Electric Fireplace Troubleshooting: (Common Causes & Fixes)

Electric fireplaces are excellent for keeping your room warm in the winter. If it’s not working, you’ll want to take care of it right away. You wouldn’t want to be in the coldest months of the year without reliable heat! First, you’ll need to try some electric fireplace troubleshooting.

How Do Electric Fireplaces Work Exactly?

Electric fireplaces are a great alternative to traditional space heaters. They serve a similar purpose but are much nicer to look at. These fireplaces heat your rooms without the need for real wood.

They can also look very realistic, making your home feel much more comfortable. There is an abundance of fireplace brands on the market with some models use a heating coil to spread hot air through a fan. Others can use infrared technology to send hot rays into your home.

Gain a better understanding of how electric fireplaces work in this guide.

Electric Fireplace Common Problems & Fixes (Troubleshooting Guide)

Electric Fireplace Won’t Turn On or Light Up

Electric Plug and a Wall Socket

Your electric fireplace won’t turn on? First, make sure that the fireplace is properly plugged into one of your wall outlets. Then, check that the power’s on.

If it’s still not working, these electric fireplace troubleshooting tips should help you:

  • Make sure there’s nothing blocking the vents
  • Change batteries in the remote
  • Check power cord for issues
  • Inspect your breaker for tripped lines
  • Use another wall outlet
  • Check the electric fireplace’s fuse

If nothing seems to be working, you’ll want to try to send the product back by using a warranty.

Electric Fireplace Won’t Heat

Again, start by checking that your appliance is plugged into a wall outlet (never an extension cord) and turned on. If that doesn’t work, make sure the thermostat is set to a higher temperature than your room- it might be detecting that it’s already warm enough.

Also, make sure the vents aren’t blocked. The heater may automatically shut off or all the hot air is trapped where you can’t feel it. Finally, look for signs of a burned out heating coil.

Electric Fireplace Keeps Shutting Off

You may have the thermostat set too low. The electric fireplace won’t turn on if that happens. However, the machine may also be overheating and turning off to protect you. You’ll want to leave the unit to stand for a long time. When it’s cooled off, give it another try.

If it’s dirty and dusty inside, the machine also could power off. You may want to give it a good cleaning with a compressed air can.

Electric Fireplace Comes On By Itself

Take another look at your fireplace’s set temperature. It could simply be turning on automatically to keep the room at that level of warmth. If you don’t want it to come on as often, make sure to turn the heat down. You can also shut it down or unplug it.

The internal thermometer could be getting the wrong readings. You’ll want to use your warranty if it’s still available. Many manufacturers offer electric fireplace repair.

Electric Fireplace Is Making Clicking Noises

Are you hearing a clicking noise? Electric fireplaces make a sound when they reach a specific temperature. The clicking usually comes from the thermometer inside the appliance. This should indicate the appliance is taking the temp of the room.

You also might be hearing the internal parts clicking as they operate- they expand and shrink, depending on the temperature of the appliance.

Electric Fireplace Is Squeaking or Beeping

These noises can indicate that a part’s wearing out in your appliance. As they grind together, you get awful sounds. If you’re hearing excessive amounts of noise, you’ll want to find out what parts are making the sounds.

You can unplug the unit and open it up. You might notice that some parts have come loose. Additionally, you can inspect the motor.

With beeping, this usually indicates one of two warnings:

  • The batteries need to be changed
  • Something is blocking the heater’s vents

Maintenance and Care Tips for Electric Fireplaces

Dust Cleaning Tools in a White Bag

It’s important to know exactly how to maintain your appliance. So we gathered some helpful tips for you to use!

  • Change the lightbulbs every two years. It’s easier to change them all at once, so you don’t have to open the appliance again. Make sure it’s unplugged!
  • Dust the outside often. You also should dust the fire display.
  • Dust the fan with a small brush.
  • Check wires often for damages.

Any time that you need to open your electric fireplace, make sure that you have the machine off and unplugged. You should never open it otherwise.

As an additional tip, make sure to check online for the unit’s owner manual. You should be able to find a PDF as long as you know the name of the brand. So even if you lose your physical copy, you can still access one online!

Overall, these units tend to attract dust. You want to make sure you clean it often, so there’s no burning smells while it runs.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What is the lifespan of an electric fireplace?

A good electric fireplace can last up to 20 years! As long as you take care of it, the machine should last you a very long time.

How much does it cost to replace an electric fireplace?

You can find cheap, efficient models online for just a few hundred dollars. If you want something nicer, you may pay about $2,500.

You can also check our round up review on best gas fireplaces in the market.

Do electric fireplaces go bad?

No, an electric fireplace won’t go bad. If you’re having issues, try changing the bulbs, checking the heating elements, and cleaning it.

Do electric fireplaces need to be vented?

Nope, you don’t need your electric fireplace to vent outdoors. This makes them very convenient for many people. You can add a fake chimney if you wish.

Do electric fireplaces use a lot of electricity?

These fireplaces use the same amount as a space heater of the same size. That means they use 120 volts, 1,500 watts, and 12.5 amps. We cover more on their efficiency in this article.

Can I put an electric fireplace on the carpet?

You can, as long as the vents aren’t blocked. Anything flammable should be kept far away from your electric fireplace.

How far from the wall should an electric fireplace be?

Eight inches on all sides should give you enough space. You don’t want it to be in an enclosed space that blocks the vents.


In short, you’ll want to keep your fireplace free of dust. If your electric fireplace doesn’t turn on, make sure to use our troubleshooting tips mentioned above!

Check other electric heating solutions by going to our other review:

Most Efficient Heating System

Best Electric Wall Heaters

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.