A fireplace during the fall and winter months can be a very cozy investment. It not only provides the much-needed warmth but also adds great aesthetics to the room where it is placed.
Having a fireplace means maintenance hassle, but luckily for you, an electric fireplace has the bare minimum requirement of maintenance and that little maintenance is very easy.
Why it is so easy? Well unlike a wood or gas fireplace an electric one doesn’t require any ventilation or gas lines. Since most of them use LED lights you wouldn’t have to change them out for at least a decade.
With that being said, it is recommended to inspect your electric fireplace once or twice a year for debris, dust, or any electrical inconvenience. Give special attention to dust as it is the bane of electrical equipment.
So in this article, we will discuss the process of cleaning your electric fireplace and the steps involved.
Prepare yourself for the cleaning process
Before you begin the process you need to be certain that your fireplace needs cleaning. One obvious method to figure that out is by judging the visual quality.
Although there are myriad factors that affect the visual quality of the fireplace the most common being the dust and grime.
Once you are certain then start by moving furniture, chair, rugs, etc. first so that these items won’t get dirty during the cleaning process. Furthermore, you should cover the floor with a drop cloth or plastic.
Also don’t forget the protective gear which typically includes a face mask, hand gloves, and goggles.
Disconnect from the power supply
A no brainer. If it’s electrical equipment then it needs to be disconnected first. Start by turning the heater off and then leave it for few minutes to cool down.
Then proceed to unplug the electric fireplace, this way it will remain off till the end of your cleaning process. Barring any heat-related injury.
Check the electrical parts
With the fireplace cooled and unplugged now you need to examine the electrical parts of the fireplace. There are instances where you might find some plugs or wires worn out or frayed.
These can create a hazardous situation so make sure they are all in good shape. If they are not then get professional help.
Remove the e-fireplace components
While your electric fireplace doesn’t actually use things like andirons, logs, and grates like a traditional fireplace does. Nevertheless, they are included to provide the aura of a traditional fireplace.
So remove these components carefully.
Remove the glass pane (carefully!)
Unscrew the screws of the glass pane while holding the glass pane with one hand. Be mindful of the weight, as it can vary with the size.
Once removed place it on a smooth surface, preferably a pillow.
Now with these things removed it’s time to clean. It shouldn’t come as a surprise but the best electric fireplace deserves the best care.
It’s recommended to start cleaning with the heater. Use a dry, clean cloth and gently wipe the surface of the heater. If you need to dampen the cloth then better to use water rather than any cleaning solutions.
The reason is many of these commercial cleaning agents don’t bode well with the heat, the worst-case result would be corrosion or toxic fumes. While water on the other hand would simply turn into steam when subjected to heat.
You also have the option of using a soft brush (like from a vacuum) to clean the outlets of the heater. The end game is to remove all the dust from the heater to maintain its proficiency.
Now go after the glass. Make sure you clean both sides of the pane with a clean and dry cloth to remove the dust. While doing so you will most likely end up leaving finger marks on the glass so use a damp cloth to remove the fingerprints.
Damp cloth means possible water spots, so dry the glass with a lint-free cloth to avoid any formations of water spots in the end.
Last but not the least, the interior. Sometimes the dust can find itself all the way inside of the fireplace. So just like earlier use a clean and dry cloth and clean the interior to remove any trace amount of dust.
There are other ways as well, like a broom which you can use to sweep the dust out of your fireplace enclosure. Better yet a hand vacuum, I am sure you know how the vacuum works.
Before winding up don’t forget to dust the andirons, logs, and grates. If possible make use of metal polish to give that extra shine to your andirons and grate.
That’s a wrap!
Replace the andirons, logs, and grate once you have cleaned them. Now put everything else back in its original place.
Similar caution should be exercised while putting the glass pane back, for convenience sake start with the top screws this would help support the weight of the glass while you screw the rest.
Word of advice if you used a damp cloth to clean the interior of your fireplace then it is better to wait for at least 24hours before turning it on. Usually, water doesn’t pose such a concern, but as they say better to be safe than uh-oh.
Contrary to the colossal cleanup requirements of a traditional wood fireplace or gas fireplace, an electric fireplace requires bare minimum effort. Just turn off the heater, unplug the fireplace and then clean it up.
Also, you don’t have to clean the e-fireplace frequently, once or twice a year would be sufficient. Thus making it the only kind of fireplace that runs so efficiently with such low maintenance.
Having said that it is easier to clean it regularly than to do it after a substantial build-up of residue. Once you understand the steps involved in the cleaning process, that knowledge will naturally act as a motivator.