Gas fireplaces are the more convenient alternative to wood-burning fireplaces. Others might say that they would choose wood-burning fireplaces over gas fireplaces because wood-burning fireplaces provide good ambiance and help reduce energy costs.
But here’s the thing:
Wood-burning fireplaces pose fire risks, especially if not installed, operated, and maintained properly. This is why more homeowners are going for gas fireplaces. A gas fireplace can provide the much needed warmth on a cold day with just a switch of a button. And, there’s no need to cut down logs to keep a steady supply of firewood.
With customizable designs, a gas fireplace can help create the right mood, whether it is installed in the living room, bedroom, or basement. While fireplace stores also offer gas fireplace repair services, homeowners should have their fireplaces inspected annually to check for potential sources of repair issues.
Even if gas fireplaces don’t need daily maintenance because they burn more cleanly and produce less emissions, just like any home appliance, gas fireplaces require regular inspection and tune-ups to ensure that they remain in good working condition.
What Happens During an Inspection?
During an inspection, the fireplace technician checks the gas fireplace for venting or air leakage issues, malfunctioning components, and cleans parts and areas that require cleaning. Below are some of the factors that can cause potential gas fireplace problems:
A blocked vent is the main cause of fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. If the gas fireplace is installed outdoors, in the patio for instance, its venting system may be blocked by lawn debris, leaves, twigs, or animal nests. If located inside, the vents of a gas fireplace may be obstructed by soot, dust, spider webs, or pet hair.
Gas fireplaces, though not as much as wood-burning fireplaces do, also produce soot. When ceramic fire logs inside the gas fireplace are moved out of their proper position, they interfere with the flame path, causing soot build-up on the gas burner ports, logs, and doors. Soot can block the gas fireplace’s venting system, which can lead to combustion or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Strange noises coming from the gas fireplace should be a cause of alarm. When the fireplace produces a rumbling sound when the burners are on, its burners might need to be cleaned. If the fireplaces creates a shrieking or grinding noise, then the blowers might be dirty or broken.
Vent-free gas fireplaces are designed to have a combustion system that produces zero carbon monoxide. If the combustion system malfunctions, it may be hard to determine if carbon monoxide is already escaping from the gas fireplace since carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. Another issue that can be encountered in vent-free gas fireplaces is when they emit the smell of raw gas, like sulfur. If this happens, it is important to call the fireplace provider and fire department immediately as it may mean that there is a leak in the system.
Annual gas fireplace inspections are important to address safety concerns that may cause potential health and structure hazards. Skipping regular inspections can lead to malfunction that may result in fire, explosion, or carbon monoxide poisoning.