Gas fireplaces are a great alternative to wood fireplaces because they generate a lot of heat without the mess. You don’t need to worry about ash, coals, or any other residue from the wood. So, should you still clean your gas fireplace?
Gas fireplaces need to be cleaned at least once a year. You can clean the gas fireplace by switching off the gas, taking apart its components, brushing out any dust and dirt, using a vacuum cleaner, cleaning the glass, cleaning the hearth and mantle, and cleaning the vents.
In this guide, we cover everything there is to know about cleaning your gas fireplace. We let you know why it needs to be cleaned, how often, and the best ways to do it.
Why Do Gas Fireplaces Need to Be Cleaned?
You need to clean gas fireplaces to keep them in good working order. Even though they don’t produce soot or ash like a wood fireplace, the gas combustion process still creates residue.
Small particles can get stuck around the pilot light and gas fittings of your fireplace. This can reduce the effectiveness of your gas fireplace and even damage it over time.
The cleaning process is also important to find any trapped debris around your fireplace and to inspect for damage. If any parts of the fireplace are cracked or damaged, you will need to replace them.
How Often Do Gas Fireplaces Need to Be Cleaned?
You should clean your gas fireplace at least once a year. It’s much easier to clean regularly than wait for the gas fireplace to have visible dirt. If you add this to your regular cleaning schedule, then the buildup of dirt and grime will be minimal.
You should also choose to have a professional inspection once a year. This is important to check that everything is functioning as normal.
Does a Gas Fire Chimney Need to Be Swept?
It’s important to sweep your gas fire chimney at least once a year. This is because birds may build nests inside or other organic matter could fall in.
If there are any blockages in the chimney, this can be a health hazard. Carbon monoxide leaves the gas fireplace via the chimney, so it can get trapped inside if there is a significant blockage.
This is particularly dangerous because carbon monoxide is odorless. You won’t be able to smell that it’s in your house, but it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. This can give you a headache, dizziness, nausea, blurry vision, and even lead to death.
As well as cleaning the gas chimney once a year, you should also have a functional carbon monoxide detector in your home. We recommend the First Alert Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector.
How to Clean a Gas Fireplace
1. Switch Off the Gas
Switching off the gas is the most important step before you start cleaning. You don’t want to run the risk of inhaling harmful fumes or accidentally causing a leak during the cleaning process.
Switch off the gas at its source and wait a few minutes to make sure that gas is no longer flowing. You should also check that the pilot light is out and that the surface of the fireplace is completely cold.
2. Take the Fireplace Apart
You will need to take apart your fireplace to access all the dirt and grime. Remove any pieces that you can and take them outside for cleaning. This could include the screen, burner unit, and any other accessories.
3. Brush Out Dust and Dirt
You can use a small soft brush to remove any dust or dirt from all crevices and corners of the fireplace. Pay special attention to each piece and look for any signs of damage. You will need to replace any gas burner parts that have visible damage.
4. Use a Vacuum Cleaner
Use the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner to remove any dust from the rocks of your gas fireplace.
If the rocks are small enough to pass through the hose, you will need to create a physical barrier. You can use a rubber band and cheesecloth at the end of the attachment. Rocks cannot penetrate this barrier, but dust can.
You should also vacuum the fireplace box and all areas of the ground. Use a clean rag to wipe all the gas connections and pilot light.
5. Clean the Glass and Metal
If your gas fireplace has glass doors or screening, it’s important to use a specialized cleaner. We recommend the Rutland White-Off Glass Cleaner, which is designed to remove any residue from the gas combustion process. Use it with a clean cloth to remove any dust.
If the fireplace has a metal screen, then remove any dust with the vacuum upholstery setting on your vacuum cleaner. Also, use a wet cloth to wipe any surfaces and allow them to dry fully. Check the surfaces for any cracks or damage.
6. Clean the Hearth and Mantle
Use a soft, dry cloth to remove any dust from the hearth and mantle. You might also like to use a handheld duster if there are any tight corners.
7. Put the Fireplace Back Together
Once you have thoroughly cleaned all the individual pieces, you can put your gas fireplace back together. Take care to follow your unit’s manual and make sure that all pieces are correctly reinstalled.
You can also turn the gas back on.
8. Clean the Vents
You should clean the outside vents at least once a month, especially during winter and fall. Leaves and animal matter can get stuck and block the airflow. Remove any blockages.
In conclusion, gas fireplaces need to be cleaned at least once a year. You should schedule professional inspections and perform your own routine maintenance.
Pay attention to every part of the fireplace, including the gas connections, pilot light, burner box, glass doors, metal screen, and chimney. Take care to remove any debris from the chimney and from the external vents.
Cleaning your gas fireplace is important for aesthetics as well as safety. It also ensures that your fireplace will function well and keep your house warm all winter.