When leaves are falling, our thoughts drift towards the fireplace. But before you fire up the gas logs, schedule an annual house call with an HVAC professional. Annual inspections and cleaning will extend the life of your fireplace, minimizing costly repairs due to unseen problems. Here are some things to check before holiday decorating.
- In order to confirm that all components are working safely, everything from the glass doors to the combustion chamber to the outside vent needs attention.
- The vent kit may need replacing if there is damage from leaves, dirt or insects.
- If the pilot light was turned off for the summer, do not attempt to re-light it yourself. Spider webs and cobwebs need to be cleaned out of the pilot tube before lighting by a professional.
- The fireplace box, burners, and logs need to be thoroughly cleaned and vacuumed.
- Evaporation of water vapor can erode gaskets, causing rust. This, combined with loose connections, will cause the gas logs to burn inefficiently and possibly dangerously.
- If the fireplace is unsafe due to loose seals, carbon monoxide can leak into your home. A carbon monoxide alarm will monitor your home for leaks and is highly advised.
- Gaskets, and nuts and bolts on the glass doors should be checked and cleaned. Between annual maintenance checks, use hearth appliance glass cleaner exclusively. Do not use a window cleaner with ammonia, which can cause toxic fumes when the gas is lit. Failing to clean the glass doors properly will cause the glass in the doors to become permanently cloudy.
There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of a gas fireplace to make it visually appealing, energy-efficient, and safe. For peace of mind this season, make sure your hearth and home are well maintained.