James White on March 17, 2016 7 Comments One of the terrific things about owning an electric fireplace, is that there is almost little to no maintenance compared to traditional fireplaces. As we all know, traditional fireplaces come equipped with a chimney or smokestack which alone requires more maintenance than an electric unit. Since electric fireplaces require virtually no ventilation in order to operate, there is no possibility for any kind of ash, soot or creosote to pollute your firebox’s interior. In addition, no pollutants such as carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide are released through the heating process, making your home not only warmer, but a healthier option compared to traditional fireplaces. One of the first things that should be done before beginning your electric fireplace’s routine maintenance is to ensure that the unit’s wiring is up to par. It is crucial to make sure the fireplace is off and unplugged before inspecting any kind of wires to prevent serious injury. Changing a Light Bulb Your unit’s firebox insert will require most of the maintenance — which isn’t a lot to begin with. Thankfully there won’t be any kind of residue or particulates that require a little elbow grease to vanquish, just a couple of light bulbs that may need to switched out about every two years. Click Here to View All Electric Fireplaces The first step to changing your electric fireplace’s light bulbs is to make sure the fireplace is inactive and unplugged. If your fireplace has been recently used, allow 15 to 20 minutes for the bulbs to cool before beginning. The light bulbs in your electric fireplace are typically located towards the back of the unit and can be accessed through a rear panel. This panel may be secured shut with a couple screws which can easily be removed. Be sure to reference your owner’s manual to determine the best way to access your specific unit’s light bulbs. Phew, the hardest part was over! With your electric fireplace’s panel open and interior exposed, finding the light bulbs should be as easy as 1-2-3. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual in order to find a proper replacement bulb. Some electric fireplace manufacturers, such as Real Flame, supply their electric fireplace unit’s with LED bulbs which are maintenance free and should not require replacements during the product’s lifetime. LED bulbs are commonly used in place of conventional bulbs and generate the same light levels as the latter, but at a fraction of the energy. Can’t find your owner’s manual? Don’t give up! All electric fireplaces have online manuals that can be referred to in the case that you’ve misplaced your own. You could also bring one of your old light bulbs to a local hardware store to have identified if you’re unable to determine the type required. After you’ve determined and found the proper replacement bulb for your electric fireplace, remove the previous bulb with a counterclockwise motion and install the new bulb in a clockwise manner. In the event that your electric fireplace requires halogen specific bulbs, be sure to wear gloves or use some kind of cloth. Do not touch the light bulbs with bare hands. Your hands contain natural oils that affect the glass’ surface and will result in weaker bulbs, duller lights and a shortened lifespan. After your fresh light bulbs have been replaced and properly secured, fasten the control panel with any screws that had originally been removed. With the bulbs replaced and ready to burn bright, plug in your electric fireplace to enjoy the ambiance and warmth that you’ve so righteously deserved. Please note: If you need to change a light bulb, chances are the others will have to be changed soon after. Replacing all bulbs at the same time would be a convenient and smart approach as it significantly reduces the amount of times you’d have to follow this procedure. Maintaining the Exterior Your electric fireplace’s exterior is very easy to maintain and takes little to no time at all. Unlike your unit’s firebox, the mantel or entertainment center (wherever your firebox is located) contains no electronic components and is constructed from solid wood, MDF veneers or other similar compounds. Cleaning your fireplace’s glass display can make a huge difference when it comes to the unit’s aesthetic performance as well as realistic appeal — a real fire shouldn’t, and doesn’t, have smudges. The only things you’ll need to maintain your display is a damp cloth or towel (lint-free if possible) and warm soapy water. Please avoid using any kind of glass cleaner or other abrasive cleaners when wiping your display, they contain flammable chemicals and can even shorten your unit’s lifespan. To begin, simply moisten your cloth and lightly buff the exterior like any other surface. Once you’ve wiped your display, ensure that the glass is entirely dry to prevent water spots. Dust and other particulates can be removed by using a dry cloth and dusting lightly. Cleaning the Fan Last, but not least, your electric fireplace’s fan. The fan is singlehandedly the most important part of an electric fireplace when it comes to providing supplemental heat in your space. Luckily, most if not all electric fireplace motors and fans are assembled pre-lubricated and require no further attention. Checking your fan’s rotation pattern is the best way to see if it needs to be cleaned. A proper functioning fan should spin without hesitation and contains no dust or lint. To maintain your unit’s fan you’ll need a vacuum with an attachable wand nozzle and a small brush. First, take off the grille and use the brush to lightly clean and remove dust and other particles, making sure each blade is clean. Follow up with your vacuum to catch any debris that might have fallen. Regularly cleaning your fan will ensure optimal performance and longer life from the unit. Again, make sure your unit is completely off and unplugged before beginning any routine maintenance work. If you believe your fan may have a problem and needs to be repaired or replaced, refer to your owner’s manual or contact the dealer for further instructions. Maintaining your electric fireplace is a quick and easy task, and can leave your unit looking as fresh as when you first took it out of the box. Other than changing a couple of light bulbs here and there and the occasional dusting, electric fireplaces are simple and low maintenance appliances that provide the needed heat to your home. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the warm ambiance.