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Electric fireplace logs

Electric fireplaces are the perfect way to warm your home while offering the look and feel of a real fire. Though electric fireplaces do not produce real flames, they do produce heat. 

How do electric fireplaces work?

Electric fireplaces use an electrical supply to power a heating element and blower to warm the room and use an LED screen or a rotisserie-style light effect. This produces the appearance of real flames

A few types of electric fireplaces all provide heat and the effect of a real flame. The different types are used in various locations throughout the home, so the function may slightly differ. The three main types of electric fireplaces are:

  • Freestanding electric fireplaces
  • Wall-mounted and recessed electric fireplaces 
  • Electric fireplace inserts

Free Standing Electric Fireplaces

This type of electric fireplace can be moved around the home as necessary as you can plug them into any nearby wall socket. Because they will not be mounted on the wall like wall-mounted or recessed electric fireplaces, they do not need to be as small and thin. They do need to be deeper than other fireplaces to cater to the components and space necessary to create flames. Inside the fireplace, there are plastic logs attached to a flat and smooth backing screen which play a role in creating the effect of a real flame.

Freestanding electric fireplaces utilize a combination of an LED light source with a rotating mirror to create the effect of a flickering flame. When the mirror rotates, a fake flame is created. Traditionally, the light source is a LED strip. The flames are cold to the touch, as they do not produce heat.

A control panel is located where the ash compartment is located. The controls turn on and off the fireplace as well as control the heat and the brightness of the flame. 

The heater on a freestanding electric fireplace works like a standard space heater. A blower sucks the air from the room into the heater and works it through a heating element which heats the air before returning it to the room. Most of the time, the heater is located at the bottom of the fireplace, with the blower located on the back. The heater does get very hot to the touch. 

There are many benefits electric fireplaces provide. For one, they require little to no maintenance compared to traditional fireplaces. Traditional fireplaces come with chimneys or smokestacks which require more maintenance alone than the electric unit. Because electric fireplaces need minimal ventilation, there is no ash, soot, or creosote. Electric fireplaces are both warmer and healthier compared to traditional fireplaces because there are no pollutants are released when heated.

The first thing you should do before beginning maintenance for your electric fireplace is to make sure the unit’s wiring is correct. Make sure your fireplace is off and unplugged before beginning any kind of maintenance to prevent serious injury.

Electric Fireplace Maintenance

Changing a Light Bulb

Your electric firebox insert will require most of the maintenance with a couple of light bulbs that will need to be switched out about every two years.
Before changing your electric fireplace’s light bulbs, make sure the fireplace is unplugged and turned off. After the light bulbs have cooled, use your owner’s manual to figure out the best way to access your unit’s light bulbs. Your owner’s manual will also have which type of light bulb to use as a replacement. LED bulbs are more commonly used rather than conventional light bulbs.

When installing the light bulbs, be sure to wear gloves or use a cloth to prevent dulling the bulbs and shortening their lifespan.
Replacing all the bulbs at once is a convenient and smart approach to ensure the process is swift each time.

Maintaining the Exterior

The exterior of your fireplace is very easy to maintain as there are no electrical components to worry about. Cleaning the glass display will make a huge difference when it comes to aesthetic appeal. To clean, you will want a damp cloth or towel and warm soapy water. You will want to avoid using any glass cleaner because they contain flammable materials and can shorten the unit’s lifespan.

Cleaning the Fan

The fan is the most important part of your electric fireplace when it comes to heating your space. Most, if not all, electric fireplace motors and fans are pre-lubricated and require no further attention.

To see if your fan needs clean, check your fan’s rotation pattern. A well-functioning fan will spin without hesitation and has no dust. To clean your fan, you can use the wand attachment to your vacuum with a small brush. Regularly cleaning the fan will allow for optimal performance.

Contact Ed’s Woodshed in Bridgeville to receive full-service assistance on your fireplace needs for more on electric fireplaces. Ed’s Woodshed has been serving the Pittsburgh area its high-quality fireplaces for over 35 years. Call Ed’s Woodshed at 412-257-0492 for your fireplace insert needs! 


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