Why Gas Fireplaces Need to be Serviced
Most homeowners who choose a gas fireplace over a wood-burning one are looking for convenience—not bothering to have a cord of wood every fall or cleaning up the ashes the morning after having a fire. They burn natural gas, and there is no smoke belching out of the chimney. Many homeowners believe there is little or no maintenance to owning a gas fireplace.
Not exactly. Just because there isn’t a mess to clean up doesn’t mean you can forgo cleaning and inspections.
Chimney Inspections and Cleanings
Generally, chimney cleaning and inspection companies recommend a yearly inspection for several reasons.
First and foremost is the safety of you and your family. Although there might not be a large creosote build-up that can occur with wood fires, other substances can build up and cause problems. Your gas fireplace burns natural gas, which produces its own soot. This soot is unusually corrosive and, over time, erodes the metal lining of your chimney. If there are cracks in the lining, this could cause carbon monoxide leaks that could find a way into your home. Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odorless, colorless gas, and it is deadly.
Secondly, while your chimney cleaning service is cleaning, he or she is also inspecting. The first thing they will do is remove all debris brought in by animals. In rare cases climbing ivy or vines could have grown down your chimney. Bird nests, twigs, and leaves create their way into your chimney, clogging necessary vents. If those vents are blocked, once again, there is a danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Your chimney service will clean your firebox (the place where the actual flames are), check fire logs for any cracks or chips, and check to see if all fuel lines are functioning correctly. Dust and other debris can clog vents, preventing the fireplace from working accurately and efficiently, and may cease to work altogether.
After your chimney and fireplace are inspected the cleaning service will clean the most visible part of your fireplace. The cleaning service will make your fireplace look tidy and attractive.
Cleaning your gas fireplace isn’t a do-it-yourself project. YouTube videos are plentiful on this subject. Many of these videos are made by amateurs who don’t know the inner working of a gas fireplace. It is best to hire a professional and reputable chimney company rather than take a chance with your family’s safety.
Research Your Chimney Professional
The best way to choose a chimney sweep is to ask around. Word gets around when a company is less than desirable. We are in the age of reviews.
Start looking at the reviews the company is getting.
- Were they on time?
- Was the staff polite?
- Did they answer your questions when you asked?
- Did they suggest any repairs were necessary?
- Did they clean up their mess?
These points may seem trivial to some, but they are essential issues that need to be addressed.
Always remember to have your gas fireplace cleaned and inspected every year. You will be keeping your family safe, and you will sleep better knowing everything is in working order.
Felgemacher Fireplace Shop (a division of Felgemacher)