6 Tips for Maintaining Your Fireplace This Winter

During the cold Ottawa winters, an indoor gas or electric fireplace is essential for warm, cozy nights with your family.

With sleekly designed models and modern functions, fireplaces are perfect for any household. However, you need to do some essential fireplace maintenance to keep them in top condition for years to come.

6 tips for maintaining your fireplace

1. A good ol’ fashion clean

                                  Fire wood next to a fireplace.

Like any appliance, dust and grime can accumulate in your fireplace and regular cleaning will prevent dirt buildup from affecting the vents and heating components.

Before even reaching for a cloth to begin cleaning, make sure your fireplace’s pilot light is switched off.

Begin by cleaning the grates and release the clamps so you can clean the glass covering if it has one. Next, it’s recommended you clean underneath and replace the ’embers’ inside.

When cleaning your electric fireplace, make sure you disconnect it from the power source. Once it’s unplugged, using a clean, dry cloth, clean the heater’s surface and the heater outlets. Use a vacuum suction to clear the dust if necessary. Make sure you also clean both sides of the glass panel and the fireplace interior.

2. Replace the batteries in your fireplace receiver and remote

Just like you would change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detector, make sure to also replace your electric and gas fireplace’s receiver batteries.

A gas fireplace receiver is a battery-powered backup power supply that can be used to turn on your fireplace in the event of a power outage. The receiver requires batteries to function so make sure you’re prepared during storm season.

This also applies to electric fireplaces. The majority of electric fireplaces require a remote to turn them on, so remember to add fresh batteries a few times a year.

3. Change the lights

          Modern electric fireplace in a living room.

If you have an electric fireplace, it’s essential that you change the lightbulbs once a year or once every two years. When changing the lightbulb, first make sure the fireplace is unplugged from the energy source.

If you were recently using it, give it about half an hour to cool down. The lightbulbs are typically located at the fireplace’s far end and might be accessible through the rear panel.

However, you should consult your fireplace manual to be sure of the location.

You should also use the manual to find out the kind of lightbulb needed for your unit. Some models might require halogen lightbulbs, in which case you’d need to wear a pair of gloves when installing it.

If you can’t find the reference manual, don’t worry. It’s usually easy to find detailed information on your model online or give us a call and we can walk you through it.

4. Clean your surroundings

Keeping your surroundings clean is a necessary aspect of fireplace safety. For gas fireplaces, regularly clean and vacuum the immediate surroundings.

Materials such as lint, hair, or animal fur can build up and can be a fire hazard. We recommend you incorporate this into your regular cleaning schedule to keep the area clean all year-round.

For electric fireplaces, ensure the cables are kept dry and uncluttered and that you use short heavy-duty extension cords only if necessary.

Spills around the fireplace should be cleaned as quickly as possible as they can be a safety hazard. You should also frequently check the wiring for wear and tear so they can be replaced before they become a danger to you and your family.

5. Check the safety barrier

Make sure to clean the safety barrier on your gas fireplace regularly. Like the surroundings, your safety barrier can attract all sorts of materials that can be a fire hazard.

The barrier also needs to be in top condition throughout the year to prevent flames or flammable material from getting out of your fireplace.

6. Regular inspections

Open tool box used for fireplace maintenance

It’s important to have a professional inspect your gas or electric fireplace at least once a year since many parts of your fireplace can only be repaired by someone with extensive knowledge and expertise.

Problems with your vents and wiring, for instance, may not be immediately noticeable to you until they pose a serious threat to your safety.

Finding the right person for this job might be hard if you’re not sure where to look. Thankfully, the knowledgeable experts at the Fireplace Center and Patio Shop are here to assist you. Get in touch with us for your fireplace advice and services. With our years of experience, you know you’re in safe hands

Your Fireplace, BBQ & Patio Experts Since 1952

The Fireplace Center and Patio Shop is your one-stop-shop for all your indoor and outdoor essentials. With one of Canada’s largest showrooms, we have over 200 fireplaces on display. From BBQs, heating and cooling, and patio furniture, you can trust our team to provide expert advice as well as quality assembly and installation.


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