10 Tips for Maintaining Your Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces are great additions to any home; they look great and are more efficient than wood fireplaces; however they require regular maintenance. Gas fireplaces can be dangerous; therefore it is very important to take the maintenance seriously. This article will take a look at 10 tips for gas fireplace maintenance that will help keep you safe and your fireplace working efficiently. If you think there is any kind of problem with the gas fireplace have a professional take a look at it, ignoring problems can be dangerous and deadly.

1. Safety first

When attempting any maintenance or cleaning you should make sure the gas valve is turned off; if the valve is not turned off there is potential for injury or death.

2. Get the unit inspected

When dealing with a gas fireplace you do not want to take chances, if anything seems off about the unit you should call in a licensed gas technician to be on the safe side.

3. Does your gas fireplace have a working fan?

Not all gas fireplaces require the use of a fan; however some people install fans to spread the heat out throughout the room. If you happen to have a fan make sure to check if it is working properly, if it is not you are not getting the full benefit of the fireplace.

4. Ventilation system

The ventilation system is one of the most important things to check while doing routine maintenance on a gas fireplace. If there is any clogging or anything preventing the ventilation system from working properly it needs to be fixed immediately. If there is something clogging the ventilation system you could have a very unsafe fireplace that could cause injury or death.

5. Clean the glass on the door

About every 1-2 months you should clean the glass door to make sure there is no nasty build up or irregularities. Make sure to use a cleaner that the manufacturer deems safe for the gas fireplace. Most hardware stores and large home improvement stores sell special glass cleaner for gas fireplaces and can be found near the fireplace accessories.

6. Do you need to take the door off to clean it?

When cleaning the glass on the gas fireplace door you have two options, you can leave the door attached to the unit or remove it and clean it on a soft surface. If the gas fireplace is turned off and you feel comfortable cleaning it while still attached then you can clean it this way to save time and aggravation.

7. Have you checked the fake logs lately?

The logs that are used in gas fireplaces can become dirty and can even break on occasion. Make sure to inspect the logs on a monthly basis or at the first sign of unusual behavior; skipping this step could cause malfunction and possibly injury. When cleaning the fake logs make sure to use a soft bristle log cleaning brush, which can be picked up at most hardware stores.

8. Don’t skip annual maintenance

Although annual maintenance for gas fireplaces is very expensive since it requires a licensed gas technician it is a good idea to not skip maintenance. If there is a leak or build up in the ventilation system you could be out a lot more money than the maintenance cost in damages. Many gas fireplace owners skip this step to save a few dollars; however skipping this step can cause malfunction and even injury.

9. Use recommended cleaners for cleaning logs, glass, and interior

I worked for a local hardware store for multiple years as a student job and know the prices of cleaners for gas fireplaces, some can be very high. Although the cleaners may be expensive you should not try your own solution unless it is recommended by the manufacturer; you could be voiding your warranty and damaging the unit. Do not cut corners!

10. The pilot light

The pilot light can be turned off during the spring and summer when the stove is not in use; it can also be easily turned back on during the months that the stove is in use. Always read the instruction manual before tampering with the pilot light.

Sources:

http://www.stretcher.com/stories/04/04oct25e.cfm

http://hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/cleaning_glass

Personal experience working at a hardware store for multiple years