In general, a fireplace needs to be serviced after six months. But the type of fireplace will determine how often you have to service your fireplace. Gas, electric, and wood-burning are the main types of fireplaces. Out of the three, electric fireplaces are the ones that require minimal service. The wood-burning fireplace requires extreme service.
First of all, you have to understand the meaning of servicing a fireplace. Servicing a fireplace is examining the fireplace, repairing worn-out parts, and cleaning dirty parts. This article has comprehensive information on how often you should service each type of fireplace. You will also know how to service the three main types of fireplaces.
How to Service an Electric Fireplace
An electric fireplace requires little to no servicing. Experts say you can service an electric fireplace after 18 months. And the main thing you will be doing is cleaning. Check the air inlets and outlets of an electric fireplace because these are the parts that need servicing. Once your electric fireplace starts to overheat, the air inlets and outlets are blocked.
Use a dry piece of cloth to clean the air inlets and outlets. Make sure you remove all of the dust that accumulates there. As part of the servicing process, clean the exterior of your electric fireplace. Wipe the front glass screen using ethanol and a piece of fabric. Open the glass screen and also clean the other side. Electric fireplaces do not have soot because the flames are not real.
Open the backside of your electric fireplace and service the fan and the coil. After some time, the fan’s blades accumulate some dust and make it heavy. So you have to clean each blade with a simple wipe. Use ethanol to remove stubborn stains on the blade. Ensure the fan is rotating smoothly; if not, the electric motor is damaged and must be replaced.
The electric coil also requires servicing; when the coil gets hot, oxidation creates another layer on the coil. This new layer will make your electric fireplace consume much power before it gets hot. To remove this layer, use steel wool to scrub it off. Add ethanol when the layer looks hard to remove. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove debris that has fallen on the backside.
How to Service a Gas Fireplace
A gas fireplace has to be serviced after every six months. Vented gas fireplaces require regular servicing because they have a chimney that may accumulate soot and fumes. Cleaning is also part of maintaining a gas fireplace. You have to start with the exterior with how the fireplace is mounted. Ensure the fireplace does not have cracks and gaps in the framework.
Next is to service the front glass screen. Gas fireplaces produce real flames that may cause the glass to crack. Clean the glass with vinegar and replace a broken glass screen. The glass door must be airtight. Ensure the gaskets on the door are still in place. If not, you can reattach them using silicone caulk. Replace the glass door if it is beyond repair.
The gas logs are essential parts of a gas fireplace. They can be ceramic or cement, inspect them and replace them if necessary. Once they start changing color, then it is time to replace them. Then service the gas ignition system found directly under the gas logs. Make sure the ignition is lighting up well. Clean up the valves and ports under the gas logs.
Make sure there are no gas leaks. Use the bubble test to see if there is a gas leak. Mix water with dish soap, then use a sponge to pass over the valves, ports, and gas lines. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and pet hair that accumulates on the inside. Dust can cause dangerous blockages on the valves and ports.
If you have a vented fireplace, then you have to service the chimney. Clean the soot that has accumulated in the chimney over time. Watch out for condensation in the chimney because condensation can affect your whole gas fireplace. Checking the carbon monoxide and natural gas detectors is part of serving a gas fireplace.
How to Service Wood-burning Fireplace
Research shows that a wood-burning fireplace must be serviced after every four months. A wood-burning fireplace is good because it provides a natural aesthetic. But it has various by-products that require you to clean all the time. Always remove the ashes so that the fireplace can work efficiently. Wear a face mask while removing the ashes.
Removing the soot and creosote is the hardest part of servicing a wood-burning fireplace. Using wood that is not well dried up can lead to a build-up of flammable brown residues. Clean up these residues, and your house will be safe from a fire outbreak. Remove soot and creosote that can block the chimney.
A chimney can either be masonry or metallic. Always check for cracks or dents that can lead to bigger problems in the future. Also, check for rust which is a sign of a weak chimney. Always ensure the chimney cap is in perfect condition, or else rain or birds will fall into your fireplace.
How often you should service your fireplace will depend on the type of fireplace you have. An electric fireplace is stress-free, and you can service it after eighteen months. A gas fireplace is an ordinary fireplace that must be serviced every six months, while a wood-burning fireplace must be serviced every four months. Clean up dirty parts and replace or repair damaged parts.