The use of a fireplace might increase or decrease – depending on the season. But in any case, a maintenance check is necessary. The best time to do electric fireplace maintenance is in the spring when it gets warmer.
An electric fireplace requires you to strictly follow the safety guidelines. But the good news is that it requires little maintenance compared to traditional fireplaces.
Traditional fireplaces have a chimney or smokestack, which itself needs more upkeep than an electric fireplace. A good thing about electric fireplaces is that they don’t have any ash or soot polluting the interior.
What You Should Know Beforehand
Electric fireplace maintenance is far less time-consuming than a fireplace that runs on firewood.
Besides, it’s to maintain an electric fireplace yourself once you’re aware of the benefits of using an electric fireplace over traditional fireplaces.
Let’s explore some of these:
No regular maintenance
An electric fireplace keeps working at 100 percent capacity as long as there’s a stable supply of electricity.
Since electric fireplaces don’t produce any harmful gases, you don’t need any flue or chimney for ventilation.
No deep cleaning required
With no solid fuel being burnt, there’s much less mess to clean up in between fires. You’ll have to spend less effort on electric fireplace maintenance.
Seeing so many benefits, you might be thinking of switching from your wood fireplace to an electric one. If the idea of owning an electric fireplace seems tempting, you can convert a wood fireplace to an electric fireplace.
Related Read: How to Convert Wood Fireplace to Electric-11 Steps.
Electric Fireplace Maintenance: How to Do It Yourself
Maintaining an electric fireplace requires several steps. Let’s look at each one of these.
Turn off and unplug
Once the electric fireplace has been turned off, allow the fireplace to cool down before cleaning it. This also prevents you from having any burns or injury and lets you maintain fireplace safety throughout the electric fireplace maintenance procedure.
Change the light bulb
The firebox insert will require the highest maintenance. Electric fireplaces don’t have any particulates or residue. The only thing you need to do is replace the light bulbs, which last for about two years.
To change the bulbs, unplug the fireplace. If it was in use, make sure you give it 15 to 20 minutes to cool down before proceeding.
Usually, the light bulbs are located at the back of the unit. You can access them through a rear panel. Later, you can screw it shut with a few removable screws. Make sure you reference the manual to access the light bulb in the best manner.
Now is the right time to move to the next part. Since the electric fireplace is open and the interior is exposed, you can easily find the light bulbs.
Some electric fireplace manufacturers supply electric lights along with the fireplace unit. These LED bulbs don’t require any maintenance and shouldn’t need any replacement during their lifetime.
LED bulbs are used in place of conventional bulbs and provide the same amount of light as the latter but without costing much.
Don’t worry if you don’t have the owner’s manual. Electric fireplaces usually have online manuals too, which can be referred to in case you have lost your original one. Another option is to bring an old light bulb to your local hardware store in case you’re unable to determine its type.
After determining the right type of bulb, remove the old bulb using a counterclockwise motion and install the new one in a clockwise motion.
You should use gloves or other protective clothing if your electric fireplace needs halogen-specific bulbs because skin oils can damage the performance of the light bulb.
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Maintain the exterior
The fireplace exterior is pretty easy to maintain. It doesn’t take much time at all. Unlike the unit’s firebox, the mantel has no electric components and is made up of wood or MDF veneers.
One main reason for cleaning the exterior is the buildup of dust. Since this is an electrical appliance, you shouldn’t be using much water or liquid cleaning products for the clean-up. Just dampen a cloth or a lint-free towel and buff the exterior.
You could also clean the exterior with a dry cloth, once in a while, in between these thorough clean-ups.
Use the cloth to remove dust build-up from the firebox ember bed. This is the place that’s likely to gather the most dust. Also, clean the inlet or outlet to the heater.
Your electric fireplace might have an ember bed open to the air or it might be one behind a screen or door. This depends on the model of the fireplace.
Blockage of air inside or outside the fireplace may cause the heater to overheat and shut down. Therefore, you should wipe away any excess dust around the heater inlets and outlets with a damp cloth.
Dust is more likely to gather at the heater inlet because this is the place where the air from the room gets sucked into the fireplace.
Clean the fan
The next thing on the agenda is the electric fireplace’s fan. It’s the most important part of an electric fireplace, providing heat in your space. Fortunately, electric fireplace fans and motors are packaged after lubrication, and thus, need no further upkeep.
If the fans gather dust, they’ll not be able to distribute heat efficiently. The best way to check whether or not the fan needs cleaning is to check its rotation pattern.
A properly functioning fan spins without any pause and has no lint or dust. It’s time for a clean-up if it’s not rotating smoothly or looks dirty.
For cleaning, you’ll need a vacuum with a small brush and an attachable wand nozzle. Start by taking off the grill. Use the brush to clean and remove dust. Clean each blade.
Once that’s done, you can vacuum to remove any debris that might have fallen. Cleaning the fan regularly will keep it running for a longer time.
Before starting any work, ensure that the unit is unplugged and off. If you think there’s an issue with the fan and it needs any repair or replacement, browse through the owner’s manual or contact the dealer to get proper details.
Pay attention to the fireplace glass
Many electric fireplaces have a glass display in front to give the flame effects.
Though electric bulbs have a crucial role to play in terms of thermal performance, fireplace glass is also important when it comes to the unit’s aesthetic appeal. That’s why cleaning the glass display is also an important part of electric fireplace maintenance.
The rest of the body of an electric fireplace is usually made up of metal or plastic. However, the screen on the front of the fireplace is typically made up of glass.
Wondering how to clean that screen?
Well, you’ll only need a damp towel or cloth along with warm, soapy water. Don’t use an abrasive cleaner or glass cleaner when wiping down the display, though. These liquids have flammable chemicals and might also decrease the lifespan of the unit.
Simply dampen the cloth and buff the exterior. After wiping, dry the glass so it doesn’t have any water spots. You can remove dust and other particles by using a dusting cloth.
Stains are usually found in wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. But since there’s no real fire in the electric fireplace, there won’t be any harsh stains on the glass.
The glass of an electric fireplace usually only has dust or marks. A damp clean cloth should be enough to clean it up without the need for any harsh chemicals.
If you have an electric fireplace that has dust inside of the glass, you’ll need to remove the screen to get behind it and clean it.
Do the interior cleaning
Experts don’t recommend opening the inside of an electric fireplace because of all the electrical components contained inside it.
But it might have gathered dust inside the heater blower or the other components. These need to be cleaned to get the fireplace running at its full capacity.
Make sure to remove the power plug before you proceed to clean the interior. Isolate the electrical supply if it’s hard-wired in.
Don’t use a damp cloth for this part of electric fireplace maintenance. To clean the fireplace from the inside, use the following:
- A vacuum
- A dry cloth, for example, microfiber
An electric fireplace usually has two main compartments. One contains the heater and the other one contains the flame effect components. If you use a vacuum or a microfiber cloth, you can easily remove dust from the blower. Ensure that you don’t damage it while cleaning.
Electric fireplaces mostly use the following for the flame effects:
- A set of mirrors on a motorized rod
- a light source in the form of a halogen bulb or an LED strip
Clean any dust from these two as well if they’re reachable.
For the ember bed, a vacuum can be used to remove most of the dust and other materials. You can then proceed to use a dry microfiber cloth and clean up any remaining dust.
Electric fireplace maintenance also includes regular inspection. It’s best to run an inspection on wirings and plugs to make sure no metal is left unexposed.
This rarely happens but inspection is still recommended to prevent any hazards. Usually, rats gnaw on electrical appliances.
This can sometimes cause a few troubles. Besides, you should never use any frayed electrical cords. Even if you use them for a short period, it’s not safe and should be avoided under any circumstances. Faulty wiring is a major cause behind many house fires.
Avoid extension cords
Many people wonder if they can use extension cords with electric fireplaces. The answer is a big no. Extension cords can overheat and catch on fire when they transfer large amounts of energy.
The energy transferring through the cord can generate heat and cause the wiring’s protective coating to melt. If this happens, live wires inside the extension cord will be left exposed.
If you do have to use extension cords, you can only use them temporarily. In case you’re using an extension cord, the cord must be Number 14 AWG minimum size with a minimum rating of 1875 Watts.
Use a three-wire cord with a cord connection and grounding-type plug. The maximum length of the cord should be 20 feet.
If you’re using an extension cord, it’s essential to inspect them for any kind of damage. Also, you should remember that it’s dangerous to use extension cords that are severed or have exposed copper wires.
Inspect the electrical outlets
Keep a close eye on the electrical outlets. Make sure that the electrical outlet is capable of handling the load placed by the electric fireplace. It’s better to avoid the risk of blowing up a fuse when you plug in the fireplace.
Keep this outlet only reserved for the fireplace and free from any other load.
You’re Closer to a Well-Maintained Electric Fireplace
It’s as simple as that. Follow the above-mentioned steps and voila! You’re done with the spring electric fireplace maintenance. Hassle-free maintenance is one of the benefits of having an electric fireplace.
It’s easy to clean and lends an elegant touch to your home. Maintaining your electric fireplace is also a quick procedure. It will leave the unit in a better condition than before.
Unlike traditional fireplaces, there are no major cleanups because of the ashes from firewood. You just have to turn off the heater, unplug it, and start the cleaning. You don’t have to do the cleaning frequently. A yearly cleaning is enough to keep the fireplace running.
Still, you should keep in mind the safety precautions if you’re a beginner in carrying out electric fireplace maintenance. If done the right way, you just need to sit back and enjoy the aesthetics of an all-new electric fireplace.
Do you have any other tips for keeping your electric fireplace in good shape? Let us know in the comments below!
Last update on 2021-08-03 at 20:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API