Can You Use an Electric Fireplace Outside?

Can You Use an Electric Fireplace Outside?

Introduction

As more people enjoy spending time outdoors at home, they often look for ways to make their outdoor areas comfortable all year round. One option is using an electric fireplace, which is known for being easy to use and safe inside the house.

But, can you use an electric fireplace outside, or are they just for indoor ambiance? 

In this guide, we'll look at whether electric fireplaces can be a good choice for heating outdoor spaces, focusing on their ability to handle different weather conditions and how they might enhance outdoor living areas.

Table of Contents

What is an Electric Fireplace?

Amantii 60" Symmetry Bespoke Built-In Electric Fireplace with Wifi and Sound

In Picture: Amantii 60" Symmetry Bespoke Built-In Electric Fireplace with Wifi and Sound

An electric fireplace is a modern appliance that simulates the experience of a traditional fireplace without the need for wood burning or gas. Here's a detailed look at how electric fireplaces work and their benefits:

How Electric Fireplaces Work

Electric fireplaces use advanced technology to create the illusion of real flames. Most models employ LED lighting and a combination of mirrors to reflect light in a pattern that mimics the flickering of a real fire. This technology is both effective and energy-efficient, providing a realistic flame effect without actual combustion.

Can You Use an Electric Fireplace Outside?

Amantii 88" Panorama Slim Indoor or Outdoor Electric Fireplace

In Picture: Amantii 88" Panorama Slim Indoor or Outdoor Electric Fireplace

Electric fireplaces suitable for outdoor use are specially rated to resist moisture and need to be installed in covered areas for protection. While they provide heat, it dissipates quickly in open spaces, making them ideal for enclosed areas like sunrooms.

For greater heating needs, alternative outdoor heaters may be more effective. It's vital to use only outdoor-rated fireplaces, as standard indoor models lack the necessary weatherproofing for outdoor environments.

How do I Know if my Electric Fireplace is Suitable for Outdoor Use?

Amantii 42" Symmetry 3.0 Extra Tall Built-in Smart WiFi Electric Fireplace

In Picture: Amantii 42" Symmetry 3.0 Extra Tall Built-in Smart WiFi Electric Fireplace

Weather Resistance

  • Protection from Moisture: Outdoor electric fireplaces must be designed to withstand moisture from rain, snow, and humidity. These fireplaces must be rated for outdoor use, indicating they have built-in features to resist water damage.

  • Temperature Extremes: These fireplaces should also handle temperature fluctuations that come with outdoor settings. Materials and components should be durable enough to cope with both hot and cold weather without degrading.

Electrical Safety

  • Wiring and Outlets: Special consideration needs to be given to how the fireplace is powered. For outdoor use, it's necessary to ensure that all electrical connections are secure and weatherproof. This includes using outdoor-rated power cords and ensuring outlets are equipped with ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) to prevent electrical hazards.

  • Installation Locations: Placing an electric fireplace outdoors requires careful selection of location to protect electrical components from direct exposure to the elements, and to ensure they are accessible for maintenance yet safe from water contact.

Models Suitable for Outdoor Use

Amantii Symmetry Bespoke Electric Fireplace

Amantii 50" Symmetry Bespoke Built-In Electric Fireplace with Wifi and Sound

In Picture: Amantii 50" Symmetry Bespoke Built-In Electric Fireplace with Wifi and Sound

Designed to offer versatility and elegance, with its multi-view options allowing the flame to be seen from up to three sides. This feature makes it particularly suitable for room dividers or central features in large spaces, providing a panoramic view of the beautiful flames. Engineered for both indoor and outdoor use, the Tru-View XL models come equipped with weather-resistant features, making them a durable choice for enhancing outdoor living areas.

Touchstone Sideline Outdoor Electric Fireplace

Touchstone Sideline 50" Outdoor Recessed/Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace (No Heat)

In Picture: Touchstone Sideline 50" Outdoor Recessed/Wall Mounted Electric Fireplace (No Heat)

Offers a sleek and contemporary look, suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations. These fireplaces are available in a range of sizes and can be built into walls or used as part of the decor in residential or commercial spaces. They also feature weather-resistant capabilities, ensuring durability against the elements. The Panorama series allows for customization with various media options and adjustable flame colors, catering to different aesthetic preferences and settings.

Benefits of Buying an Outdoor Electric Fireplace

Amantii Tru-View XL Deep 72" Built-In Three Sided Electric Fireplace

In Picture: Amantii Tru-View XL Deep 72" Built-In Three Sided Electric Fireplace

  • Outdoor Heating: Electric fireplaces offer an efficient and elegant heating solution that enhances the comfort of patios, backyards, and other outdoor areas. They serve both functional and aesthetic roles in any outdoor setting.

  • Design Appeal: Electric fireplaces leverage advanced visual technology to mimic the appearance of real firelogs, flames, and sparks, providing significant design appeal without the need to build an actual fire. This technology enhances outdoor spaces by offering the beauty of a traditional fireplace without associated risks like sparks, ashes, or smoke.

  • Increased Real Estate Value: Adding an electric fireplace can significantly boost your home’s market value. According to the National Association of Realtors, installing a fireplace can increase property value by as much as $12,000, making it a worthwhile investment in home improvement.

  • Fireplace Effect: An electric fireplace creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere, perfect for gatherings with friends and family. It delivers the charm and comfort of a traditional fireplace, enabling memorable outdoor gatherings at any time of the year.

  • Year-Round Use: Electric fireplaces are designed to operate independently of their heating element, allowing you to enjoy the ambiance of a fireplace without additional heat. This feature is ideal for year-round use, even on warmer days.

  • Safety Features: These fireplaces are safe for all guests, including children, as the glass front does not get hot. This contrasts with gas fireplaces, where the glass can become hot enough to cause burns.

  • Effective Heating: Capable of warming an area up to 400 square feet, electric fireplaces are effective for use during cooler days in the early spring or late autumn.

  • Easy Installation: Electric fireplaces are easy to install, requiring only an electrical outlet and no special clearances or gas lines. This makes them a flexible option that can be integrated into various outdoor designs effortlessly.

Choosing the Right Style and Size

Remii by Amantii 55" Extra Slim Series Built-in Electric Fireplace with Black Steel Surround

In Picture: Remii by Amantii 55" Extra Slim Series Built-in Electric Fireplace with Black Steel Surround

  • Modern: Look for sleek, contemporary designs with clean lines and minimalist features. Modern electric fireplaces often have glass fronts, and metallic finishes, and can include LED lighting with color-changing options.

  • Rustic: For a more traditional or rustic outdoor space, choose fireplaces designed with a wood-like finish or those that mimic stone. These can add a cozy, cabin-like feel to your setting.

  • Minimalist: If your décor leans towards minimalism, opt for an understated model that doesn’t draw too much attention but still provides the warmth and charm of a fire.

Selecting the Right Size

  • Large Spaces: For expansive patios or backyards, a larger, more prominent fireplace acts as a focal point and can heat a larger area.

  • Small Spaces: In smaller outdoor areas, a compact, free-standing, or wall-mounted model can add ambiance without overwhelming the space.

Integrating Into Outdoor Décor

  • Position the fireplace where it can be enjoyed from different vantage points.

  • Ensure it complements existing furniture and fits well within the layout without obstructing paths or views.

Additional Features

  • Adjustable Flame Colors and Effects: Many electric fireplaces offer options to change flame colors and effects, allowing you to customize the look to suit any occasion or mood.

  • Remote Control and Timers: Features like remote controls for adjusting temperature and timers for automatic shutoff can add convenience and efficiency.

Are Outdoor Electric Fireplaces Safe?

SimpliFire Forum 55" Outdoor Electric Fireplace

In Picture: SimpliFire Forum 55" Outdoor Electric Fireplace

Outdoor electric fireplaces are generally safe when installed and used correctly. Still, safety and maintenance are crucial for ensuring the longevity and safe operation of outdoor electric fireplaces.

When considering an outdoor electric fireplace, selecting products certified by relevant safety standards and ratings is highly advised. Hire a professional to install it if you feel unassured with installing it yourself. With these precautions, outdoor electric fireplaces can be a safe and enjoyable addition to your outdoor living space. Here are some key guidelines and tips:

Safety Tips

  • Installation Compliance: Ensure the fireplace is installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes. This includes proper electrical connections, usage of suitable materials, and ensuring adequate clearance around the fireplace to prevent overheating and potential fire hazards.

  • Weatherproofing: Since the fireplace is outdoors, ensure that every component is rated for outdoor use, which includes the electrical fixtures. Use covers to protect the fireplace from adverse weather when not in use.

  • Electrical Safety: It’s essential to have a dedicated electrical circuit for the fireplace to prevent overloading. Ensure that all outdoor outlets have a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) to reduce the risk of electric shock.

  • Child and Pet Safety: Keep an eye on children and pets when the fireplace is in use. Consider installing a physical barrier around the fireplace to prevent direct contact with the heating elements.

Maintenance Guidelines

  • Regular Cleaning: Keep the fireplace clean by regularly removing leaves, debris, and dust that may accumulate. This not only maintains the aesthetic appeal but also prevents potential fire hazards.

  • Inspection of Electrical Components: Periodically check all electrical connections and cords for signs of wear or damage. Look for frayed wires or loose connections and address these issues promptly to ensure safe operation.

  • Protective Covers: Use high-quality covers to shield your electric fireplace from rain, snow, and extreme temperatures, which can cause rust and deterioration of electrical components.

  • Ventilation: Ensure that the ventilation openings are clear of obstructions. Proper ventilation prevents overheating and helps maintain the efficiency of the fireplace.

  • Annual Check-ups: Even though electric fireplaces require less maintenance than their gas or wood-burning counterparts, it's wise to have a yearly check-up by a professional. This can help ensure everything is functioning correctly and safely.

Emergency Issues 

Electrical Issues

  • Disconnect Power: Immediately turn off and unplug the fireplace if you suspect any electrical problems. This is crucial to prevent further damage or safety risks.

  • Inspect Visually: Look for obvious signs of damage like frayed cords, loose connections, or burnt areas. Avoid touching any electrical components if you are not sure about their safety.

  • Consult a Professional: If the issue involves internal wiring or components that are not easily accessible, it's best to call a qualified electrician. Handling electrical repairs on your own can be dangerous if you are not experienced.

  • Test GFCI Outlets: Ensure that the GFCI outlets are functioning correctly, as they are designed to prevent electrical shock by breaking the circuit when they detect a ground fault. Press the test button and reset to make sure they are active.

Weather Damage

  • Assess the Extent of Damage: After a severe weather event, check your electric fireplace for any physical damage. Look for water ingress, corrosion, or structural damage.

  • Dry and Clean: If the fireplace has been exposed to water, thoroughly dry and clean all accessible parts to prevent rust and corrosion. Use a soft cloth to wipe and clean the surface to avoid moisture.

  • Check for Functional Issues: Turn on the fireplace to see if it operates as expected. Listen for unusual noises or look for erratic functioning of the flame effects or heating elements.

  • Professional Inspection: If you find significant damage or the fireplace doesn’t function properly, it’s wise to have it inspected by a professional. They can assess whether repairs or replacements are needed and ensure that the unit is safe to use.

General Maintenance Post-Damage

  • Routine Checks: After addressing immediate damage, continue to monitor your fireplace closely for any signs of delayed issues stemming from the initial incident.

  • Protective Measures: To avoid future weather damage, consider additional protective measures such as installing a more protective cover, or improving the sheltering of the unit to shield it from direct exposure.

Conclusion

So in conclusion: yes, you can use an electric fireplace outside, provided it is specifically designed for outdoor use. Outdoor-rated electric fireplaces are built to withstand various weather conditions, including moisture and temperature fluctuations. This ensures they can operate safely and effectively in outdoor environments.

When installing an outdoor electric fireplace, it's important to place it in a covered area to further protect it from the elements. Additionally, ensuring that all electrical connections are weatherproofed is crucial. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy both the aesthetic appeal and, in some cases, the heating benefits of an electric fireplace in your outdoor living space, enhancing the ambiance and comfort of your patio or porch.

Where Do I Buy?

Ready to elevate your outdoor living space with the warmth and elegance of an electric fireplace?

Visit US Fireplace Store today to explore a wide selection of outdoor-rated electric fireplaces designed to enhance any patio or garden. Whether you're looking for a modern, rustic, or minimalist design, find the perfect fit for your home and enjoy a cozy outdoor setting all year round.

 Shop now at US Fireplace Store and transform your outdoor area into a delightful retreat.

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