Gas Fireplace Checklist for the Upcoming Winter Season
Sitting by a warm fire is one of the best things to do in the middle of a Wisconsin winter. Now is the time to take a look at your gas fireplace and make sure it’s ready for the season ahead because the first snowfall has already occurred. While gas fireplaces typically require less maintenance than wood-burning ones, they still should be inspected and serviced at least once a year. Here’s a checklist for making sure your fireplace is in safe working order for the winter months ahead:
Examine the owner’s manual
Every fireplace is different, We suggest following the manufacturer’s servicing and cleaning recommendations for your model being that every fireplace is different. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the manufacturer.
Clean the inside
Make sure to clean the ceramic log, rocks, or beads as well as dusting the fireplace before you fire it up during the winter season. These can become dusty when not in use and while not usually a hazard, burning accumulated dust can create an unwanted odor. You may also consider vacuuming out the dust but keep in mind that many fireplaces have ceramic wool “embers.” These look like little pieces of gray fuzz that glow when the flame is near them looking similar to a glowing wood embers. Do not vacuum near these unless you plan on replacing them.
Clean the blower
The blower in your fireplace is responsible for circulating warm air through your home. You’ll want to make sure it’s dust-free to avoid creating an indoor dust storm when you first use the fireplace. Unplug the blower, then brush it clean using a stiff-bristle brush. Have a vacuum handy to pick up the falling dust. Be sure to plug in the blower when you’re done.
Check the pilot light
First, do a visual inspection to make sure everything looks intact. If you see loose or exposed wires call a professional to determine the issue. If everything looks good, then test the pilot to make sure it’s operating correctly.
Check and clean the glass doors
Your fireplaces glass door(s) help contain the flow of flue gases while it’s operating. Be sure there are no cracks or chips in the glass that could let the CO escape into your home. You’ll also want to check to make sure the doors close fully and snugly.
Check the outdoor vent
You’ll want to make sure your fireplace vent is free and clear of any debris, leaves, etc. Make sure to never start up your fireplace without making sure that it will vent properly. Hopefully, this will never happen, but if you see any evidence of rodent or other pest infestation, call in a pest-control expert before you fire things up for the season.
Book a professional inspection
We suggest having your fireplace (and the rest of your HVAC system) professionally inspected once a year. A pro can inspect all of the various components of your system, as well as how they’re performing as a whole. They’ll also be able to detect any minor leaks, broken or worn parts, or any other safety issues that are best corrected immediately.
ABOUT UNITED BRICK AND FIREPLACE
Our family-owned business has been serving the Madison community since 1973 for fireplaces, brick, block, and indoor/outdoor stone needs. We work with homeowners, builders, architects, masons, and general contractors to supply the best products in each industry. As the largest fireplace installer in Madison, we have the expertise and product offering for nearly every situation including unique architectural designs for homes and commercial settings. Contact us for more information or visit one of our showrooms today!