Electric fireplaces are simple enough to maintain. Unlike their gas and wood counterparts, no gas lines or ventilation are needed, so cleaning them is relatively straightforward. It is recommended that you inspect your electric fireplace annually for any issues with the electrical components or lightbulbs and take this opportunity to give the unit a good cleaning.
It is important to keep the outside of the fireplace looking nice and the interior free of dust or other debris. You should always consult your owner’s manual for specific instructions. Fortunately, the cleaning requirements for electric fireplaces are far less involved than a gas or wood-burning fireplace. Still, it is essential to remove dust and debris periodically to increase the fireplace’s efficiency and to ensure it continues to operate safely.
Here are some tips on how to clean an electric fireplace:
1. Gather your cleaning supplies
You don’t require much in the way of supplies when it comes to cleaning an electric fireplace. You can use a microfibre cloth and soapy water on the outside of the fireplace. The cloth you use needs to be well wrung out before using it so that it is only damp.
However, you should never use a wet cloth on the fireplace’s interior parts. A dry cloth and a vacuum are all you need. You may also want to wear protective gloves for certain parts of the cleaning process.
2. Disconnect from the power supply
Before you start cleaning your electric fireplace, make sure to turn off and unplug the unit. Missing this step can put you at risk of getting an electric shock.
If the fireplace was recently in use, allow adequate time to cool down. If you have hard-wired your fireplace, you must turn it off at the power source—the circuit box.
3. Inspect the electrical components
Once the unit is unplugged and fully cooled down, look over the wires and plugs and check for any signs of wear. Frayed or ragged wires will become a fire hazard. If you do find damage to any of the electrical components, it is recommended that you consult with a professional. They may be able to repair the fireplace, or you may need to replace it.
4. Clean the fireplace fan
When a fan accumulates too much dust, it cannot run as effectively and may not distribute heat very well. The fan is located behind the grille. You can clean it by removing the grille and using a cloth or a soft brush to wipe off the blades. Then you can use the wand attachment on your vacuum to pick up any other dust and debris in the area.
5. Clean the heater
Wipe down the surface of the heater with a dry, lint-free cloth. Next, gently go over the heater inlet and outlet vents using the brush attachment on your vacuum to remove any built-up dust. You must keep this part of the fireplace clean; the heater can overheat if the vents get blocked.
6. Clean the fireplace glass
The glass in your electric fireplace should not get excessively dirty since there is no smoke or flame to create soot. But the glass will inevitably get dusty over time, and the whole unit will look better if you clean it regularly. Following your owner’s manual instructions, remove the glass panel in front of the fireplace.
Once the glass is out, you can glean both sides with a damp cloth. You should never use harsh or abrasive cleaners, as they will likely scratch the glass. Using a traditional glass cleaner is fine. Dry the glass with a microfibre cloth to remove any water spots.
7. Dust the fireplace interior
Before you put the glass back in place, take a moment to clean out the interior. Use a dry cloth to remove dust accumulated on components like logs or glass bulbs. Once satisfied, you can follow the instructions in the owner’s manual to put the glass panel back in place.
An electric fireplace contains sensitive electronic components. They must be cared for properly to avoid malfunction and potential safety issues. Always keep liquids away from the interior of your fireplace.
8. Replace light bulbs if needed
The flame effect in an electric fireplace is lit by either a halogen bulb or an LED strip. If you are unsure of the location of the light bulbs in your electric fireplace, the owner’s manual will tell you where to find them. The bulbs are typically located on the back side of the fireplace and should be accessible through a panel.
Sometimes, a screwdriver is required to take the rear panel off. It is always a good idea to wear gloves when handling light bulbs. Old bulbs are removed by turning them to the left or counterclockwise. The new bulbs will twist to the right or clockwise.