You settle in after a long day, warm up a hot drink and turn on your gas fireplace, only to find that it doesn’t start. But you would’ve already had this issue fixed if you were on top of maintenance.
A gas fireplace can be a beautiful addition to your house and add value to your home. However, just like any other fireplace, they need to be properly maintained to keep them in working order. To find out how you can clean your gas fireplace, keep reading.
Consequences for a Lack of Maintenance
Although gas fireplaces don’t produce creosote nor the air pollutants that wood fireplaces do, neglecting to maintain your gas fireplace can expose you to carbon monoxide. There are also other gases produced that, if not cleaned, can cause inhabitants of the home significant respiratory issues.
You could also be allowing dust and other debris to gather in the fireplace and chimney if it’s not cleaned. Gas fireplaces still produce soot and can be a magnet for insects and birds to make a home in while it’s not in use. Making a point to clean your fireplace will help you avoid greater issues or having to deal with a fireplace that isn’t properly ventilated.
If you don’t inspect your fireplace, you may also be ignorant of any water damage that it may be causing or be subject to due to a faulty chimney part. When you inspect your fireplace, you should note any discoloration on the wall, wrinkling in the wallpaper around the chimney, or stains on the ceiling that may indicate a leak.
Your fireplace will also not burn as efficiently if it isn’t cleaned on a regular basis, which in turn means that it’ll produce less heat, more smoke, and more air pollutants. The good news is that a gas fireplace doesn’t need to be cleaned very often. As a general rule, you should clean yours at least once a year, and this can be combined with a chimney inspection.
How To Clean a Gas Fireplace
Cleaning your gas fireplace doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Here are the steps to make it happen.
1. Turn the Gas Off & Clean the Glass
Before you clean your fireplace, you’ll need to turn the gas off to ensure that you don’t harm yourself.
For the glass, it’s best to use a specialized fireplace glass cleaner. But you should never use an ammonia-based cleaner or oven cleaner product. In addition, you should check the seals and gaskets on the glass or the frame for any wear and tear.
2. Take a Picture of the Fireplace As Is
It may seem simple, but take a moment to snap a picture of what the fireplace looks like before you begin to disassemble its parts. This will make the process of reassembly a lot smoother.
3. Clean Off the Rocks
The rocks should be removed and cleaned separately from the logs with water and left to air dry. Don’t let the water drain into the sink or flush it in the toilet, rather, you should pour it outside.
4. Clean the Logs & Firebox
Instead of washing these, use a shop vacuum to clean them off. Or, if you have access to compressed air, blowing them clean works as well.
Using the shop vacuum, you should clean the dirt and dust from the firebox floor and wipe the walls of the chamber with a microfiber towel or cloth.
5. Clean the Burner
The last step is to inspect and clean the burner. You should also check the thermocouple, as your fireplace may shut off at random points if dirt or debris is blocking it.
Wipe this off with sandpaper or steel wool rather than rougher products as they may damage it. Then use a cloth to get rid of any stubborn dirt.
Professional Cleaning Options
If you have a busy schedule or are worried about working close to a gas line, hiring a professional service might be for you. Having a professional clean your gas fireplace will cost you around $100-200, depending on the specific type and the severity of the cleaning needed.
Although it’s more than you’d pay for cleaning it yourself, this mitigates the risk of accidentally causing damage. They’ll have the proper tools and know how to clean your fireplace and determine if any additional maintenance or repairs need to be scheduled.
Other issues regarding maintenance may be a cause to hire a professional. If the buildup of creosote is too difficult to clean, it may be near impossible to properly clean the fireplace without professional expertise. You should also call a professional if your fireplace has gone unused for several years or you’ve recently purchased a home with a gas fireplace already installed.
Keep Your Home Cozy
Gas fireplaces are easy to maintain and come with a multitude of advantages over other types of fireplaces, which make them a great option for your home. But cleaning your gas fireplace is important to avoid dangerous circumstances like carbon monoxide poisoning and having the heat of the fireplace for a relaxing evening. Taking these easy steps to clean yours ensures that it’ll last.
If you’re looking for a professional touch, Dreifuss is one of the oldest and most respected fireplace providers in the industry. Our technicians are NFI-certified and ready to install a new fireplace in your home. Call us today to find the best new fireplace for you.