Electric Fireplace Repair Made Easy: Tips & Techniques

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Electric fireplaces are a fantastic way to enjoy the ambiance of a crackling fire without the mess and hassle of a traditional wood-burning fireplace. But even these convenient appliances can encounter occasional issues.

An electric fireplace in the middle of a repair.

And if that happens or has already happened, this guide is here to help you tackle basic electric fireplace repairs, saving you time and money.

We’ll equip you with the knowledge and techniques to get your fireplace glowing again. Keep reading to discover:

  • Common electric fireplace problems and how to address them
  • Electric fireplace repair cost
  • Some maintenance tips and
  • When to call in the professionals

By the end of this guide, you’ll be well on your way to restoring the warmth and ambiance of your electric fireplace.


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Common Electric Fireplace Repair Problems

The following are the most frequent problems you might encounter with your electric fireplace.

1. Electric Fireplace Won’t Turn On

Is your electric fireplace refusing to turn on? This is a common issue, and there are several simple culprits to check before calling in a repair person. We’ll guide you through:

  • Identifying the Cause: Is the fireplace plugged in securely? Did a tripped circuit breaker cut the power? Is the remote control functioning properly? (Check the batteries!)
  • Diagnosis Steps: Check your breaker box, inspect the fuse (if your fireplace has one), ensure the plug is securely fastened, and test the power outlet with another appliance.
  • Troubleshooting Techniques: Reset the tripped breaker, replace the fuse if it’s blown, try new batteries, and consider replacing a faulty power cord or switch (consult a qualified electrician for the latter).

2. Failure to Heat

An electric fireplace that does not heat.

Enjoying the ambiance is great, but staying warm is essential. If your electric fireplace isn’t producing heat, here’s what to do:

  • Identifying the Culprit: Clogged vents, a faulty thermostat, or a malfunctioning heater element are potential causes.
  • Diagnosis Steps: Examine the air intake and outlet vents for any obstructions, ensure the thermostat is set to “heat” and a temperature above the room temperature, and listen for unusual vibrating noises from the heater element.
  • Troubleshooting Techniques: Clear any blockages, adjust the thermostat, and if the heater element seems faulty, consult a professional for repairs (a qualified electrician should do electrical work).

3. Problems with Flames

The flickering flames are a big part of the electric fireplace’s charm. If they’re acting up, let’s fix it:

  • Identifying the Issues: Dust buildup, a loose bulb (in some models), or a malfunctioning flame generator motor could be causing issues with the flame effect. In the case of an electric fireplace in the basement, humidity and infrequent use can exacerbate these issues, leading to more persistent problems.
  • Diagnosing Steps: Check for any obstructions near the flame area that could be interfering with the flame effect, such as dust or debris. Additionally, inspect the fireplace’s bulbs or LED lights responsible for creating the flame effect to ensure they are functioning correctly.
  • Troubleshooting Techniques: Clean the fireplace’s interior and flame area to remove any debris affecting the flame effect and tighten any loose flame bulbs. If the issue persists, consider replacing the bulbs or LED lights to restore the desired flame appearance. If you’re unsure how to access or replace these components, refer to the manufacturer’s manual or seek professional assistance.

4. Remote Control Issues

An electric fireplace replace.

Is your once-loyal remote control now acting up? Don’t replace it just yet! Here’s how to diagnose the problem:

  • Identifying the Culprit: Dead batteries, a dirty remote sensor on the fireplace, or a malfunctioning remote control itself are potential causes.
  • Diagnosis Steps: Replace the batteries with fresh ones, clean the remote sensor on the fireplace with a soft, dry cloth, and try using the remote from different angles and distances.
  • Troubleshooting Techniques: Try resetting the remote according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If the problem persists after these steps, the remote itself might be faulty. Consider purchasing a universal remote compatible with your electric fireplace model.

5. Fan and Motor Noises

Electric fireplaces utilize fans and motors to circulate heat and create the flame effect. Unusual grinding or screeching noises and annoying vibrations from these components can be concerning. Let’s troubleshoot:

  • Identifying the Issues: The noise could be caused by loose parts, dust buildup within the fan, or a failing motor.
  • Diagnosis Steps: Turn off the fireplace and unplug it. With caution, check for any loose screws or parts around the fan. You can also gently vacuum the fan area to remove dust. If noises persist, listen closely to determine if they’re coming from the fan or the flame generator motor.
  • Troubleshooting Techniques: Tighten any loose parts around the fan. Be mindful that electrical components shouldn’t be directly vacuumed. If noises persist, especially from the flame generator motor, consult a qualified electrician for repairs. Attempting to disassemble the motor yourself is not recommended.

6. Unusual Noises

Unusual noises emanating from your electric fireplace can disrupt its peaceful ambiance. Here’s how to address them:

  • Identifying the Issue: Unusual noises, such as rattling or humming, can indicate underlying issues with the fireplace’s components, such as loose parts or malfunctioning motors.
  • Diagnosing the Problem: Carefully listen to the noises and try to pinpoint their source within the fireplace. Inspect the interior for any loose parts or debris that may be causing the noise.
  • Troubleshooting Steps: Tighten any loose parts and clean the interior of the fireplace to remove any debris that may be causing the noise. If the problem persists, consider contacting a professional technician to diagnose and repair the issue.

7. Fireplace Turning Off By Itself

An electric fireplace that unexpectedly shuts down can be frustrating. Let’s troubleshoot:

  • Identifying the Culprit: Possible reasons include overheating, a faulty thermostat, or a timer setting you might have inadvertently activated.
  • Diagnosis Steps: Check your user manual to see if your fireplace has an automatic shut-off feature due to overheating. Inspect the thermostat settings and ensure it’s not set to an excessively high temperature that might trigger a safety shut-off. Review the remote control or fireplace controls for any timer settings that might be unintentionally turning off the unit.
  • Troubleshooting Techniques: If overheating is suspected, allow the fireplace to cool down completely. Adjust the thermostat settings as needed. Deactivate any timer functions you might not be using. If the problem persists, consult a qualified technician to rule out any internal component malfunctions.

Electric Fireplace Repair Cost

Now that you’re equipped to troubleshoot common electric fireplace problems, let’s explore the costs associated with repairs should you need to call in a professional.


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Electrical Issues Cost Range

Electrical issues can encompass a variety of problems,  from a faulty power cord to a malfunctioning switch. Diagnosing and fixing these issues typically involve an electrician’s expertise.

The cost can range between $100 and $700, depending on the complexity of the problem and the time it takes to fix it.

Heating Element Replacement Cost Range

If your fireplace isn’t producing heat, a faulty heating element might be the culprit. Replacing a heating element generally costs between $150 and $300 for parts and labor.

Blower Motor Repair or Replacement Cost Range

The blower motor is responsible for circulating warm air throughout the room.  Repairing a malfunctioning motor can cost between $100 and $200, whereas replacing it entirely might range from $200 to $450.

Thermostat Replacement Cost Range

A faulty thermostat can prevent your fireplace from reaching the desired temperature. Replacing a thermostat typically falls within the range of $75 to $200 for parts and labor.

Remote Control Cost Range

Dead batteries or a malfunctioning remote sensor often cause remote control issues. Replacing a remote control is usually the most affordable repair, costing around $50 to $100.

Repair TypeCost Range
Electrical Issues$100 – $700
Heating Element Replacement$150 – $300
Blower Motor Repair/Replacement$100 – $450
Thermostat Replacement$75 – $200
Remote Control Replacement$50 – $100

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Future Electric Fireplace  Issues

Here are some simple tips to prevent future problems and ensure your fireplace continues to bring warmth and ambiance to your home.

1. Cleaning the Glass and Surround

The glass front of your electric fireplace is what allows you to enjoy the mesmerizing flames. Naturally, it will accumulate dust, fingerprints, and other smudges over time. Here’s how to keep it sparkling clean:

Always turn off and unplug your fireplace before cleaning. Allow the glass to cool completely to avoid any risk of cracking. Never use abrasive cleaners, ammonia, or solvent-based products, as they can damage the fireplace’s surface.

For regular cleaning, a microfiber cloth dampened with warm, soapy water is all you need. Wipe the glass gently in a circular motion, then buff it dry with a clean, dry microfiber cloth to prevent streaks. For stubborn grime, you can use white vinegar and water solution (50/50 mix) on the microfiber cloth.

The surrounding frame of your fireplace can also accumulate dust over time. Wipe it down regularly with a dry or slightly damp microfiber cloth to maintain its appearance.

Important: Aim to clean the glass at least once a month during regular use or more frequently if you notice dust or fingerprints accumulating. Also, avoid spraying any cleaning solution directly onto the fireplace.

2. Dust and Debris Removal

Dust buildup within your electric fireplace can hinder its performance and even pose a fire hazard. Here’s how to keep the internal components dust-free:

  • Preventing Dust Buildup:  Regularly vacuum the fireplace’s exterior vents using the hose attachment. This helps prevent dust from entering the unit.
  • Maintaining Internal Components:  At least once a year, unplug your fireplace and carefully vacuum any visible dust from the air intake and outlet vents. Consult your user manual for specific instructions on accessing the interior components for cleaning. A soft brush attachment can be helpful for reaching tight spaces. Lastly, never submerge any electrical components in water or cleaning solutions.

By removing dust buildup, you ensure optimal airflow for efficient heat circulation. This not only improves the fireplace’s performance but also extends its lifespan.

When to Call a Professional

A technician repairing an electric fireplace.

While this guide empowers you to tackle many common electric fireplace repairs, there are situations where seeking professional help is the wisest course of action. Here’s when it’s time to call in qualified personnel:

Electrical Issues

If you suspect problems with the wiring of your electric fireplace, don’t attempt to fix them yourself. To ensure safety, a licensed professional should always do electrical work.

This includes issues like a faulty power cord, malfunctioning switch, or any sparking or unusual electrical odors.

Complex Parts Replacement

Certain components within your electric fireplace, like the heating element or blower motor, might require specialized knowledge and tools for replacement.

If you’re unsure about dismantling parts of your fireplace or don’t feel comfortable with the repair process, it’s best to leave it to a professional.

Evidence of Internal Damage

If you notice visible signs of internal damage to your electric fireplace, such as burnt wires, loose connections, or scorching on internal components, avoid operating the fireplace and contact a qualified technician for a thorough inspection and repair.

Persistent Problems

If you’ve attempted troubleshooting a specific issue using the tips in this guide, but the problem persists, it’s a good sign that professional intervention is needed. A qualified electrician can diagnose the root cause of the problem and ensure a proper repair.

The Importance of Timely Professional Intervention

Ignoring electrical issues or attempting complex repairs yourself can lead to more significant problems down the line.  Timely intervention from a professional can not only save you money in the long run by preventing further damage but also ensure the safe and efficient operation of your electric fireplace. 

When in doubt, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and consult a qualified professional for your electric fireplace repair needs.


Electric fireplaces offer a wonderful way to add warmth and ambiance to your home. With proper maintenance and the knowledge to address minor issues, you can ensure your electric fireplace provides years of enjoyment. 

This guide simplifies electric fireplace repair by outlining common problems and their specific solutions. We’ve also covered cleaning and maintenance to ensure your electric fireplace operates safely and efficiently.

And remember, if a situation seems complex or involves electrical work, don’t hesitate to call in a qualified professional. We’re always here to help!

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Thomas Green

Thomas has worked in the Chimney & Fireplace field for over 12 years. He is an expert in his trade and loves to help People with their needs. Thomas Write helpful articles so that homeowners can make the most informed decisions about their fireplace and chimney.