Gas fireplaces are attractive, efficient and provide incredible warmth. They are also easy to maintain. This does not mean, however, that they require no care. To keep them running safely and reliably, owners should ensure that these fireplaces are professionally serviced and inspected at least once a year and cleaned at least once a month while they are in operation.
Just as cars require regular service and oil changes to prevent problems and maintain efficient function, gas fireplaces require periodic cleaning and maintenance. Regular cleaning prevents the buildup of dust, cobwebs and other materials. Professional maintenance ensures appropriate operation and allows for the detection of potential problems before they become costly emergencies.
While well-maintained fireplaces are safe and reliable, dirty or damaged units can be unreliable and can pose serious risks to household residents. Potential hazards include fire and exposure to natural gas or carbon monoxide.
While you can schedule maintenance any time during the year, the best time to schedule preventative maintenance is in the fall before the temperatures drop. Having your unit serviced at this time will ensure it is ready to operate at peak efficiency when the weather turns cold.
A regular preventative maintenance appointment should include a complete inspection of the fireplace as well as a thorough cleaning of the unit. Some common tasks performed during a maintenance visit include the following:
Keep your unit running efficiently by cleaning it between service appointments. Before cleaning, make sure the unit is switched off and is cool to the touch. Once you determine it is safe to work, wipe the fireplace to remove dust and other buildup. While cleaning, keep an eye out for rust, cracks or other problems that require repair. Also, make sure the fireplace's logs are seated correctly and have no defects.
Once the fireplace is clean, you can follow the instructions in your user manual for lighting the unit if you have not uncovered any problems that require attention. If, however, the logs are damaged or cracked or you have found rust or other concerning issues, have the unit serviced before using it again. Operating a damaged fireplace could endanger your family.
While properly installed gas fireplaces are very safe and reliable, occasionally, problems do occur that require prompt professional attention. To ensure your family's safety and comfort, turn off your gas fireplace and have it professionally serviced if you notice any of the following issues: