Gas fireplaces provide the most convenient way to enjoy a fire in your home. There are actually several benefits to gas fireplaces, including environmentally friendliness, less of a hassle thanks to no need for firewood, and a realistic experience of watching logs burn. The mistake people often make with their gas fireplaces is failing to understand the importance of annual inspections. Yes, gas fireplaces are a real convenience in many ways; but an annual inspection is as much a safety issue with gas fireplaces as it is with wood-burning fireplaces. Here is some more information on annual gas fireplace maintenance:
“Low Maintenance” – Not “No Maintenance”
Just because gas fireplaces need annual inspections doesn’t discount the fact that they are low maintenance appliances. There is no messy ash to clean out, which means you also don’t have to deal with the careful procedures involved to ensure that the ashes don’t start a fire. Creosote and soot don’t accumulate in the chimney to a large degree when you use gas logs, which is completely different from the chimneys of wood-burning fireplaces.
The potential hazards with gas fireplaces are separate and apart from those posed by wood-burning appliances. For instance, one reason to have a gas fireplace inspected annually is to ensure continuing functionality of the appliance. Valves and connections could begin leaking, over time. When there are leaks and other malfunctions, the result could be explosions or hazardous fires.
To ensure proper operation of gas logs, the thermocouple and thermopile on gas logs need to be cleaned, and replaced when they have become too worn out.
One type of problem that occurs with gas fireplaces is that the pilot light will be on and the gas will be on but the fireplace isn’t lit. This problem can result in a type of explosion in which the glass doors on the fireplace break and broken glass thrusts outward, so it’s important to have this situation dealt with immediately by a trained chimney sweep.
One of the most common reasons for hazardous chimney fires or for toxic leaks is a chimney obstruction. If you do not have a chimney cap with mesh, animals are able to get into your chimney. Birds can build nests, and animals can get stuck and die in your chimney. Moisture in the chimney flue can cause deterioration, which can also cause an obstruction. Debris such as leaves can also block the draft in the chimney. If the gas fireplace is unable to properly vent because of a chimney obstruction, your family could be exposed to carbon monoxide poisoning, which can be deadly. It’s critical to install carbon monoxide detectors, since the fumes are odorless and tasteless. Without the benefit of detectors, those who are exposed to deadly carbon monoxide often don’t even know it until it’s too late.
House fires are always a potential threat when you have an open combustion system, such as a gas fireplace. An annual inspection can help to ensure safe operation of your gas logs. Call our certified chimney sweeps to schedule your gas fireplace inspection and ensure that your gas burning appliance is working as it should.
Chimney Solutions, Inc.
1155 McFarland 400 Drive, Alpharetta GA 30004