Everyone loves the warmth and ambience of a gas fireplace, and it is perfect for taking the chill off during a cold night. All we have to do is turn it on, and it starts heating up, without the need for kindling and wood, and that is a real-time saver and a clean burner.
As great as gas fireplaces are, they must be cared for to keep them operating safely and at full capacity. By following all these gas fireplace maintenance tips, you will ensure that your fireplace is running at peak efficiency, and this will give you worry-free operation when you need it. For any maintenance tasks that you don’t feel comfortable doing, call in the experts to care of them. Then you can take in the view and enjoy your gas fireplace’s warmth.
Wondering what you should be doing to care for it? Here are important gas fireplace maintenance tips to keep you warm and wonderful.
Tip #1: Check the gas fireplace for safety.
When you turn your fireplace on each day, you can quickly check to ensure it is safe to start. Inspect the glass pane to ensure it is tight in place and the door closes securely. Have a look at the logs to see if they are out of place, and check for any build-up of dust or debris in the chamber.
Tip #2: Inspect the chimney
This is when it gets colder in the fall, and you want to use the fireplace regularly. Start by inspecting the chimney to ensure no obstructions blocking smoke from getting out. Take out the logs, sweep out any dust or debris, and put them back, so they sit firmly in place. Turn the flame on to make sure it burns in a good pattern.
Tip #3: Annual maintenance
Once a year, it is a good idea to do a more thorough inspection and cleaning of your gas fireplace. This ensures it will operate safely, and if there is an issue, you can repair or replace it.
Tip #4: Turn the gas off.
Any time you inspect your fireplace, it is important to shut off the gas and pilot light because you don’t want accidental lighting to occur while you are working on it. Give enough time for the unit to fully cool down before reaching in and doing any service.
Tip #5: Clean the fireplace glass.
The glass on your fireplace can get dirty with use as the combustible gases are warm and moist as they come in contact with the cool glass. This produces condensation that can collect:
- Water sports
- Mineral deposits
If this material is left inside the glass, it may permanently etch it. Most doors on a gas fireplace can be easily removed, so you can better clean it on your counter, over the newspaper. Start with a soft cloth and a fireplace glass cleaner, as regular window cleaning spray sometimes leaves a residue on the glass that can become toxic when heated up.
See if that takes off the debris, but if not, you can use a fireplace cleanser or a ceramic cooktop cleaner to remove stubborn stains. After you are done, dry the glass with a paper towel and allow any leftover cleaning residue to evaporate for 30 minutes before putting it back on.
Tip #6: Clean out the interior.
You have the logs or other mediums like lava rocks inside your gas fireplace. This is where the flame burns, and over time it can become dirty with dust and debris. Remove the logs and gently clean them with a paintbrush.
Never use water or chemical to clean, as this will damage the finish. Now you can vacuum the firebox inside, making sure not to suck up any lava rocks if you have them.
Tip #7: Wipe down the outside of the unit.
On the outside of your fireplace, you may have louvred vents or airflow openings that collect dust over the year. These can be wiped down with a microfibre cloth pretty easily and while you are there, look for any obstructions inside.
Continue wiping down the rest of the unit on all surfaces and inspect for any cracked glass and paint bubbling or peeling, as this means the fireplace is not operating as it should.
Tip #8: Replace fireplace batteries.
If your gas fireplace has a remote, it is a good idea to replace the batteries once a year. To be more efficient, you can do this while replacing your home smoke detector and carbon monoxide batteries.
Tip #9: Inspect the chimney.
You will have done this before the burning season, but it’s also good to do this during your annual maintenance. Look for any debris that can block the airflow inside the chimney, and check that the outside is structurally sound.
Other maintenance items may require a trained technician, including:
- Checking and testing the gas line
- Inspecting and cleaning the pilot light
- Checking ignition and safety controls
- Checking the thermocouple millivolts