How Do You Clean Electric Heaters: A Quick and Friendly Guide

How Do You Clean Electric Heaters A Quick and Friendly Guide

Last Updated on July 25, 2023

Electric heaters provide a clean and efficient way of heating our homes, making them a valuable household appliance. Over time, these heaters can accumulate dust and dirt, potentially obstructing their performance and causing potential safety hazards. Ensuring the cleanliness and proper functionality of your electric heater is essential for getting the most out of your investment, as well as keeping your home comfortable and safe.

To clean an electric heater effectively, it is crucial to understand the different types of heaters, such as fan heaters, convection heaters, and infrared heaters, as each may require a slightly different approach. Additionally, consider the safety precautions that should be taken when cleaning your heater, as well as the essential tools needed for the job. Finally, it is important to be aware of the routine maintenance, deep cleaning processes, and special considerations to keep your electric heater running optimally and efficiently over time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Properly cleaning an electric heater ensures its efficiency, safety, and consistent performance.
  • Knowledge of different heater types and safety precautions is vital for effective maintenance.
  • Employing the right cleaning tools and following manufacturer recommendations optimize the heater’s usefulness and lifespan.

Know Your Electric Heater Types

There are several types of electric heaters available in the market, and each serves a specific purpose. In this section, we will discuss these types, including space heaters, baseboard heaters, electric stoves, and electric fireplaces. Understanding the difference between these heaters will help you choose the right one for your needs.

Space Heaters

Space heaters are small, portable electric heaters designed to provide warmth in a specific area within a room. They are ideal for heating small spaces and can be easily moved from one area to another. Some common types of space heaters include fan heaters, oil-filled heaters, and infrared heaters. When using a space heater, it is essential to ensure proper safety measures, such as keeping it away from flammable materials and turning it off when not in use.

Baseboard Heaters

Baseboard heaters are a popular choice for homeowners, as they are energy-efficient and provide consistent, radiant heat. These heaters are installed along the baseboards of a room and use a combination of convection and radiant heat to warm the space. Baseboard heaters are typically quiet and require minimal maintenance, making them an attractive option for many households.

Electric Stoves

Electric stoves are designed to replicate the look and feel of a traditional wood-burning stove. They use an electric heating element inside a free-standing unit, which usually has a built-in fan to spread warmth throughout the room. These heaters provide a cosy ambiance with their faux fire and are a popular choice for those who want the visual appeal of a wood-burning stove without the drawbacks of storing wood and cleaning ash.

Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces are another heating option that offers both warmth and aesthetic appeal. They resemble a traditional fireplace, often with a mantel and glass encasing, but use an electric heating element instead of burning wood. Electric fireplaces can either be wall-mounted or free-standing units, and some models may also include a built-in heater to radiate warmth throughout the room. Additionally, electric fireplaces generally require little maintenance beyond keeping the glass clean and dust-free.

By knowing the different types of electric heaters available, you can make an informed decision when selecting one for your home. Keep in mind factors like energy efficiency, versatility, and the specific heating needs of the room when choosing the appropriate heater type.

Safety Precautions

When cleaning electric heaters, it’s essential to follow some safety precautions to ensure a safe and efficient maintenance process. In this section, we’ll discuss the necessary steps to be taken when cleaning your electric heater, such as switching off the power, unplugging and plugging the device.

Switch off the Power

Before starting the cleaning process, always ensure that the power is switched off. Locate the correct breaker in your electrical panel and turn it off. A friendly reminder is to use a voltage detector to ensure there’s no electricity flowing through the heater. This reduces the risk of electric shock and possible damage to the heater’s components.

Unplugging and Plugging

Once the power is confirmed to be off, it’s time to unplug the heater from the wall socket. By doing so, you are adding an extra layer of safety and making sure the heater is completely disconnected from the power source. While unplugging, it’s essential to gently pull the plug instead of yanking the cord to avoid potential damage.

After you’ve finished cleaning and ensuring the heater is dry, it’s time to plug the device back in. Carefully insert the plug into the wall socket, making sure it’s firmly and securely in place. Before switching the breaker back on, check for any loose wires or apparent damage.

By following these safety precautions, you’ll be able to maintain and clean your electric heater without any risks. Always prioritise your safety and consult the manufacturer’s guidelines for specific cleaning and maintenance instructions.

Essential Cleaning Tools

Cleaning Supplies

To properly clean an electric heater, having the right cleaning supplies on hand is important. Start by using a microfiber cloth or a soft, clean cloth to wipe away surface dirt and grime. Microfiber cloths are gentle on surfaces and effectively pick up dust particles without damaging the heater.

A dust mask should be worn while cleaning your electric heater, especially if you’re prone to allergies. This will protect you from inhaling dust particles and allergens that may be released during the cleaning process.

Depending on the level of dirt and dust build-up, using canned air or a compressed air duster can be helpful. These tools effectively blow away dust and debris from hard-to-reach areas within the heater, making cleaning more efficient.

Handy Equipment

A vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment is another useful tool for cleaning your electric heater. The vacuum can help remove any stubborn dust or debris from the heater’s surface or gaps, providing a deeper clean. When using a vacuum cleaner, make sure to turn off and unplug the heater first as a safety precaution. Additionally, avoid touching electrical components inside the heater to prevent electrocution or damage.

In conclusion, having the right cleaning tools and supplies is crucial for ensuring the safe and effective cleaning of electric heaters. Remember to use a microfiber cloth, dust mask, canned air or compressed air duster, and a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to achieve the best results. And always follow the manufacturer’s specific cleaning recommendations for your particular electric heater model.

Routine Maintenance

Maintaining your electric heater is essential to ensure its efficiency and prolong its lifespan. In this section, we’ll cover the routine maintenance tasks you should undertake, divided into sub-sections: Exterior Cleaning, Heating Element Care, and Grill and Fins Maintenance.

Exterior Cleaning

The exterior of your electric heater can accumulate dirt and dust over time, which might impact its performance. To clean the exterior, first, ensure that the heater is switched off and unplugged. Then, use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe the surface, removing any accumulated dust.

You may also use a mild detergent for stubborn dirt, but avoid abrasive cleaners that could damage the heater’s finish. Finally, ensure that the exterior is completely dry before plugging it back in and turning it on.

Heating Element Care

The heating element, often a coil or ceramic component, is crucial for generating heat. To maintain its efficiency, you should regularly inspect it for signs of wear or damage. If you notice any issues, consider turning off the heater and consulting a professional for advice.

Additionally, take care not to obstruct the heating element while cleaning, as this could lead to reduced energy efficiency or even pose a safety hazard.

Grill and Fins Maintenance

The grill and fins are essential for proper heat distribution and maintaining your heater’s energy efficiency. To clean these parts, first, turn off and unplug the heater. Remove the protective cover or grill to access the fins. Using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment, gently remove dust and debris from the fins.

In some cases, the fins might be bent, which can restrict airflow and impact the heater’s performance. If you notice any bent fins, carefully straighten them using a fin comb, available at most hardware stores. Before reattaching the grill or cover, ensure that all fins are clean and properly aligned.

By following these routine maintenance tasks, you’ll help keep your electric heater working efficiently and effectively, providing a warm and comfortable environment throughout the colder months.

Deep Cleaning Process

Disassembling the Heater

Before you begin the deep cleaning process, ensure that the electric heater is switched off and has been allowed to cool down. Start by removing any visible screws securing the heater’s casing. Carefully remove the outer casing, ensuring that you do not damage the internal components. You may find it helpful to use needle-nose pliers to grip and loosen the screws.

Cleaning Each Component

Once the heater is disassembled, you can proceed to clean each component individually.

  • Vent: Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove any dust or debris from the vent and its surrounding area.
  • Fan blades: To clean the fan blades, make a mixture of warm soapy water using dish soap. Dip a soft cloth or sponge into the mixture and gently wipe each blade. For stubborn dirt or grime, use a bit of baking soda to scrub the blades. Make sure to rinse the blades with a cloth dampened in clean water to remove any remaining soap.
  • Motor: The motor should not come into contact with water or soap. Instead, use a dry, soft brush to dust off any debris and a damp cloth to wipe away any dirt. Ensure the motor is completely dry before reassembling the heater.

Reassembling the Heater

After all the components have been thoroughly cleaned, it’s time to reassemble the electric heater. Follow the steps below:

  1. Check if all components are dry and free of any residual soap or water.
  2. Carefully re-install the fan blades, ensuring they are properly aligned with the motor.
  3. Reinstall the motor into its original position, making sure all connections are correctly in place.
  4. Place the vent back in its position within the heater and secure it with the appropriate screws.
    5.-Reattach the heater’s outer casing and secure it with screws.

By following this deep cleaning process, you can maintain the efficiency and prolong the life of your electric heater, which will ultimately help to keep your home warm and comfortable.

Special Considerations

Pet Owners

For pet owners, it is essential to clean electric heaters frequently, as pets’ hair and dander can accumulate and reduce the heater’s efficiency. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove pet hair from the heater’s surface and surrounding area. Moreover, check for any gaps where your pet’s hair could potentially enter and block the internal components. If you find any, consider sealing them to avoid future issues.

Ash and Debris

Ash and debris can build-up in your electric heater over time, especially if it is located near a fireplace or used in a room with considerable dust. To clean the heater safely, first, unplug it and wait for it to cool down completely. Use canned air or a dry, soft brush to remove ash and dust from the heater’s surface and any vents or openings. Regular cleaning will help maintain the heater’s efficiency and prolong its lifespan.

Mold Prevention

Mold prevention is crucial in maintaining a healthy environment around your electric heater. Excess moisture can lead to mould growth, which may have adverse effects on your health and damage the heater’s components. To prevent mould formation, ensure your space is well ventilated and clean the heater regularly. Additionally, keep an eye on the heater’s surroundings, specifically checking for any signs of water accumulation or leaks. Immediately address any issues to prevent mould growth and maintain the heater’s efficiency.

Tips for Efficient Heating

Airflow Distribution

One essential aspect of efficient heating is proper airflow distribution. It is important to ensure that electric heaters are correctly positioned to allow for maximum heat circulation. Convection heaters, for example, work best when placed close to a cold wall or window, as they use the cold air to create a natural convection current that distributes warm air more evenly in the room1.

Make sure there is no blockage in front of the heater’s inlet and outlet vents. Clear any clutter or furniture that might be obstructing the airflow, for even heat distribution. Periodically, it is also a good idea to blow out the heater to clean out accumulated dust within the vents, keeping the heater running smoothly2.

Thermostat Set-up

The correct thermostat set-up is crucial for maximising heating efficiency, as it can help maintain a consistent temperature and save energy costs. Here are a few quick tips to improve your thermostat set-up:

  • Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature, typically around 18-21°C3, and avoid temptations to crank up the heat too high. Remember, every degree above this range can add up to 10% on your heating bill4.
  • Take advantage of programmable thermostats, allowing you to schedule heating for times when you need it most, such as early morning or evening.
  • Ensure your thermostat is not positioned near drafts or direct sunlight, as this can cause false readings and inefficient heating adjustments5.

By following these simple tips on airflow distribution and thermostat set-up, you can help create a comfortable environment whilst using electric heaters efficiently and economically.

Manufacturer Recommendations

Instruction Manual Consultation

It’s essential to consult the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer of your electric heater before attempting to clean it. The manual typically contains specific cleaning instructions tailored to your heater model. Following these guidelines will ensure that the cleaning process is efficient and does not damage your electric heater. If you have misplaced your instruction manual, you can usually find a digital version on the manufacturer’s website or by contacting their customer support.

Safety Guidelines

For safety reasons, it’s vital to adhere to the following safety guidelines when cleaning your electric heater:

  1. Power off: Always switch off and unplug your electric heater before starting the cleaning process. This will prevent electrical accidents while you’re working on the device.
  2. Cool down: Make sure the heater has cooled down sufficiently before attempting to clean it. It’s best to wait for at least 30 minutes after switching off the heater to let it cool down.
  3. Avoid water: Refrain from using water or any liquid cleaning solutions on the electric heater. Water can cause electrical short circuits or damage the heater’s internal components.
  4. Use a vacuum cleaner: For a thorough cleaning, gently use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to remove dust and debris from the heater’s vents, grills, and other hard-to-reach areas.
  5. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations: Each electric heater is unique, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning your specific model.

In summary, the key to safely and effectively cleaning your electric heater lies in following the manufacturer’s recommendations outlined in the instruction manual and adhering to essential safety guidelines. By carefully following these instructions, you’ll ensure that your heater remains in perfect working condition and maintains its efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I remove dust from an electric heater?

To remove dust from an electric heater, first ensure that the heater is unplugged and completely cooled down. Use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove any dust or debris from the heater’s exterior. For more thorough cleaning, you can also carefully remove the front grill or panel according to the manufacturer’s instructions and clean the interior components. Remember to exercise caution while dealing with the interior parts as they can be delicate.

What is the process for cleaning a water heater?

Cleaning an electric water heater involves draining the tank, removing sediment build-up, and inspecting the heating elements. Begin by switching off the electricity supply and closing the water valves. Attach a hose to the drain valve, open it, and let the water flow out. Once empty, briefly reopen the cold water supply valve to flush out any remaining sediment. Close the drain valve, fill the tank, and switch the electricity back on. It is recommended to do this at least once a year for optimal performance.

What are the steps to clean an infrared heater?

Cleaning an infrared heater involves a few simple steps. First, unplug the heater and ensure it is cool to touch. Remove the exterior casing following the manufacturer’s guidance. Use a soft brush or cloth to gently clean the infrared bulbs or tubes, taking care not to damage them. Clean the reflector surfaces, if any, using a soft, non-abrasive cloth. Finally, reassemble the casing and plug the heater back in.

How should I clean a Honeywell 360 heater?

To clean a Honeywell 360 heater, start by unplugging the heater and allowing it to cool down completely. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently clean the exterior, focusing on the air intake grilles to remove any dust or debris. If necessary, refer to the owner’s manual for specific instructions on disassembling the heater for a more thorough cleaning.

What is the proper way to clean a plinth heater?

For a plinth heater, first ensure it is unplugged and cooled down. Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean any dust or debris from the air intake and outlet grilles. If you need to access the interior components, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for removing the outer casing. Once cleaned, reassemble and plug the heater back in.

How can I maintain a Lasko heater?

Maintaining a Lasko heater involves regular cleaning and inspection. Unplug the heater and allow it to cool before cleaning. Use a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush to gently clean the air intake and outlet grilles. If necessary, follow the manufacturer’s guidance for disassembling the heater to clean and inspect the internal components. Keep in mind that regular maintenance will help prolong the heater’s life and maintain optimal performance.


  1. Using Appliances Efficiently

  2. Tips for Efficient Heating

  3. Comfort Temperature

  4. Temperature Settings to Save Energy

  5. Thermostat Placement

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