Wall mounted electric fan heaters work by pulling cool air into the bottom of the heater, passing it over a heated element and blowing warm air out the top. This system works well, except that all the dust that gets sucked into the heater tends to stay there, and this leads to two problems.
Firstly, the fans get clogged up and they slow down. The reduced air flow causes the element to overheat and trip the over-temperature safety cut outs. After the over-temps are blown your heater will only blow cold air.
Secondly, the accumulated dust can fall on to the element and burn. Dust clogged heaters are not a major source of house fires, but it does happen. A burning smell from the heater is your clue to watch for with either of these faults.
Spare parts are available for most heaters and popular brands such as IXL and Pureheat. It is usually cheaper to repair a heater rather than replace it and most heaters can be repaired to a near new condition.
An annual clean out and service of wall mounted fan heaters can prolong the life of the fans, and minimise problems with burnt out elements and over temperature cut outs. This needs to be done by a licenced electrician, as removing the covers exposes live parts.
With regular maintenance you can avoid expensive repair bills and hopefully avoid the uncomfortable situation of your main heater breaking down on one of the coldest days of the year – just when you want it most!
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