There’s nothing like curling up next to the fire on a chilly night and watching the flames dance in the comfort of your living room. While a fireplace is a welcome furnishing that attracts home buyers, it does require upkeep to make sure the fire keeps going without causing any hidden dangers to your household. Here are some ways to make sure that you keep on top of gas fireplace maintenance while being aware of any necessary repairs.
When it comes to gas fireplace repair and maintenance, you want to do so in line with how often you use your fireplace. If you find yourself getting a fire going from autumn through to the spring, you should schedule services at least once a year, ideally in the summer when you’re not using an indoor gas fireplace nearly as often. If you turn on your gas fireplace every now and then, say when you have company over to provide some ambiance, you can probably get by with a fireplace service check every two years.
Inspection of the unit will include everything from checking the exterior for any gaps or cracks in the framework to making sure that the gas ignition works correctly. Upon having a technician inspect your firebox, you’ll want to vacuum the interior. Dust bunnies, dead bugs, and pet hair can all find their way into your roaring fire. For safe operation, any excess soot or other crud should be vacuumed out. This is the case for all models of gas fireplaces regardless of the age of the unit.
Cleaning a Fireplace
When cleaning a gas fireplace, it’s important to ensure that the gas is turned off. The gas valve, often located on the wall next to the fireplace, should be turned completely off. Make sure that the pilot light is also completely out to allow all of the gas to leave the piping safely. You’ll want to make sure that the firebox has completely cooled off before cleaning.
From there, you should disassemble the fireplace based on the instructions provided upon installation, by a technician, or from a previous homeowner. If you have glass doors, a metal screen, or a mesh curtain, you can remove them easily for cleaning. Be sure to carefully disassemble the logs and remove the burner unit. If possible, take the components outside for cleaning to prevent any dust or soot from spreading through your household.
Before reassembling a gas fireplace, use a hand broom to carefully brush away the dirt on each log. Do not use any spray cleaners or water as this can lead to issues when reigniting. Vacuuming any dust and polishing the metal in the fireplace’s framework will ensure safe and clean operation.
Other Keys to Fireplace Maintenance
It’s important to find a fireplace repair service that is able to clean out a sooty chimney. With gas fireplaces, the biggest threat to the chimney is condensation. Damp patches on the walls and ceiling stains are all signs of a compromised chimney. If you haven’t called in the pros yet, it’s time to make the call. This form of annual maintenance can save you tremendously on any issues down the line, along with regular checks for any leaks or cracks throughout the unit.
It’s also recommended that you invest in a carbon monoxide detector throughout your household to make sure that the dangerous, odorless chemical does not come to the detriment of your loved ones when you turn the gas fireplace on. Detectors should be replaced every five years, even sooner if you have concerns over battery life. This will alert you to any major concerns, and make sure that the fire stays roaring well through the winter months.