All we ask from our electric heaters is to work, right? But too often they are left to their own fate. Maybe you have seen a slight drop in performance from some of them or even a slight smell of burning when they become active in autumn? There is however a few things you can do to improve their performance. Let’s look at what can be done.
Caution: Always turn off the electricity at the circuit breaker before performing maintenance on your heaters.
A baseboard is more vulnerable to dirt and dust especially because of its position at the base of walls. The movement of air by convection that is generated, combined with human activity in the house contributes to the collection of dust over time. It is therefore useful to clean the baseboard at least once a year. Remove the protective cover in front of the unit delicately and without force, to access the heat dissipation fins. They are made of soft metal so you must avoid bending them. The curtain brush (small round brush) accessory of a vacuum cleaner is generally sufficient to absorb any dust that has accumulated inside.
Before replacing the cover, take the opportunity to check that the screws that secure the heater to the wall are not too tight. This is often the cause of baseboards making "cracking" noises. Simply loosen the screws slightly. A slight space between the electrical baseboard and decorative wood moulding should also be considered.
To clean, just like the baseboard, remove the convector’s front cover. The user’s guide will guide you on how to remove the screws generally found at the bottom of the unit. Gently pass the vacuum with its soft brush to remove any dust. The element fins are fragile; they must remain intact because the space between each of them is calculated.
Just as the case of the baseboard heater, the housing can be cleaned with water containing a mild soap or glass cleaner.
As its name suggests, the fan heater uses forced air to maximize the distribution of heat. Therefore it accumulates a larger amount of dust. Some models have a filter that must be cleaned regularly. We can access the interior of the unit by following the steps in the user’s guide. We can remove the dust accumulated inside by delicately manoeuvering the vacuum. We can clean the housing of the unit with water containing mild soap and rigorous wiping can be used if necessary.
Note that some units may develop a yellowed grill in rooms used by smokers. It is very difficult, if not impossible to remove this discoloration.