Do you have a gas fireplace in your home? If you love spending time cozied up by the fire with loved ones, you probably already know how much satisfaction these home fixtures can bring. And unlike wood-burning fireplaces, they can turn off and on with a simple click. However, if you don’t know how to take care of your gas fireplace, you might end up wasting a lot of time and money — or even endangering the safety of yourself and others. Here are some important tips to keep in mind as the weather gets colder!
Keeping Your Gas Fireplace Clean
One of the most important things to remember about gas fireplace maintenance is that a clean fireplace is a safe fireplace. Start cleaning your glass fireplace with the doors, then move to the interior.
Clean the Glass Doors
Take time to clean your fireplace’s glass panels after each use to remove soot buildup. To do so, turn off the gas fireplace and let everything cool down for a few hours. Then, spray glass cleaner onto a soft cloth (microfiber is best). Gently but firmly wipe away soot and other marks, repeating as much as necessary to clean the glass completely. To prevent streaks, use paper towels or newspaper to dry off the cleaner. Don’t use your fireplace for at least an hour after cleaning the glass, so the cleaner has time to evaporate fully.
Clean the Interior
Gas fireplaces require some interior cleaning, too. First, make sure the fireplace is completely turned off and cool. Then, grab your vacuum cleaner and use the hose attachment to remove dirt, dust, and other debris from the inside of the fireplace. Be careful not to suck up any lava rocks if you use them in your fireplace. You can make a homemade “strainer” for your vacuum cleaner using a pair of hoses or a cheesecloth attached to the tube with a rubber band. This way, you can suck up tiny particles without accidentally vacuuming up the lava rocks.
A Note on Log Cleaning
You’ll rarely need to clean gas fireplace logs since soot buildup is usually an indication that it’s time to start replacing gas fireplace logs instead. However, if you want to clean the logs, wait until the fireplace is off and completely cool, then remove them according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully dust them off with a soft-bristled brush, such as a paintbrush. Don’t use water or any cleaning products. If you have vent-free logs, do not clean them at all — vent-free log removal and cleaning should be left to professionals.
Using Your Gas Fireplace Safely
You can also care for your gas fireplace by using it safely. Here are some simple safety tips to follow:
Watch Children and Pets Carefully
Never leave children or pets alone with any fireplace — even a gas fireplace. Keep remotes out of reach of children, teach your kids early on about the importance of fire safety, and do not permit horseplay around the fireplace. Always be careful that the gas does not get switched on without your permission, whether accidentally or on purpose. If necessary, install child locks on doors and switches and check the fireplace frequently.
Beware of Gas Leaks
Gas fireplaces are quite safe, but since they are powered by natural gas, gas leaks can occur if they are used incorrectly. Always make sure that gas lines are switched off after the fireplace is finished being used. Never go to sleep with the fireplace burning unattended, and ensure that there are working carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms in your home. If your pilot light is out and you smell rotten eggs, or you feel dizzy and short of breath, evacuate your home and contact your utility company or emergency services immediately.
Change the Batteries
Change the remote batteries for your gas fireplace at least twice per year, preferably at the same time as you change your smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm batteries. This way, you can always switch off the fireplace quickly if an issue arises. Many remotes use standard batteries available at most retail stores, but some will have to be ordered online. You can find more information about your unit’s batteries on the remote or in the fireplace manufacturer’s manual.
Get Help From Pros
At least once per year, have professionals inspect your fireplace (and chimney, if you have one) to make sure it is safe. In addition, if your fireplace is having issues, don’t turn it on again until you’ve had professional fireplace service. This is the safest and smartest thing to do for your family and your wallet. You won’t have to worry about making repairs yourself or exposing yourself to any dangerous gas or heat.
Enjoy Your Fireplace This Year!
The Gore Heating & A/C team wishes you a happy fall and early winter, and we hope you enjoy your gas fireplace this year. If you need fireplace service, HVAC service, or the power’s out in Fayetteville, NC, reach out to us right away to schedule an appointment. We’ll be right there to help you out ASAP!