Yes, an electric fireplace can be used outside as long as it has the correct outdoor properties. Nowadays there are electric fireplaces that are specifically made for outdoor use. Such electric fireplaces are called outdoor electric fireplaces. Make sure you use an outdoor-rated electric fireplace outside.
A funny fact is that you can use outdoor electric fireplaces indoors but vice versa is not possible.
Outdoor-rated electric fireplaces have adequate protection against rough weather conditions. For example, a weatherproofing casing that protects the fireplace against rain, snow, and the sun.
What is the Difference Between an Indoor and Outdoor Electric Fireplace?
As their names suggest, an indoor electric fireplace is a warming electric device that is installed in the bedroom, living room, office, or any other space inside the house/ building.
An outdoor electric fireplace is a warming electric device that is installed in open spaces that may be uncovered or partly covered. An outdoor electric fireplace can be used in spaces like patios, gardens, or outdoor restaurants.
Outdoor electric fireplaces are bigger than indoor electric fireplaces. This is because outdoor fireplaces have a larger firebox than indoor ones. In general, an outdoor fireplace requires a big heating coil and fan because of the harsh weather conditions found outside.
Indoor electric fireplaces have more designs and styles than outdoor electric fireplaces. This is because not all materials can handle rough outdoor conditions. For example, electric fireplaces made from carton boxes cannot survive outside.
Outdoor electric fireplaces have a hard protective cover that prevents various elements like rain from destroying the equipment. Indoor electric fireplaces have soft but elegant covers that are used to add aesthetics indoors.
Indoor electric fireplaces are somehow more expensive than outdoor ones. This is because outdoor electric fireplaces are made from simple but durable materials that will stay for long in the harsh outdoor environment.
Indoor electric fireplaces are made with expensive, but elegant materials so that they can add aesthetics indoors.
Indoor electric fireplaces are more common than outdoor ones. This is because many manufacturers find indoor fireplaces as a necessity while outdoor fireplaces are just for utilitarian purposes. Outdoor fireplaces only help you the time you are outside.
Can you Use an Indoor Fireplace Outside
The answer is NO because an indoor electric fireplace cannot withstand the rough outdoor environment. Only outdoor-rated electric fireplaces should be used outside because the manufacturer has incorporated durability features like a hardcover.
So, before you install an electric fireplace outside read the user’s manual and ensure it is outdoor-rated.
Convert Indoor Fireplace to Outdoor Fireplace
An outdoor electric fireplace must be able to handle the rough outdoor environment. Some sources say it is possible to convert an indoor electric fireplace to be used outside as long as you give a durable cover.
You can create durable housing for your indoor electric fireplace outside. The housing must be made from strong materials like metal or carbon fiber. Wood is not recommended here because it can absorb moisture and can also crack from excess sun radiations. For a metallic housing make sure you paint it to prevent rusting.
Your housing must have open spaces for air inlet and outlet. Or else once you install the indoor electric fireplace it will overheat due to inadequate airflow. Plastic housings can handle the outdoor environment, but they might melt from the excess heat that the fireplace will produce.
If you convert an indoor electric fireplace to be used outside the heat produced will not cover 400 square feet. This is because some weather conditions outside like the wind will carry some heat. This is why manufacturers make outdoor electric fireplaces with larger heating coils and fans to supplement the lost heat.
Installing Outdoor Electric Fireplace
When it comes to outdoor electric fireplaces, most of them are wall-mount or freestanding. This article will explain how to install a wall-mount outdoor electric fireplace.
What you need
- A drill
- Wall brackets
- Screws, bolts, and nuts
- Screwdriver and spanners
Find an appropriate location where you will install your outdoor electric fireplace. Pick a place close to a plug-in socket with a good clearance distance. Pay attention to the air inlet and outlet on your outdoor electric fireplace.
Do not install it close to the floor if it has a bottom air inlet/outlet.
Do not use extension cords on any electric fireplace.
Once you find the most appropriate outdoor location, then it is time to install the wall brackets.
Use a drill and screws to attach the brackets to the wall. If your outdoor electric fireplace has a back air inlet, make sure the brackets are extended off the wall.
Most wall mount electric fireplaces come with their own brackets. But if yours does not have you can buy from the nearest hardware store. Make sure you choose strong brackets because most outdoor fireplaces are heavy.
Once the brackets are steady on the wall, then it is time to hang your outdoor electric fireplace. If the brackets come with the fireplace, then there will be nuts and bolts to reinforce the two together.
Once you place the fireplace on the brackets, the holes will automatically fit and use a spanner to tighten the bolts and nuts.
Plugin the power cord and switch on the power socket before you turn on the outdoor electric fireplace.
From above, you are only supposed to install outdoor rated electric fireplaces outside. This is because such types of fireplaces have special features that allow them to handle the tough outdoor environment. However, with special housing, an indoor electric fireplace can be installed outdoors.