A functional fireplace is essential for many homeowners, especially those who have to deal with harsh Canadian winters. There are a number of different kinds of fireplaces available to consumers, including wood-burning, electric, and gas models. Gas fireplaces can perform just as well as wood and electric alternatives, but they can also be more difficult to maintain. At Home Improvement leads, we know that understanding the ins and outs of your gas fireplace is crucial in order to achieve maximum efficiency and function. Here are some of our top tips to help you keep your gas fireplace performing its best throughout the year.
DIY maintenance checklist
Gas appliances of all kinds have highly technical specifications and unique parts. While many repairs require the expertise of a trained gas professional, there are several things you can do to keep your gas fireplace in good condition. Keeping your fireplace clean and free of dust, cobwebs, and debris is one of the most important things to remember. Regularly cleaning glass doors and coverings, both inside and out, will keep your fireplace looking great and working efficiently (the professionals at Gas Fireplaces recommend doing this monthly). Periodically removing dust and cobwebs in and around the fireplace is also good practice for gas fireplace owners. During your regular fireplace check, it’s also a good idea to examine the fittings and vents, both interior and exterior, for damage and debris. If your fireplace has a door, check that the latch and mechanisms are all in good working order in order to minimize the risk of a gas leak.
When to call in a professional
Although gas fireplace owners can—and should—carry out basic cleaning tasks and safety checks on a regular basis, there are some situations that require a trained and qualified gas professional. All gas fireplaces should be inspected and cleaned thoroughly at least once a year by an engineer. Most likely, your fireplace installer will be able to perform this annual maintenance check-up for you, but you can always contact other local gas engineers for quotes and recommendations if you are unsure. You can find out more about gas safety rules and regulations at the Ontario Technical Standards and Safety Authority website. If, between annual visits, you notice any problems with your fireplace, such as loose or broken connections, cracked glass, or damage to the fireplace itself, do not hesitate to contact a professional to inspect your fireplace. It’s important to remember that gas appliances are complex and potentially dangerous, so you shouldn’t attempt to fix any major issues yourself. (That said, many gas fireplace issues concern either the pilot light, thermocouple, or thermopile; if you have previous experience in gas appliance maintenance, the DIY experts at doityourself.com have several tips for troubleshooting these parts of a gas fireplace.
General gas safety tips
Because gas is an unpredictable and potentially hazardous substance, there are several things homeowners with gas appliances need to know to keep themselves safe. First and foremost, make sure that your home is fitted with carbon monoxide alarms. These alarms should be installed near all gas appliances, including your fireplace, gas boiler, and furnace. While the recommendations for exact placement vary, generally these monitors should be fitted directly above or next to the appliance, no more than five meters away. Test your carbon monoxide alarms regularly and replace them immediately when necessary. Most importantly, be aware of the air quality in your home. If you begin to feel sick or dizzy, smell rotten eggs, or suspect one of your gas appliances has a leak, leave the house immediately and seek help from emergency services. In the unlikely event of a gas leak, you can never be too careful: while a well-maintained gas appliance should work perfectly well without leaks, things can change in an instant.
Article By : Kaitlin Krull