Maintaining your natural gas fireplace
Take care of your natural gas fireplace to help keep it working safety and efficiently – and giving you instant warmth and ambience each time you need it.
Have it serviced by a professional
Schedule regular inspections, cleaning and maintenance with a licensed gas contractor. Your owner’s manual should tell you how often you should have your equipment serviced and what it should include. Technical Safety BC generally recommends annual servicing and provides a checklist of what to look for in a natural gas fireplace service.
What should a fireplace service include?
In general, your contractor should:
- clean the interior of the glass
- inspect the burner, gas valve, ignition system, door gaskets, venting and air openings
After the service, ask your gas contractor for a copy of their completed checklist.
Fireplace safety tips
- Keep the area around your gas fireplace clear of anything flammable, such as toys, clothing, plastics or paper.
- Glass panels can heat up quickly and stay hot after the fireplace is turned off. Keep small children, pets and combustible materials away, and consider installing a safety screen or a fire-resistant hearth guard to keep young children from touching the glass.
- If you are doing construction or renovations, do not operate your gas fireplace until the area is thoroughly cleaned. Drywall dust and other contaminants may harm the fan, motors and burners.
When to call a professional
If you notice these signs of trouble with your natural gas fireplace, it may be time to call a licensed gas contractor for repairs or replacement:
- any continuous or intermittent odour, such as the “rotten egg” smell of natural gas or a sharp odour that may cause eyes to sting
- symptoms of the presence of carbon monoxide: nausea, headaches, lethargy or other flu-like symptoms
- pilot light outages (note: some newer natural gas fireplaces may not have a standing pilot light – check your manual)
- delayed ignition (slow to start up) or “booming” noises upon ignition
- excessive soot or corrosion inside the fireplace or on the venting system (white, brown or black streaks)