Can you put an electric fireplace in a real fireplace? An in-depth guide for 2023
Electric fireplaces are becoming increasingly common and are a viable option for homeowners who want to replace an existing fireplace.
While many newer homes no longer have a fireplace opening, many older homes do. But that doesn’t mean that you are stuck with a traditional fireplace forever, or need to block your old fire opening up for that matter.
Can you put an electric fireplace in a real fireplace?
Yes, you can put an electric fireplace in a real fireplace opening.
We would always recommend that you block off the chimney from the inside to prevent heat from escaping up your chimney as electric fireplaces don’t produce anywhere near the same amount of heat as a real fireplace does.
You will also need to measure the opening of your current fireplace to determine what size electric fireplace insert you will need. Most inserts come supplied with a decorative surround to disguise the edges easily.
Some of the most popular electric fireplace inserts for inside a real fireplace are:
- ClassicFlame 3D Infrared Quartz Electric Fireplace Insert
- PuraFlame Western Electric Fireplace Insert with Fire Crackling Sound
Another option is electric fireplace log sets. Some of these can look exceptionally real when placed inside of a real fireplace:
Related: How to make an electric fireplace look real
How do you install an electric fireplace in an existing fireplace?
Electric fireplaces are extremely easy to install into an existing opening. Most come with easy-to-follow instructions and can be plugged into a standard household outlet.
To install an electric fireplace in an existing fireplace, you will need to:
1. Ensure that the existing fireplace and surround are clear of any dirt and debris
2. Measure the opening of your fireplace to determine what size electric fireplace insert you will need. Most inserts come supplied with a decorative surround to disguise the edges easily.
3. Install the electric fireplace insert into the opening of your fireplace. Some models may require that you secure the insert with screws or brackets.
4. Once the insert is in place, you can then install the surround if desired.
Can you put an electric fireplace in a wood-burning fireplace?
You can absolutely put an electric fireplace inside a wood-burning fire. However, without some major alterations to the wood burner, the heat output will be minimal.
If you are just looking to use it for decorative purposes, this is absolutely fine and can offer some extremely realistic-looking options.
However, if you are looking to use it for heat, you are going to struggle. This is because most electric fireplaces use fans to pump the heat out of the heater. If this electric fireplace is shut inside of your log burner, the heat is just going to stay trapped inside of the unit.
It won’t provide enough heat to adequately heat the wood burner itself.
A way around this would be to keep the door of your wood burner ajar to let the fan-forced heat escape.
If you are just looking to convert your wood-burning fireplace to electric for decorative purposes, we’d recommend the electric fireplace log sets linked above.
Or if you would prefer convenience, the Real Flame Black Hollis Electric Fireplace is a fantastic wood-burning stove replica (pictured above).
Can you put an electric fireplace in a real fireplace? – Conclusion
In conclusion, you can put an electric fireplace in a real fireplace. Just remember the tips we have suggested above and you’ll be good to go.
Interested in reading more guides? Why not check out our article on the most realistic electric fireplaces on the market.