Maintenance Tips for Gas Log Fireplaces
A gas log fireplace is a welcome addition to most any home. The pattern of flames surrounding the logs looks very realistic, so much like a traditional wood fireplace that you sometimes have to look twice to determine that there are no real logs burning. But beauty and realism doesn’t mean these appliances can run forever without any maintenance.
Maintenance for a gas log fireplace includes tasks like cleaning the firebox and making sure the vent apparatus (chimney/exhaust piping) remains free of debris and is in good repair. Since the design & engineering of gas log sets are complicated and complex, it’s best to let a trained gas technician to handle these tasks.
Maintaining your chimney
While gas burns much more cleanly than wood and doesn’t produce a heavy buildup of dangerous creosote in the chimney, there are other potential problems homeowners need to be aware of. In most cases, it’s advisable to have a professional gas technician perform inspections rather than trying to do it yourself.
A critical element of chimney inspection – regardless of the type of fuel used in the fireplace – is to make sure there is a clear path from the firebox to the outside air. Over time, a chimney can become obstructed with debris such as bird nests, twigs, leaves and other items. This will obstruct the flow of air and possibly cause carbon monoxide to back up into the house when the fireplace is in use.
It’s also important to mention that gas log sets require a lined chimney for proper venting. A chimney inspection can identify potential problems or vulnerabilities in your chimney liner & venting system.
The exterior of the chimney should also be checked. Cracks in the crown or mortar joints can allow moisture in, which can lead to deterioration of your chimney liner or masonry work. Finally, inspection is necessary to ensure that the damper is still locked in the open position or removed completely to ensure that combustion by-products can exit your living space easily & quickly.
Cleaning the firebox
Your professional gas technician can also clean your firebox & inspect or clean your gas log set to ensure that it is working effectively & efficiently. A thorough cleaning is provided as follows:
- Pilot light & gas supply are turned off.
- The logs and burners are removed from the firebox and brushed with a nylon brush with soft bristles.
- The firebox is vacuumed & washed with water and mild detergent. (This is a good time to clean the nozzle of the pilot light.)
- The vents are checked for blockage. The chimney and liner are inspected to ensure there is no potential issues or blockages.
- The logs & burner are put back into place and the pilot light is ignited. A test fire will be started to ensure the gas line has been hooked up correctly. If you detect the smell of gas at anytime while using your gas log set and can’t determine its source, contact your fireplace company or gas company immediately.
- Make sure the flame is burning the same is it did the last time the fireplace was in use. The color of the flame can be altered by adjusting the air vent.
Marsh’s Stoves & Fireplaces of Toronto wants everyone to enjoy their fireplaces in a manner that puts safety first. If you’re considering the purchase of a gas log set, fireplace or stove, come check out our selection at 3322 Dundas Street West. You can reach us at (416) 762-4582.