As beautiful as wood fireplaces are, they’re not exactly easy to clean. They leave a lot of ash behind, making a huge mess that you need to clean constantly. Gas fireplaces aren’t as aesthetic as wood ones, but they’re much easier to maintain and clean. I’d go without the comforting crackling sound if it means I don’t have to clean wood ash!
Yes, gas fireplaces need cleaning because the gases may produce buildup that’ll affect the fireplace’s efficiency if left uncleaned. Other fireplaces need to be cleaned because they produce creosote, but that’s not the case with gas ones. Natural and propane gas are both clean-burning fuels, so they don’t produce byproducts as wood does.
Do Gas Fireplaces Need to Be Cleaned
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Gas fireplaces need to be cleaned, but not as frequently as wooden ones. They supposedly burn cleanly, and they don’t leave ash behind, so how much cleaning will you have to do? Follow this article to know everything about the matter.
Other than the occasional cleaning to prevent the accumulation of buildup, gas fireplaces need an annual gas inspection to make sure everything is operating safely and along with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
Other than the fireplace itself, you’ll need to clean the chimney every once in a while to remove anything lodged inside. Chimneys are susceptible to bird nests and a lot of debris, so they need to be cleaned regularly.
While sweeping your chimney, you may notice some potential issues, such as a leak or a malfunctioning vent. Catching these issues early means you’ll be able to clean them before they’re too far gone.
Why Should a Gas Fireplace Be Cleaned
A lot of people think that gas fireplaces don’t need to be cleaned because they don’t produce creosote. It’s true that they don’t leave a mess behind as wood fireplaces do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t need cleaning. Here are two primary reasons for cleaning your gas fireplace.
Leaving your fireplace dirty won’t only affect its performance, but it may also lead to some safety issues. For example, the chimney may get blocked without you realizing it, especially when you’d left it in the summer months without operating it.
A blocked chimney leads to poor ventilation, which in turn may lead to the production of dangerous fumes, such as carbon monoxide. The consequences of having carbon monoxide in a house are disastrous because it’s highly toxic and odorless, so you may not know it’s even there.
Dirty Gas Logs
Gas logs are designed to last for long years, but if they’re not cleaned regularly, their life will be cut short. Plus, if they’re too dirty, they may not burn properly, affecting the fireplace’s efficiency.
If the fireplace is performing poorly, the gas burners may eventually become clogged. One thing leads to the other, and you’ll find yourself paying a lot to repair the fireplace.
It’s easier to clean it regularly from the start. It doesn’t need frequent cleaning anyway—twice a year will suffice.
How to Clean Your Gas Fireplace
Cleaning the gas fireplace isn’t a hard mission if there are no needed repairs. If you can do it yourself, you won’t have to call a professional. Here are simple steps to clean it.
Step 1: Turn the Gas Off
Turning the gas off is the first and most vital step you should take. Look for the gas valve—usually located on the wall behind the fireplace— and turn it off. Then wait for a few minutes before starting to work.
Step 2: Disassemble the Fireplace’s Parts
The parts you need to take off the fireplace before you start depend on the design of your fireplace. Yours may have a mesh curtain, a glass door, or a metal screen. In all cases, remove them for easier access.
Then, remove the gas burner and take the logs out. Leave all these parts aside, and take them outside if you can because they may get your place dirty if they need a thorough cleaning.
Step 3: Brush the Dust Away
After you’ve taken the fireplace apart, grab a hand broom and start brushing the dust away. You may think of using water or cleaning detergents, but they’re a no-no for gas fireplaces. A brush will suffice.
When you’re cleaning around, check all gas logs for holes or burn marks. Brush them as well until they’re shining again.
Then, grab the gas burner you took out later and clean it too. Check it closely for any buildup around the vent holes because they may clog the gas flow.
If the dust in the fireplace and around the lava rocks is too much, you can grab a vacuum and use it instead. Use the hose attachment only to reach the tight nooks, and have a go at the rocks as well.
If you’re afraid the rocks may get sucked, you can wrap a nylon sock around the hose nozzle so only the dust will pass through.
Step 4: Clean the Glass
After you’re done cleaning the insides of the fireplace, it’s time to wipe the glass door or the metal screen outside. The combustion can cause the glass to get too cloudy, so regularly cleaning it will prevent that.
Avoid using any window glass cleaner you find in your house. Instead, grab a fireplace glass cleaner, so it’ll keep the glass shiny and safe.
Step 5: Reassemble the Fireplace
Now that you’re done, it’s time to put the gas fireplace back together and check the exterior vents for dirt. After you put the burner, stones, and logs back, replace the glass after it’s been cleaned. Lastly, turn the gas valve on and wait for a few minutes before turning the fireplace on.
Afterward, take a look at the exterior vents and remove any leaves or bird nests inside if needed.
While gas fireplaces don’t need as much maintenance as wood ones do, they still need to be cleaned every once in a while. This way, you prevent clogs and too much dust, and the fireplace keeps working properly.