Home maintenance is a must for preserving the value of one of your greatest assests and to assure the comfort and safety of your family. These days, many homes feature gas fireplaces for aesthetics and ambiance. As with any appliance that involves combustion, routine maintenance is essential to ensure safe and efficient operation. We have found the following article on DIY maintenance guidelines but you may also enlist the services of a professional at the same time as your furnace maintenance. Now, about that hot chocolate…
When owning a gas fireplace, it is very important to understand how it works and to make sure that it is operating appropriately for efficiency and safety purposes. The following information will help you enjoy your gas fireplace and feel confident that you and your family will be safe.
Before you clean your gas fireplace, always make sure the gas valve is turned off. Then, before relighting it, make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions to a tee. The burner and control compartment should always be kept clean, which can be done by vacuuming and brushing it a minimum of one time per year. For cleaning the logs, simply use a soft, paint brush to brush off debris or spider webs. Since most logs are fragile, this type of brush will ensure it does not break.
For the appliance and door itself, simply use a damp cloth while everything is cool. Avoid any type of abrasive cleaner and for the glass, use a standard window cleaner.
Before you use your fireplace, especially the first time at the beginning of the new season, check the venting system to make sure there is nothing clogging it. If you have any concerns, have a qualified technician inspect the fireplace before you begin using it all the time. Additionally, look for any areas that show wear or corrosion, which would look like streaks or rust spots. If you find any, they will need to be replaced before using the fireplace.
Be sure to remove the cap and use a flashlight to look down the vent to see if any birds have built nests or if any leaves or other debris has accumulated in the chimney, which is a serious safety issue.
Condensation – You also wantto look for any condensation that would look like water droplets forming in the vents. If condensation continues, the caps will corrode along with fittings and pipes. The joints should also be checked to make sure nothing has been loosened.
Brass Louvers or Gold Plated – Many of the new, sophisticated fireplaces have 24-karat gold trim. To keep this trim clean, you can simply use a damp cloth and wipe it down. Never use anything abrasive or chemical cleaners since they will damage the finish.
Logs – If you have any broken logs, do not use the fireplace. In this situation, turn the gas value off and let the fireplace cool if it had been in operation. You want to make sure the pilot light is off and always use the appropriate replacement log. Keep in mind that not all fireplace logs fit universally. Check the position of the logs as well to make sure they are connected firmly and safely. If the logs are not positioned according to the manufacturers guidelines, carbon build-up can occur and ultimately damage the unit.
Latch – Be sure the latch of your fireplace, whether gas or wood burning fits tightly, creating a perfect seal.
Door Gasket – It is important that the door gasket of your fireplace be the right type to handle high temperatures.