A fireplace can give your home a warm, inviting feeling that is just not possible with other types of space heaters. Electric fireplaces are an eye-catching, clean alternative to the traditional fireplace. Extreme efforts have been taken to give electric models the same feel as a real fire; premium models also emit “smoke” and make crackling noises to replicate the feel of a wood-burning fireplace. Electric fireplaces are much safer and cleaner than real fireplaces, requiring nothing but an electrical input to heat up the room, which is more efficient in heat delivery than burning. They also avoid the issue of spitting out lit embers that can damage and burn the surrounding area and potentially start a fire. Furthermore, traditional fireplace use involves the creation and build-up of harmful pollutants, which are dispersed into the outside air in conventional fireplaces. Electric fireplaces avoid all of this, hence, are better for the environment. Lastly, electric fireplaces have the added advantage of being completely portable. This means that when you want to redo the arrangement of a room, you are free to move the fireplace, as opposed to its fixed location dictating where the remaining furniture will be placed.
Given the clear advantages that electric fireplaces have over traditional fireplaces, even die-hard fireplace lovers can justify making the switch to electric. Still, it is important to be apprised of the precautions and maintenance requirements before committing to a purchase. The most likely “repair” will be to change out bulbs as they die, typically about every two years. Models with LED bulbs will likely never need replacement. If you have a fireplace with conventional bulbs, replacing them is simple and straightforward. It is done by unplugging the fireplace, allowing it to completely cool if it was in use, and then accessing the rear panel of the unit. The panel can be unscrewed easily with a screwdriver. With the back panel removed, you should look for the bulb housing. This may differ from model to model, so consult the user guide before continuing (making sure to note what type of bulb is required). When you have the replacement, remove the old, and replace it with the new bulb. Some fireplaces require halogen bulbs which should not be handled by hand as this could compromise the longevity and quality of the bulb, in which case you should wear gloves to handle the bulb. With the new bulb in, you can screw back the rear panela and use the fireplace normally.
Electric fireplaces contain fans that are instrumental in providing heat to the room. The fan, as well as the other components, are usually pre-lubricated. However, if the fan is halting or not moving smoothly, it may indicate that cleaning is required. As with any other maintenance, make sure the unit is turned off and unplugged. You can use your vacuum’s brush and wand attachments to clean the fan. Begin by taking off the grate and lightly cleaning to remove dust and grime. When finished, you can retrace with the wand attachment to pick up any remaining dirt. Replace the grate when you’re finished.
The exterior mantle requires nothing more than occasional dusting and wiping. You should avoid the use of harsh chemical sprays, and instead, opt for mild soapy water and a lint-free cloth. Cleaning the glass display and mantle will make a big difference in the appearance of the unit. Be sure to dry the unit completely to avoid streaks and water marks.
Even when providing similar heat as a traditional fireplace, the list of required maintenance tasks for an electric fireplace is remarkably short and simple in comparison to a conventional model. Perhaps that is why electric fireplaces have steadily gained in popularity for homeowners and businesses. Choosing to buy an electric fireplace, you are presented with several options for materials, functions, and aesthetic appeal. As such, finding the perfect unit can be a daunting task. Fortunately, you can readily reference this guide to best electric fireplaces on the market.