How Do Electric Fires Work?

Electric fires are the no-brainers of the heating world. No loading, no sweeping, more or less no maintenance, and no wasted fuel costs because the moment you switch off the heat, you’re no longer burning fuel, and therefore not paying for it. No chimney required, and probably no installation costs, especially if you don’t need the plug and power lead embedded in the wall. So how does it work? Magic? No. Actually, electric fires work in a few different ways. 

The humble fan heater can be a godsend when you’re looking for a quick no-nonsense burst of heat on a chilly winter evening. Fan heaters are the most popular types of electric fire, and they work like this: You have a metal coil which heats up naturally as it conducts electricity, which of course heats the air around it. A fan then distributes the warm air more widely and so the air in your room begins to become warmer. You have settings that control the fan speeds and the electricity that’s being passed through the coil. 

Fan heaters are safe, as long as you don’t block the vents or put objects too close to the heat where they could melt or catch on fire. Of course, every heating solution needs a reasonable amount of attention paid to safety concerns, especially when you have animals, children or other vulnerable people in the nearby area but with all the right precautions you can’t go far wrong with a fan heater.

Now to transport you into the space age world of infrared fires, which use completely different science to warm your home. Not really space age of course, but these contemporary heaters use light rays to warm objects, a bit like the sun does, but on a slightly smaller scale! You don't get the radiation issues we often associate with natural sunlight either. These infrared rays travel in straight lines, so you’ll feel the warmth if you’re in line with the fire, and if you’re not, then you won’t. 

Electric fires can have realistic flames too. Often this means graphics like you find on a computer screensaver. You might even get the authentic audio effect of crackling and roaring like a real fire. With these kinds of fires, you can choose to turn off the actual heat and make do with the visuals and sound effects as a backdrop, saving money while keeping the ambience. In other models, you have features designed to play with light and water mist to create mock flames and even smoke that looks very much like the real thing.

If you don’t yet have an electric fire in your home, remember these models are portable, versatile, easy to maintain and useful for emergencies. Give your garden house a cosy feel, bring some life to your spare room, or send your teenager off to university with a small one in the back of the car that they can set up straight away, and even bring home at Christmas. 

Have a look at our range of electric fires for inspiration and give us a call if we can help you make the right choice.

Back to news