Gas appliances are a popular choice for many homeowners looking for an easy and convenient way to heat their homes. With easier operating, lower costs, and increased efficiency it is easy to enjoy the benefits of gas over traditional wood appliances.
However, many gas appliance owners fail to realize their fireplace or stove requires the same inspections as a wood burning appliance. In order to keep your gas heating appliance operating safely and efficiently, it is recommended to have it inspected at least once per year.
The importance of an annual inspection
An annual inspection is an important part of keeping your gas appliance operating safely and efficiently. The Hearth, Patio, & Barbecue Association recommends that homeowners have all gas appliances professionally inspected at least once per year.
Even fireplaces that seem to be working well may be suffering from unseen damage or problems. Gas fireplaces are particularly susceptible to having faulty or damaged valves or connections; gas lines or gas logs that are shifted by as little as a few millimeters can create small gas leaks that can continue to worsen over time.
Masonry chimneys and venting considerations
If your gas insert was installed into an existing masonry fireplace, it may have special venting considerations. Two of the most common issues involving gas appliances and masonry chimneys are improper flue sizing and corrosion in the flue lining.
Gas appliances are much more efficient than most wood burning appliances; because of this, the amount of heat lost up the chimney is greatly reduced. The high efficient gas appliances then have trouble heating the too-large flues, creating drafting issues. Having the chimney relined can help ensure the flue is correctly sized for the fireplace or stove.
Flue relining can also help prevent corrosion of the flue liner. Because the byproducts of combustion are different for a gas fire than a wood burning one, a standard clay tile liner may corrode over time if used with a gas fireplace. Relining the chimney with a high performance liner can prevent chimney deterioration and keep the chimney drafting safely.
Gas fireplace safety
Although an annual inspection is an important part of gas appliance safety, there are a number of things homeowners can do to keep their families safe all year long. First, all homes with a fireplace or other heating appliances should be equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. These alarms should be tested monthly, replacing batteries are needed. New alarms should be installed every 10 years to ensure they are current with modern safety standards.
In addition to your inspection, there are several home maintenance tips homeowners can follow. When cleaning the interior or exterior of your gas appliance, make sure to only use specially designed cleaning products; these fireplace products are designed to not leave behind any chemical residue that will react with heat from the fire. Likewise, use soft, dry clothes or clean soft bristled paintbrushes to gently remove dust from the interior of the gas appliance, taking special care not to move or jostle any valves or connectors.
While gas heating appliances may not produce the ash and soot like their wood burning counterparts, they still require the same kinds of annual maintenance – including a yearly chimney inspection. To have your gas appliance inspected for the upcoming year, contact Magic Broom today!