Keep Your Fireplace in Top Shape
Summer is winding down and with cooler days in the forecast, many fireplace owners are starting to think about those chilly fall evenings that are just around the corner. Now is a great time to make sure your fireplace is ready when the time comes.
One of the best ways to prepare for the fall fireplace season is to ensure your fireplace is clean and ready to go. Basic maintenance is essential for the safe and enjoyable operation of your fireplace, and we’ve put together this guide to answer some of the common questions we get about how to clean a gas fireplace.
When you’re finished, be sure to check out our full line of fireplace maintenance items, as well. These cleaning tools and solutions can help make your life easier.
Do Gas Fireplaces Need to Be Cleaned?
Yes, your gas fireplace needs to be cleaned regularly. Regular cleaning will help keep your fireplace performing efficiently and safely for years to come. Be sure to clean your fireplace annually for best results.
Chimney and Venting Concerns
A dirty fireplace not only results in poor performance, but it can also be a safety hazard. If a fireplace has gone for a long period without being used–often the case during the summer months–a chimney can become blocked without the homeowner realizing. A blockage can result in poor ventilation, which can result in dangerous fumes like carbon monoxide entering the home.
Gas Log and Burner Issues
Burners and gas logs can also become dirty with regular use. Although gas logs are designed to last for many years, they still may break down over time, which can result in some of the chimney issues previously mentioned. Additionally, gas burners may become clogged over time, resulting in poor flame performance.
How to Clean a Gas Fireplace
Not all fireplace maintenance requires a professional service call. In fact, many basic maintenance processes will be outlined in either your fireplace owner’s manual or service manual.
Can’t find your owner’s manual? If your fireplace is one of the models we carry, you might be able to find a copy on the product listing. Check out our full selection of gas fireplaces to see if we have your unit listed.
How to Clean Gas Fireplace Glass
Over time, fireplace glass can accumulate soot or a cloudy film layer. This is due to the combination of combustion and mineral byproducts in the air. While this is normal, it’s not an attractive addition to your focal point fire feature. Fortunately, cleaning glass is an easy maintenance task.
First, make sure your fireplace is off and cool to the touch. This includes the pilot light. Next, you’ll want to remove the fireplace glass by following the instructions detailed in your product manual. This process will differ from model to model and manufacturer to manufacturer. Once you’ve removed your fireplace glass, use a high-quality cleaner, and follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the product. Reassemble your fireplace, and you’re good to go!
How to Clean the Thermocouple on a Gas Fireplace
Another common issue we hear about is soot buildup on a thermocouple. This will result in a fireplace that shuts off intermittently due to interference with the flame-sensing signal. Fortunately, this can often be an easy fix.
Begin by making sure the fireplace is off along with any electrical power to the unit, if applicable. As with the fireplace glass, make sure everything is cool to the touch. Next, use steel wool or emery cloth sandpaper to remove any buildup. Avoid using a wire brush or other coarse products capable of scratching or damaging the thermocouple. Once you’ve removed the buildup, use a soft cloth to remove any remaining substances.
Should I Have My Fireplace Professionally Cleaned?
Having your fireplace inspected annually by a professional is a great idea. As with any technical process, a trained eye can spot problems early and fix any issues found during the inspection. If you hire a professional, here are some of the key areas of your fireplace they’ll review:
- Glass assembly – An inspector will check your glass for scratches, which can cause the glass to lose strength or break during heating or cooling cycles. They’ll also check gaskets to ensure combustion materials remain within the firebox.
- Firebox interior – A fireplace tech will check the inside of your firebox for signs of wear-and-tear like rust or soot buildup.
- Firebox exterior – A proper inspection and cleaning of the fireplace base and valve cavity area can help remove unpleasant odors commonly noticed when using the fireplace for the first time after a long period of nonuse.
- Outside venting – A full inspection will check to ensure outdoor vents are free from debris like leaves or animal nests. The inspector may need access to your roof if that’s where your fireplace vents.
- The carbon monoxide detector – A carbon monoxide detector is essential to all homes but is even more necessary in homes with a fireplace. This device will be tested to ensure proper operation.
- Burner ignition – A fireplace burner should ignite quickly and fully. Poor ignition can be caused by a number of factors, but a proper inspection can help diagnose these.
Let Us Help You with Your Fireplace
Our trained product specialists can answer your fireplace questions. Whether you’re in the market for a new unit, troubleshooting your current fireplace or just shopping to see what’s available, we’re here Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time to assist you. Contact us today!