Gas fireplaces offer their users a unique combination: the elegant, traditional charm of a wood-burning fireplace as well as the convenience and technology of electric models. However, gas-burning fireplaces share many of the same maintenance and care requirements as both wood-burning and electric fireplaces. Owners need to take regular precautions to keep their units in top operating condition.
When to Get Your Gas Fireplace Inspected
Owners of gas fireplaces that use vents should have their units inspected at least once a year by a licensed gas technician, who will ascertain any malfunction or defect.
Before returning the unit to regular use, experts recommend checking the gas fireplace’s firebox, gas logs and gas lines for any damage or excessive wear and tear. During spring and summer, the gas line’s main valve can be shut off and its ignition key removed, and the pilot light can also be extinguished. On the other hand, some experts recommend leaving the pilot light burning to reduce humidity inside the firebox.
Vents should always remain clean of debris or other non-fireplace materials.
Preventative Care and Cleaning
Logs, coals, or stones in a gas fireplace should never be rearranged as this can present a serious risk of malfunction. Consult a licensed gas technician for help in restoring the logs, coals or stones to their original configuration.
When cleaning, take the parts outside and use cleansers recommended by the manufacturer as well as soft-bristled brush. Clean the firebox by vacuuming dust and other debris from the floor and walls. Clean the glass front panels with an ammonia-free window cleaner.
Never burn any additional materials inside the gas fireplace. This can present an additional fire hazard as well as risk clogging the gas vents with burned-up debris.
Getting Additional Help
Many gas fireplace manufacturers, as well as retailers, offer expert and certified help in answering cleaning and maintenance questions and concerns. In many cases the information is available free of charge to consumers.