While it used to be easy to spot a gas fireplace because of the extremely fake look of the fire and flames, advances in fireplace technology have made gas fireplaces more realistic than ever. Gas burns very clean and provides a fire with a flick of a switch, and because of this, more and more homeowners are opting to switch from wood to the convenience of gas. Although gas fireplaces and gas logs require far less maintenance than their wood burning counterparts, they still need regular cleaning and maintenance to ensure they are working both safely and efficiently.
Gas fireplace and log cleaning
One of the major perks of using a gas fireplace is that there is no need to shovel ashes or soot after every fire. However, gas fireplaces and gas logs should still be cleaned and inspected by a professional once each year. It is recommended to never us a gas fireplace or gas logs without knowledge of its condition.
Before cleaning your gas fireplace, make sure that all components are fully turned off to ensure no gas leaks during the cleaning process. Likewise, do not clean the fireplace immediately after use; instead, wait until all fireplace components are cool to the touch to clean them.
The exterior glass and metal of a gas fireplace can be cleaned using a damp cloth or glass cleaner as often as needed to remove everyday smudges and smears. The interior components of the gas fireplace should be cleaned using a clean, dry cloth or a clean, soft bristled paintbrush. Care should be taken to ensure that no parts of the fireplace are moved out of place during the cleaning process. Even moving the gas log an inch can impact safety and performance.
Lastly, only specialized gas fireplace cleaners should be used on interior components. Generic cleaners might work well in other parts of the house, but may react or combust when the fireplace is lit.
Flue and vent maintenance
While gas fireplaces have greatly reduced cleaning and maintenance needs than their wood burning counterparts, they should still be annually cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep. In addition to still producing small amounts of creosote, gas fireplaces have their own unique maintenance needs.
Gas fireplaces may suffer from incomplete combustion due to an improperly sized flue or improper venting. In addition, a buildup of water condensation can have corrosive properties to the flue lining. Flues and exterior vents should also be regularly checked for blockages that may cause gasses to improperly vent or back up into the home.
When to call a chimney sweep
If you notice that your fire no longer burns as strongly or as hotly as it previously did, consider calling a chimney sweep to evaluate your fireplace system. Fireplace components may have shifted, or they may be blockages in the flue or venting system. In addition, if you ever notice a strong gas odor while using the fireplace, stop using it immediately until it can be professionally evaluated.
At Magic Broom, our staff is familiar with and able to service most of the most popular gas fireplace and log manufacturers. If you’re experiencing issues with your gas fireplace or simply need to have it inspected, contact us today!