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How to maintain a gas fireplace

Posted on: November 15, 2016

Winter is right around the corner, which means it’s almost time for chilly afternoons by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa. But before you flip the switch on your gas fireplace, have you thought about maintenance?

Gas fireplaces are an excellent addition to any home. They are convenient, comfortable, and lack the messiness associated with a wood-burning unit. However, problems can occur. Without proper maintenance of your gas fireplace, dirt and dust buildup can clog the ports of your fireplace. General wear and tear of the wired connections is inevitable. Gaskets could wear out and potentially allow carbon monoxide to leak into your home—creating a danger for you and your family.

To ensure you are getting the best experience and running a safe unit, annual gas fireplace maintenance —including an inspection, cleaning, and adjustment—is recommended! Keep reading to learn more about what you can do vs. what should be left to the experts.

Tips for self-maintenance

Appliances, including gas fireplaces, can become an annoyance if they are left unattended. In addition to the annual maintenance, it is best to check on your unit month-to-month. If you are unsure of how to practice self-maintenance, we’ve got you covered.

  1. Clean the glass. Whether you’ve used the fireplace or not, this step will help prevent a cloudy film from building up on the glass and keeping you from enjoying the relaxing view.
  2. Check for build-up. Dust happens. Spider webs happen. If you notice this type of buildup, gently clean it away to allow for maximum efficiency.
  3. Make sure the glass fits and the hardware is intact. The glass door and hardware separate you from the flames. Be sure all screws are properly fastened and aligned with the frame. This ensures carbon monoxide is not leaking into your home!
  4. Don’t forget to check the vent. If your gas fireplace is vented, be sure to check the outdoor vent. Remove debris and repair any damages as soon as possible.

Now, you know the best way for you to keep your fireplace in top shape. You are probably wondering when it’s best to call in the experts.

When do I call the experts?

Self-maintaining your unit is only one aspect of owning a gas fireplace. If your gas fireplace is not maintained well enough, or if you skip maintenance, serious issues can occur—and it’s best to get an expert opinion and assistance.

Some signs of more serious issues are:

  • Soot buildup in the unit
  • Suspicious odor coming from the fireplace
  • Film, discoloration, or etching on glass covering
  • Slow or no ignition when the unit is turned on
  • The unit shuts itself off
  • More than one year since the last service
  • The unit has no usage or service history

If you experience any of the above warning signs, it may be time for a professional servicing.

Don’t let your gas fireplace go unchecked. If it has been more than a year since your last servicing, call James A. Wheat & Sons to schedule your gas fireplace maintenance check today, and enjoy the comfort of knowing your system is well maintained, efficient, and ready to serve you through the cold winter months. For gas fireplace maintenance in Maryland, call 240-399-5051 for more information!