3 Signs It's Time to Clean Your Fireplace
After the winter passes and you start to use your fireplace less often, the focus shifts from relaxing in front of the fire to decorating the mantel. As a result, we don’t always keep an eye on what’s happening inside the fireplace, and when it’s time for spring cleaning, we forget all about it while we give the rest of our appliances a thorough scrubbing. But just because your gas fireplace burns clean doesn’t mean it doesn’t need cleaning!
Not sure if your fireplace could use some TLC? Here are 3 tell-tale signs it’s time to schedule hearth maintenance:
1. Hazy Glass
A cloudy, white film can build up on the glass front of your fireplace when dust and minerals like sulfur combine with moisture during the combustion process. Luckily, a little fireplace glass cleaner can easily get rid of it, and as an added benefit, it’ll help prevent build-up in the future. Remember—never use an abrasive or ammonia-based cleaner on your gas fireplace! Instead, use a product designed specifically for fireplace glass.
If you opt to clean your fireplace glass yourself, it’s important that you read your owner’s manually thoroughly, turn the pilot light off and give your fireplace time to cool before you begin.
2. The Pilot Light’s Been Out Since Winter
Turning your pilot light off during the months your fireplace isn’t in use can help save on fuel costs, but it can also invite pests. Because natural gas is odorless, many companies add a nontoxic chemical called mercaptan to make the gas more easily detectable—it’s what lets us know when we’ve left the stove on.
To humans, its scent is less than appealing, but spiders don’t mind the eggy, sulfuric odor. If you keep your pilot light off during the summer, it’s important to have your pilot tubing inspected for webs and spiders, which can block the flow of gas and prevent you from turning the pilot light back on. And of course, you’ll want to wipe away webs from tubes, logs and any surfaces inside your fireplace.
3. You’ve Never Had Your Fireplace Maintenanced Before
Gas fireplaces are extremely low maintenance, but that doesn’t equal “no-maintenance.” Like any appliance, your fireplace is subject to wear and tear over the years. To keep it looking new and running in the best shape, annual maintenance is your best course of action.
We always recommend having a professional perform maintenance on your gas fireplace. On a normal visit, they will inspect the valves and ceramic logs in your fireplace, check for rust and leaks, and take a look in the vent for debris and pests. As an added bonus, they can clean your fireplace so it looks as good as the day it was installed. And not only will regular maintenance ensure your fireplace works safely, it’ll make sure it runs at peak efficiency, helping you save on energy costs.