One of the greatest ways to stay warm in the winter is to cozy up with the family in front of the fireplace, and one of the most efficient fireplaces are gas fireplaces. With a gas fireplace, you don’t have to worry about the mess of wood and ash with a typical log-burning fireplace. Although a gas fireplace still requires cleaning, because dust and dirt can cause build up and clog the ports of your gas fireplace.
Wire connections can also become dirty or loose through the normal wear and tear of operation. A lack of cleaning and maintenance can not only cause your fireplace to burn inefficiently, but gaskets can wear out – leaving the potential to release poisonous carbon monoxide.
While it is recommended that you contact an expert for cleaning, maintenance and adjustments to correctly prevent any issues, there are many things you can do yourself. Keep in mind, you should do these at least once a month.
- Prior to cleaning, check to make sure you have turned the gas valve off. When you have finished your cleaning routine, refer to your owner’s manual for relighting instructions.
- Clean the unit’s glass on the inside and out with a non abrasive glass cleaner. If you are regular in your cleanings, a simple damp cloth will do the trick. Since glass is very porous, if it goes for too long without being cleaned, it can become difficult if not impossible to fully clean.
- Check to see if there is any sort of buildup – such as cobwebs, dust, or dirt and so on – and if so, gently clean it.
- Ensure the glass door is fit on tight and secure by checking the bolts that hold it in place. If your glass door is loose, replace the bolts or other materials immediately, as it will help prevent carbon monoxide from entering the home while the fireplace is in use. Do not operate the fireplace without double checking that the glass door is secured in place.
- When you are cleaning, quickly check to see if the gasket is cracked, or if it is missing any pieces. Refer to your owner’s manual for the gasket’s location. If you find it to be damaged in any way (or are simply not sure) contact a professional to have it replaced right away.
- If your gas fireplace is vented, ensure the outside vent is free of any debris like bird nests or leaves. Like the gasket, ensure there are no cracks or damages to the vent, and if there are, contact a professional to have it replaced.
If you are ever unsure about any aspect of your gas fireplace – heating or otherwise – it is better to contact an HVAC specialist. If you do not already have a carbon monoxide detector, it is best to get one just to be on the safe side.