So you have a new gas fireplace, no more ashes, no more mess! Cleanings and inspections are often overlooked because gas burns so cleanly; people assume that cleanings are not required. Annual inspections and cleaning are important to the visual look, performance, and safety of your gas fireplace, even though they are much less maintenance than wood burning.
Now if you’re asking … Does my gas fireplace need cleaning?
We’re of course going to tell you YES!
What to check for:
- Glassdoor – look for buildup of white carbon or soot, any cracks or chips in the glass
- Logs – check logs are not deteriorating, and are in the proper position according to the installation manual
- Connections, loose gaskets or frayed wires – check gasket to ensure products of combustion are sealed, electrical connections are tight, and gas connections are secure
- Build up of dust, dirt, insects – clear burner orifices, clean fan area
- Venting – make sure it is in good shape and clear of obstructions
Why it’s important:
Glass door– When burning gas or propane you will get a natural white buildup from the minerals in the gas as well as the condensation that forms when the unit is cold. If this residue is allowed to buildup over a few years, it can etch into the glass, and no amount of cleaning will remove it! To clean the glass is it very important to use a product with no ammonia. The glass on most gas fireplaces is ceramic and quite expensive.
Logs– Logs can begin to deteriorate over time, clinging to the inside of the firebox and possibly plugging orifices. You want to make sure the logs are in the proper position also, or you will find soot starting to build up. Soot is not a normal occurrence in a gas fireplace and needs to be addressed right away.
Connections & Gasket– Wires can become loose over time making weak connections causing your fireplace to work intermittently. The gas valve and gas connections should be checked for any possible leaks. Also, the gasket around the glass can become crushed or worn allowing products of combustion to enter the room.
The buildup of dirt, dust, and insects – over time dust, insects and pet hair can accumulate in the fireplace. Fans are especially prone to collecting this debris causing the bearings to go prematurely.
Venting – venting should be checked for any blockages, such as nests, etc. Over time the venting can become weak from the mixture of condensation and exhaust gases being corrosive.
What happens in a cleaning?
During cleaning or inspection, the gas technician will look over the exterior of the unit, doing a visual and getting an idea of how clean the fireplace is burning and if there are any chips or cracks in the glass. Looking at the ignition system to make sure the lighting procedure works well, inspecting the logs & their placement, checking the burner for any cracks and cleaning the thermocouple and thermopile as well as the glass front. The technician will also clean around the fan area and check that all connections are tight.
After a routine check & cleaning the gas technician will advise you if any repairs or concerns were uncovered.
Gas technicians have a wealth of knowledge so if you have any questions about your fireplace, don’t hesitate to ask when they are there. By maintaining your fireplace, you will experience years of warmth, enjoyment, and peace of mind. The best time to schedule your service is in the spring when the heating season has come to an end. Your fireplace will run at peak efficiency, and you know you will be ready when the cold weather comes again.
By The Original Flame inc. Author