will vary regionally of course, but these opinions are really nothing new. Findings indicate that a gas fireplace is very desirable amenity that is practical and functional. Many people realize that a gas fireplace creates the ambiance and feel of a cozy, warm and safe place.

When it comes to resale value, studies have shown that half of the people buying a home are willing to pay more, if the home has at least one fireplace!

The fact of the matter is: there really isn’t a “best”! Yes, there are some significant differences between one manufacturer and another. But there are lots of solid fireplace companies out there that make some very impressive equipment. Many say that they have the best flame pattern or log design or the coolest options. But as the old saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. So, look on-line and visit a couple of hearth specialty stores and you will soon get a sense of what appeals to your style. Make sure you see the equipment burning because there are still lots of mediocre looking units on the market, too.

Your WE LOVE FIRE® dealer has strong opinions about the brands they carry and why they feel that the way they do. They will be glad to show you the gas fireplaces they feel are the “best”!

Your WE LOVE FIRE® expert feels very strong about the Ambiance® line of gas fireplaces. Ambiance has committed to considerable research and development into their gas fireplace designs. Before starting a fireplace project, nearly 300 fireplace experts and retailers throughout the USA and Canada are asked to contribute their thoughts and ideas. These fireplace pros enthusiastically contribute their comments about design features they know their customers want in a fireplace. Ambiance has successfully incorporated the insight from these industry experts into all the fireplace designs. So, when you purchase an Ambiance gas fireplace, you’ll be getting:

– Innovative burner design that gives an extremely realistic bed of glowing embers and stunning flames.
Logs are carved and painted by hand and look entirely natural and well balanced within the fire box.
Creative fire management technology that means you choose between an “intermittent pilot light” or a “standing pilot light” on your fireplace.
– An easy to use, cleverly designed remote gives you complete control of all the functions on the fireplace. This includes the on/off task, fan speed, heat output, adjusting lighting effects and maintaining consistent room temperatures.
– Realistic accent lighting that adds a warm and original glow to your fireplace.
– BURNING QUESTIONS_ _ Gas Fireplace _ Buying Advice Part 2 – Gas Fireplace Illusion Ambiance
– Gas Fireplace Illusion by Ambiance

At your WE LOVE FIRE® dealership, of course! And consider these important points regarding why the purchase should be from them: When you buy something, especially bigger ticket items, do you buy only on price? It’s very unlikely that you do. With enough time and if you keep looking long enough, you can always find the same product, less expensive, someplace else.

Odds are very high that you buy a product where; 1) you are listened to, 2) your wants and needs are understood, and 3) where product expertise, service and a safe track record are evident. All this translates to a good rapport and solid relationship with the sales person. Do you trust the company you are doing business with? Do you get that feeling that they have your best interest in mind?

We’re certainly not downplaying the importance of price. But if that trust and rapport have been established, you will have the confidence in the company you’re doing business with, to treat you fairly and with respect. You can trust that your WE LOVE FIRE® dealers pricing is a fair value for the goods and services you’re purchasing from them.

Like most things, there is a wide range of prices for a zero clearance, gas fireplace. Small basic models will start around $3000.00. While larger, fancier models can approach $7000.00. Additionally, the installation and finishing costs will need to be added. You can figure on spending anywhere from a few hundred to several thousands of dollars for this part of the fireplace project, depending on the complexity of the final look you’re after.

Remember that your WE LOVE FIRE® dealer is happy to provide detailed pricing and specific costs on any fireplace project you may have in mind.

A gas fireplace does not need to be replaced on a regular basis. But this question often comes up when equipment starts aging out at 20 years or more. Perhaps a customer sees how impressive the newer styles and technology is and simply wants to update.

Replacing an old gas fireplace with an upgraded model is often done as part of a remodeling or home improvement project. A replacement project of this scope is one that your WE LOVE FIRE® dealer will want to evaluate.

The short answer to this is: No! Cooking is not an option on a direct vented gas fireplace. The sealed combustion process means the glass must be in place for the equipment to operate safely. Always operate a gas fireplace with the gasketed glass in its correct position.

One fuel is not better or worse than the other. Our suggestion is to first decide which fuel fits your lifestyle best and which fuel you would prefer to use.

If you have a nearby source for wood and have the equipment and time to cut, split, haul, stack and dry wood, lots of money can be saved by heating with wood. Wood requires regular and routine maintenance.

If you’re not the type who wants to get your hands dirty and are looking for heat, a gas fireplace will be a much better decision than wood. The size of gas fireplaces and their heat output, varies considerably from model to model.

If just a little supplemental heat is needed in a room and/or you want to use a fireplace year-round, an electric unit might be your best bet.

Two other very important considerations are the location of the fireplace in your home and the venting (for gas) or chimney (for wood) requirements for the appliance.

Gas fireplaces are extremely versatile and can be installed nearly anywhere in the house. Living rooms and family rooms are the most common, but consider a gas fireplace in the dining room, bedroom, office, kitchen or an outdoor model on the deck or patio. The physical sizes and shapes of fireplaces vary tremendously, so use your imagination and ask yourself where you would enjoy a bit more heat and a whole lot more ambiance!

Remember that venting a gas fireplace is required. Most units can be venting directly out a sidewall, so if you’re planning to install the fireplace on an exterior wall, you should be in good shape. Vertical installations through the roof are also a popular option.

Buying Advice For Gas Fireplaces, Gas Inserts & Gas Logs

This is the first in a series of articles that will provide sound advice if you are planning a building or remodeling project and have plans to include a gas hearth product. To begin with, it’s important to know and understand the differences between a gas fireplace, a gas fireplace insert and a gas log set. These are three distinct products, for three distinct types of applications. These articles will explain the differences in each of these products and important points to consider before making a purchase. But first, let’s start with a thorough definition of each.


A gas fireplace consists of a steel firebox that contains a burner. This burner could be a ceramic or stainless steel tube that has many ports or holes in it to allow the flames to be seen. The burner is designed to accommodate a specific set of logs or other media, such as colored glass beads or stones.

Gas fireplaces are built into a framed 2×4 or 2×6 stud wall. The firebox, described above, is surrounded by an insulated housing or shell that protects the stud wall from excessive heat. The term “zero clearance” (ZC) means the fireplace, thanks to the insulated shell, can actually be in contact with combustible framing members and will prevent the wall from getting too hot. See the sketch and note how a typical ZC fireplace can be easily built into a wall in your home.

Gas fireplaces have a large piece of sealed, ceramic glass that enables a splendid view of the fire. These fireplaces are “direct vented”. That means the combustion process is sealed and air for the fire comes from the outside, via a special co-axial pipe. Room air is not used for combustion, but rather is heated as it circulates around the hot, steel firebox. Then the warm air is returned to the room with the assistance of a small, variable speed fan.

There are dozens of techniques to provide that personalized, finished look around a zero clearance gas fireplace. Cultured stone, brick, steel, ceramic tile, granite and marble are all popular and common options. A gas fireplace is typically controlled with a remote or activated with an on/off wall switch.

Gas Fireplace Intrigue Ambiance


A gas fireplace insert is designed to be slid into (or inserted) into an existing wood burning fireplace. A gas insert will convert your old wood burning fireplace into an efficient and reliable form of heat and enjoyment for your family. Commonly called just an “insert”, these units also consist of a steel firebox that contains a burner. The burner can be a ceramic material or a stainless steel tube. Either will allow the gas flames to be enjoyed with logs, colored glass beads or stones.

An electric and gas supply line will need to be installed into the existing wood burning fireplace. Two flexible aluminum pipes are installed up the chimney. One brings combustion air into the firebox, the other vents combustion by-products, out.

Inserts are never to be built into a framed wall. An insert does not have any type of insulated housing around the firebox.


The ceramic glass on an insert is sealed. Gas inserts are also “direct vented”. Outside combustion air is funneled to the firebox with a flexible aluminum pipe installed through the chimney. Like its ZC gas fireplace cousin, air from the room is heated as it circulates around the steel firebox. Then, this warm air is returned to the room with the aid of a small quiet fan.

The finished look of an insert includes surround panels that are used to cover up the rest of the wood fireplaces’ opening. Older, outdated fireplaces are often updated with a new mantel and/or cultured stone or brick.

Gas Insert Ambiance


Gas logs are used to update an existing wood burning fireplace. They are normally purchased for decorative reasons, rather than for heating purposes.

Basically, a gas log set is several attractive logs, designed with a burner, on a grate. Gas logs will modernize an old wood burning fireplace, but will not provide the efficiencies or heat output that many people want. Gas logs do not come in a steel firebox. They are simply installed into an existing wood burning fireplace.

The amount of natural gas or LP a log set uses is often 2½ or 3 times more than the fuel consumption of a gas insert. A gas supply line will need to be installed into the fireplace. No electrical connection is necessary, as gas logs do not have fans to circulate warm air.

Gas logs use room air for combustion.

The damper on the chimney needs to be fully open when burning a vented gas log set. Unvented gas logs do not need the damper open. However, unvented gas logs are not permitted in some areas, so be sure to check with your WE LOVE FIRE® expert regarding specific code requirements in your locale.

The chart below will summarize the differences between a zero clearance gas fireplace, a fireplace insert and a gas log set. And now hopefully, you have a better understanding of what product will work best for you!


Is built into a framed wall: Yes No No
Must be installed into an existing fireplace: No Yes Yes
Operated with a remote control: Yes Yes Yes
Vertically or horizontally venting options: Yes No No
Vented through an existing chimney w/flex pipe: No Yes Yes
Steel firebox with integrated burner: Yes Yes Yes
Available in natural and LP gas: Yes Yes Yes
Quiet, variable speed fan: Yes Yes No
Typical amount of gas used per hour: 20-40,000 BTU’s 15-35,000 BTU’s 60-80,000 BTU’s
Easy and convenient to operate: Yes Yes Yes
Several sizes, styles and options available: Yes Yes Yes
Rated for energy efficient: Yes Yes No


Future articles will discuss more details of these three categories of hearth products.