Gas Fireplace Maintenance before Fall
Gas fireplaces are popular with homeowners for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is their relatively low maintenance requirements compared to wood-burning fireplaces. But the key word here is “relatively.” No fireplaces are maintenance-free, and with a gas fireplace, there are routine tasks that need to be accomplished to ensure that the unit operates safely and correctly.
Here are some guidelines for gas fireplace maintenance before fall and the cold season that’s on the way.
Your gas fireplace won’t present you with the soot, ashes and creosote of a wood fireplace, but you still need to do some cleaning. For the firebox, a gentle cleanser, soft, dry paintbrush and vacuum are usually all that’s required. Clean the burner, control compartment and logs at least once a year. If your glass doors are getting murky, use a standard glass cleaner to make them shine.
During cleaning, inspect your log set to see if any areas are broken or chipped, which can happen after years of use. When installing new logs, make sure the gas valve is turned off and everything within the firebox has cooled after the last fire.
Inspecting the vents
All vents should be cleaned annually and checked for signs of damage and blockage. Damage could include holes, which need to be repaired before using the appliance again. Water within the vent system can cause corrosion to pipes, caps and fittings, so you’ll want to find out why this is happening and fix it as soon as possible.
If you’re able, inspect the entire vent path for debris such as twigs, leaves, bird nests and even small animals. If you vent your fireplace through a standard chimney, you may need to enlist the services of a chimney sweep for a comprehensive inspection.
Gas fireplace maintenance tasks that are typically done by a professional service technician include adjusting all controls including the ignition system (if there isn’t a pilot light) and the millivolt generator, which starts your fireplace during a power outage. A thorough chimney or vent pipe cleaning may be in order. Although gas fires don’t produce nearly as much harmful residue as wood-burning units, over time they all need to be cleaned.
Carbon monoxide detectors
Any time you’re burning a live fire within your home, there’s the possibility of dangerous carbon monoxide being released into the inside air. Too often the problem is overlooked because this substance has no smell and is invisible. You should have several working carbon monoxide detectors within your home – about five feet up a wall in the fireplace area and also near sleeping quarters.
By following these guidelines as well as those included in the product literature for your fireplace, you’ll be able to enjoy your fireplace this fall and winter, knowing that the unit is operating properly and safely.
You can arrange for a professional inspection and cleaning of any kind of fireplace with the experts at Hudson Valley Chimney of Poughkeepsie. Our certified technicians will help you quickly get to the bottom of any issues that might prevent your fireplace from running the way it was intended to. Call (845) 471-1071 to arrange for an appointment or if you have questions.