Electric Fireplace Maintenance Tips: Routine Maintenance Done Right
Whether you prefer a cost-effective option or just a safer alternative to traditional wood-burning or gas fireplaces, an electric fireplace is a viable heating solution to any living space. Electric fireplaces provide a wide range of advantages over the traditional models and retain most of the core benefits. With increased popularity and improvements in technology, there’s never been a better time to buy one.
However, fireplace care and maintenance have always been a main concern for home owners, and that’s true for electric fireplaces as well. Fortunately with the right electric fireplace maintenance tips, you can make sure that you get the most out of your electric fireplace.
Electric Fireplace Maintenance Tips – Doing it Right
Owning an electric fireplace requires minimal maintenance compared to the conventional models. Thus, you will not need to avail a gas fireplace service for. However, there are still several steps to keep in mind for a safe and effective routine maintenance.
Safety is Your First Priority
In 2016, according to the National Fire Protection Association, one residential fire was reported every 90 seconds. So like with all electric appliances, safety is a huge priority when using and performing maintenance on your electric fireplace. Here are some safety guidelines to keep in mind:
1. Inspect the Wires and Plugs
Run an inspection on the wires and plugs just to make sure that there are no exposed parts. Although it’s rare, critters and rats love to gnaw on electrical wires which can result in a potential fire hazard. Make sure you inspect all the wires and cords of the electric fireplace. Never dare to frayed or damaged wires even if for just a short period of time. Faulty wiring is one of the most common causes of residential fires.
2. Do Away with Extension Cords
All electric fireplaces must be plugged straight into a standard 120V 3-prong outlet that is grounded to the earth. As much as possible, you should avoid using extension cords on your electric insert. Extension cords can overheat and catch fire when transferring large amounts of electric energy. If you need to use an extension cord, make sure that you use a top-rated 14-AWG (America Wire Gauge) and rated no less than 1,875 watts.
3. Remove Electrical Hazards and Flammable Objects
Carefully consider all objects that are placed around the fireplace. Flammable objects such as curtains, pillows and rugs should not be placed near the electric fireplace heater. Also, any water source like water heaters and fish tanks shouldn’t be placed around the fireplace.
Changing the Unit’s Light Bulbs
The firebox insert on the fireplace will require the most maintenance but it’s not much to begin with. Most likely, you will just need to switch a few light bulbs every two or three years. Follow these steps for replacing old, faulty bulbs:
- Make sure that the unit is inactive and unplugged. If the fireplace has just been used, allow 15 to 20 minutes to cool the firebox before starting.
- The bulbs are usually at the back of the unit and can be accessed through a back panel. The panel is secured with a couple of screws which you can remove easily. It’s highly recommended that you reference the unit’s manual to know the best way to access the light bulbs.
- With the panel open, locating the light bulbs should be easy. Again, consult the manual to purchase the right replacement bulbs. If you don’t have the manual, just bring one of the old bulbs to your local hardware store and their associates should be able to help you.
- Once you have the replacements in hand, remove the faulty bulb using a counterclockwise motion and install the replacement clockwise. For good measure, wear gloves or use a piece of cloth when handling the bulbs.
- Once all the faulty bulbs are replaced with new ones, secure the opened panel using the screws that have been originally removed.
Electric Fireplace Cleaning and Maintenance
Unlike traditional fireplaces, cleaning an electric fireplace won’t have you dealing with ash, soot or creosote. There are two main areas that need your attention: exterior and fan.
- Maintaining the exterior – Knowing how to clean fireplace glass can make all the difference on the unit’s aesthetic appeal. For cleaning the display, only use a damp cloth or lint-free towel and warm soapy water. Avoid using any abrasive or glass cleaners as they typically contain flammable chemicals. Just moisten the cloth and lightly buff the display surface. Make sure that the glass is totally dry to prevent unsightly water spots.
- Cleaning the fan – Check for dust and lint on the fan. Use a small brush and a vacuum with an attachable wand nozzle for cleaning dust or lint. Remove the grille and use the brush to clean the dust or any particles from each blade. Clean up any fallen debris using the vacuum. Regular cleaning is a must to ensure optimal performance of the fan.
For One Last Maintenance Tip
So there you go. Follow these electric fireplace maintenance tips and you’ll be enjoying the warmth from your unit for years to come. For one last tip, always make sure that the fireplace is inactive and unplugged before doing any maintenance or cleaning jobs. Relax and enjoy the warmth.
For more information about electric fireplace safety and maintenance, visit BestElectricFireplaces.net for a wealth of resources about electric fireplaces. The website also offers buyer’s guides and product reviews in case you are in the market for a new electric fireplace.