Even the clean-burning gas fireplaces need occasional inspection and servicing. The inspection is necessary because of the vent to the exterior, which may get blocked. You should expect to spend between $100 and $200, which may go even higher in some areas. The cost varies depending on the size of the gas fireplace, where you live, and how frequently you use the fireplace.
If you decide to go for a DIY approach, it may cost less. This applies where there are no parts that need to be replaced. However, make sure the fireplace is cool, and the pilot lights are switched off. Checking the temperature of the chimney is also important. When it is too cold, it allows for the faster buildup of creosote, condensation of flue gases, and possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
Why are Gas Fireplaces Inspection and Servicing Important?
The following are some of the main reasons to conduct a gas fireplace inspection:
- Regular servicing help improve the lifespan of gas fireplaces
- Prevent the buildup of soot in chimneys which reduces the fireplace’s efficiency.
- Remove debris from the vent
- Clean the glass and other exterior components
- Reduce the eventual cost of repairing the gas fireplace.
Servicing a Gas Fireplace
Servicing a gas fireplace is less messy than servicing a traditional wood-burning fireplace. Below are the necessary steps to follow when servicing a gas fireplace. If you decide to go for a DIY approach, it should probably take an hour.
1.Inspecting the Exterior
In this case, you have to check that the framework has no cracks or gaps and it is properly mounted. If there are any, they should be sealed immediately with permanent sealants.
2. Check the Glass for Cracks
You can use a vinegar spray, fireplace glass cleaner, or any non-ammonia cleaning agent to wipe the front glass. Wipe the door trim as you inspect for cracks and any loose panes. Gasket seals should be checked to make sure they are tightly sealed. If not, you can use silicone caulk or gasket cement to seal them. Replace those that are completely damaged.
3. Inspect the Logs
Gas fireplaces do not have real logs. The cement or ceramic gas logs can deteriorate over time. The best indicator is when they start fading in color. They can be swapped without replacing the whole fireplace.
4. Inspect the Gas Ignition
Conduct a test-fire of the gas ignition under the logs and check it functions properly. Before cleaning all the ports and valves under the logs, turn off the gas. You can use a sheet of fine-grit sandpaper or a wad of steel wool to clean the logs. Gas leaks are checked by smelling most of the time. You can use a mixture of water and dish soap to check the leaks on pipes by discovering the bubbles.
5. Vacuuming the Interior
Vacuuming will help remove the accumulated pet hair, dead bugs, dust, and debris.
6. Check the Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A routine gas fireplace inspection should ensure that the carbon monoxide detectors work properly. If you do not have any carbon monoxide detector installed, add one. It is an important tool for safety.
7. Inspect the Chimney
You may not need to have a chimney sweep, but it is important to inspect the chimney and interior walls of the chimney. The biggest threat in gas fireplaces is gas condensation. Damp patches on walls and the ceiling are a sign of a compromised chimney.
How Do You Know The Gas Fireplace Chimney Needs Inspection?
The chimney may need cleaning for some of the following reasons:
- If the fire is not burning well, there is inadequate airflow
- If there is a bad gas being produced from your fireplace, there could be other gases. It may include carbon monoxide, which may be fatal.
- The buildup of grease or creosote affects the chimney’s function.
- Smoke buildup in the house indicates blockage of the chimney.
- If you hear rattling noises inside your chimney.
- Before purchasing any house.
- After a house fire or chimney fire
What is the function of a Chimney Sweep?
A chimney sweep cleans your fireplace’s firebox, damper, flue, smoke chamber, and smoke shelf. They are trained to work closely with the fire department. They remove blockages of any soot or creosote from the chimneys. The cost of cleaning the chimney may vary depending on how long it has been before the chimney was cleaned. Accessibility of the roof also affects the cost of the chimney cleaning. You should expect to pay more with dead animals and heavy creosote.
Inspecting a gas fireplace can be cheap if you are doing it yourself. If you hire professionals, expect to use over $100 per inspection. In a DIY approach, you have to take the necessary precautions. Inspections help come up with proper maintenance procedures. In the end, you will save up on a lot of costs.