How to Safely Operate a Gas Fireplace
Knowing how to safely operate a gas fireplace can help to ensure maximum enjoyment of your heating appliance. There are different types of gas fireplaces, but all are convenient and easy to use. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. All types of gas fireplaces need annual maintenance performed by a professional. The following tips can help you understand what is involved with gas fireplace safety.
Check Local Codes
Options for gas fireplaces include direct-vent, B-vent, and ventless. Check your local building codes before you purchase a gas fireplace. Ventless fireplaces are frequently outlawed in local municipalities.
Schedule Professional Installation
Gas fireplaces should always be installed by authorized and factory-trained technicians. Hire a licensed contractor or chimney sweep rather than trying to convert your wood-burning fireplace to gas yourself. Working with a propane tank or gas line is not a do-it-yourself type of job. Only an experienced professional should hook gas up to an appliance.
Choose the Best Safety Features
Purchase a gas fireplace that is already equipped with a 100% fail-safe shut-off valve. With this safety feature, the gas flow will only turn off if the pilot light goes out. A safety pilot is another great safety option that shuts the gas off if too much carbon monoxide builds up and if the fireplace temperature gets too cold.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector
A small amount of carbon monoxide is released in all fireplaces that run on gas-based fuel. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be deadly. Make sure carbon monoxide detectors in your home are operational before lighting a gas fireplace.
3 Feet of Space
Your gas fireplace should be no closer than 3 feet to furniture or combustible objects of any kind.
Schedule Annual Maintenance Inspections
Your gas fireplace should be inspected and cleaned by an expert every year. The following are among the steps in routine maintenance inspections performed by professionals:
- Adjust and clean the logs and other accessories for optimal appearance.
- Clean air circulation passages and the fan.
- Clean the glass.
- Make sure there is no blockage in the vents.
- Check venting for corrosion, excessive condensation, joint connections, and proper fittings.
A Tip for Ventless Gas Logs
Vent-free gas logs utilize the oxygen inside your home and release small quantities of carbon monoxide. Introduce new oxygen by opening a window. This will help to maintain a healthy balance of oxygen. In the alternative to opening a window, use a ventless gas log fireplace for only a few hours at a time.
A Tip for Direct-Vent Fireplaces
Be sure that the damper stays open when the gas fireplace is running. With the damper open, carbon monoxide can escape outdoors through the chimney. A closed damper, on the other hand, will force potentially deadly carbon monoxide into your home.
Maintain the Chimney
If you’re adding a gas fireplace to a masonry system fireplace, schedule annual chimney inspections and routine chimney cleaning.
Contact Fireplace Experts
At Felgemacher Fireplace Shop, our chimney sweeps are CSIA-certified. We offer professional installation of the highest quality. Contact us today by calling (716) 482-1820. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about how to operate your gas fireplace.