Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the lowest temperature at which the Hummer Hearth will keep the hummingbird nectar thawed?
A: This depends on many factors, including the bulb wattage, feeder size, and wind, but in general.
- A 7-watt bulb will work down to about 20F (-7C)
- A 15-watt bulb will work down to about 10F (-12C)
- A 25-watt bulb will work down to about 0F (-18C)
Q: Will the Hummer Hearth scare the hummingbirds?
A: No, it won’t scare them, though it might take a few minutes for them to get used to it. It is wise to attach the Hummer Hearth to your hummingbird feeder a few days before cold weather is expected to give them a chance to get used to it.
Q: A red disc was included with my Hummer Hearth. What’s it for?
A: The red disc supplied with the Hummer Hearth is a cover for the ant moat on saucer-style hummingbird feeders. On these feeders, heat can escape through the ant moat. This cover helps hold the heat in. You do not need the disc if you use another style of feeder.
Q: Can I leave the Hummer Hearth plugged in 24 hours a day?
A: Yes, it is designed for continuous use. The only issue is if daytime temperatures get warm, the heat from the Hummer Hearth will raise the nectar temperate, and the nectar will spoil more quickly. We advise unplugging it if daytime temperatures go above about 45F (7C).
Q: I don’t have an outlet near my hummingbird feeder. Can I use an extension cord?
A: Yes, the power consumed by the Hummer Hearth is so low that you can use a very long extension cord.
Q: I see some ice in the feeder. Is it frozen?
A: If the temperate dips low enough, ice will form at the top and then against the outside edges of the feeder. Chances are that the center of the feeder is still liquid, but your view is blocked by ice. Use a toothpick or paper clip to poke into a feeding port to see if the nectar is frozen. Another way is to tip the feeder to see if liquid comes out.
Q: Should I put a cover on the feeder?
A: Yes, a cover really helps to keep the feeding ports clear of snow. Hanging the feeder under eaves or a roof is another big help.
Q: What is the best feeder to use with the Hummer Hearth?
A: Most important is that the bottom of the feeder is shaped so the Hummer Hearth can create a pocket of warm air without any significant gaps. Second is the size of the feeder. A small feeder will stay thawed to a lower temperature than a large feeder. Third is how full the feeder is – the more nectar in the feeder, the more heat is required to keep it all thawed. Less nectar will stay thawed to lower temperatures. Bottle feeders do a little better than saucer-style feeders, but not by much. Some users feed with one type of feeder in the summer and another in the winter.
Q: Where is the best place to place my feeder in cold weather?
A: A place protected from the wind. Wind is the number one problem. I’ve had a small feeder with a 7-watt bulb keep the feeding ports thawed to 7F (-14C) on a still night. The same feeder in a 10-mph wind froze at about 15F (-10C). It takes a little planning, but if you know which way the wind comes from when you get winter storms, try to position the feeder downwind from your house, structure, or trees. Under eaves or roof overhang helps as well as a cover. Move your feeder a few days before you expect cold weather to give the Hummingbirds time to adjust. I have my feeders in one place in the summer, and in the fall, I move them to a more protected position.
Q: Should I use nectar with a higher sugar concentration than 4 parts water to 1 part sugar?
A: No, a 4 to 1 ratio nectar will freeze at about 28F (-2C). Going to a more concentrated mixture, say 3 to 1 will lower the freezing point slightly but can harm the Hummingbirds. This is why: in warm weather, a hummingbird can drink nectar that is sweeter than its body can handle because it can drink some water to keep the right balance. When things are frozen, no liquid water is available to drink to balance out the extra sweet nectar. This can damage the kidneys and dehydrate the bird. As an example, you could probably drink only sodas and be ok, but if you only drink pancake syrup, you would have problems. So, stay with the 4 to 1. Also, white sugar only.
Q: Can I run the Hummer Hearth through the dishwasher?
A: No, it will break down the elastic cords.
Q: My elastic cord is losing its stretch; what can I do?
A: Over the last couple of years, we have had a hard time sourcing good quality elastic as much of it has been going to make masks. For this reason, we have sent our dealers replacement elastic. Please contact your dealer, or contact us at email@example.com.
Q: Is the Hummer Hearth safe to use exposed to the weather?
A: Yes, the Hummer Hearth is the only Hummingbird feeder heater on the market that uses an electrical cord that complies with UL 588 outdoor wet location standards. The cord has a fuse-protected polarized plug, strain relief built into the lamp holder, correctly insulated wire, and a stainless-steel mounting clip. Others use a cord that is UL-compliant for indoor use only. Copies coming from China have exposed metal carrying electricity. Our cord is much more expensive than our competitors, but we take your safety seriously.
Q: How long will a bulb last?
A: The bulbs have a 2000-hour rating. I generally get two seasons out of a bulb. Always unplug the Hummer Hearth before removing the lamp holder. The element in the bulb is much more fragile when it is burning.
Q: My bulb burnt out, but the replacement bulb will not light. What is wrong?
A: Try these steps to determine the issue and to fix it.
- Take the cord out of the feeder and try plugging it into an outlet you know is good.
- GFC tripped. If it lights, the GFCI feeding your outside plug may be tripped and need to be reset.
- Fuse, bulb, or both blown. If it does not light, unplug the cord. Slide open the little cover on the plug. You will see two fuses. The loose fuse is a spare. Using a small screwdriver, gently pry the old fuse out of the plug. If the fuse is blown, often, you can see black soot inside, sometimes not. Replace it with the spare fuse. Plug the cord in to test. If it lights, test the bulb that burnt out, it may work now. If the bulb does not light up, unplug the cord, be sure it is unplugged! Remove the bulb from the lamp holder. Spray some WD-40 on a paper towel and gently clean the metal contacts inside the socket. Also, clean the metal base on the bulb as well. Replace the bulb and test again. If none of this works, please contact your dealer or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Where can I buy replacement bulbs for the Hummer Hearth?
A: Many Hummer Hearth dealers carry replacement bulbs. The Hummer Hearth includes a 7-watt bulb, and starting with the winter 2022-2023 season, every Hummer Hearth will come with a spare 15-watt bulb. If you want to stock up on spare bulbs, I suggest getting an extra 15-watt for the extra heat output. The replacement bulb needs to be an incandescent type, LED bulbs do not produce any appreciable heat.
The 7-watt bulb is a C9 E-12 base (candelabra) 7-watt; they are often called night light bulbs.
- In Canada, Lowes item 13500, Home Hardware item 3659-100, Ace item 493190
- In US Lowes item 214948, Home Depot SKU 1004630391, Ace item 3406311
The 15-watt bulb is a T7 E-12 base (candelabra) 15-watt; they are often called appliance or wax warmer bulbs.
- In Canada Lowes item 134568, Home Hardware item 3655-609
- In US Lowes item 99400, Home Depot SKU 154014, Ace item 3200177
The 25-watt bulb is a T8 E-12 base (candelabra) 25-watt; they are often called appliance or wax warmer bulbs. Note: the 25-watt bulb is intended for use in extreme conditions only and is an optional upgrade.
These items are available online through several sellers.
It is important to use the correct bulb to ensure no part of the bulb is in contact with the Hummer Hearth or feeder when installed.
Q: Do you sell the Hummer Hearth directly?
Q: I ordered a Hummer Hearth online; it is nothing like the pictures.
A: Unethical sellers are using Hummer Hearth photos to advertise a very substandard Chinese product online, which is unlike the Hummer Hearth design. Beware, there is a high electrical shock risk with these products. The Hummer Hearth is made in the USA, near Seattle, Washington.
Q: Hummingbirds quit coming to my feeder. What is wrong?
A: The most likely answer is the nectar has spoiled, so the hummingbirds won’t eat it. Nectar can spoil surprisingly quickly, and it is easy to forget how long ago you filled it. Change the nectar if it has turned milky or has insects floating inside. As a rule, avoid leaving nectar in a feeder for more than five days during hot weather. Same in the winter when using a Hummer Hearth. I only fill the feeder as much as I figure they will eat in 5 days. This cuts down on how much you end up throwing out. Always clean your feeder with hot water before refilling it.
Q: How often should I clean my feeder?
A: Clean your feeder every time you fill it, without fail. I use very hot water only and a brush that I only use to clean our hummingbird feeders.
Q: Where can I get replacement fuses for my Hummer Hearth?
A: The fuse is a 5mm x 20 mm fast-blow fuse. These are available in several amp ratings. You need a fuse rated between 500 milliamps (.5 amp) and 5 amps. Some Hummer Hearth dealers carry these, and you can find them at most hardware stores.
Q: How do I attach the Hummer Hearth to my hummingbird feeder?
A. Click here for step-by-step instructions.