The Cozy Flame's Blog

Tips for Gas Fireplace Maintenance

A gas fireplace is a great option for the home fireplace because of its high efficiency and low maintenance. Its often confused with no maintenance though. This leads to problems in the long run. Homeowners should always follow the recommendations of the manufacturer and installer, when it comes to routine maintenance and upkeep of a heat appliance.

Tips for Gas Fireplace Maintenance Image - Milford CT - The Cozy FlameCheck Out These Tips

  1. Schedule an annual inspection for your gas fireplace – even if you don’t use a chimney. The vent will need to be assessed as well as the appliance. All major gas fireplace manufacturers recommend an annual inspection by a certified technician. This is to insure safety and proper operation of the appliance. A certified technician can assess the fireplace and make recommended repairs before use.
  2. Check your fireplace for proper operation monthly.
  3. Even if you haven’t used your fireplace, clean the inside and outside of the glass with a glass cleaner monthly.
  4. Leave glass open and check the fireplace for debris, dirt, dust, trash, or insects. You can clean this best with a small broom or a vacuum extension.
  5. Check the hinges and bolts that hold your glass in place. Afterwards, check the gasket that gives it an air tight seal. Look for cracks or depressions in the gasket that may allow carbon monoxide through the opening. If the gasket is badly damaged it will need to be replaced. You can schedule a professional inspection at this time. Also, you can have the gasket replaced by a gas fireplace expert, if you’d like.
  6. If your gas fireplace is vented, check the vent opening outside. Make sure it’s free of leaves and other debris and is venting properly. You can hold a piece of paper in front of the vent opening when the fireplace is in use to see if the paper flutters. This will mean it is venting.
  7. If your gas fireplace is vented through an existing chimney you should have it cleaned regularly. Although gas is an efficient heat source, it can still produce soot and creosote in the chimney. If left unchecked, these chemicals can become corrosive to the chimney lining and lead to damaged masonry and carbon monoxide intrusion. During a chimney sweep your technician will also clean your gas fireplace, removing any dust, debris, or insects that may exist there.
  8. Use your gas fireplace correctly to avoid problems. you should always follow the manual that came with your appliance. If you’re uncertain or think your gas fireplace has a problem, do not hesitate to call your local chimney sweep company.

The Cozy Flame works with our sister company, Total Chimney Care!

This gives all of our customers the best chimney and fireplace service in Milford and surrounding areas. Total Chimney Care offers chimney sweeps and inspections for all fuel sources, whether they use a chimney or not. When you’re ready for your preventative maintenance, give them a call. If you have a question about something you found during your monthly assessment of your fireplace, an expert can answer your questions today!

How to Care for Your Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces and inserts have grown in popularity in recent years due to their ease of use and maintenance. These heating appliances offer a number of benefits over traditional wood burning fireplaces. First, fires can be started with the simple flip of a switch, as opposed to the work needed to start and maintain a wood fire. Likewise, with gas fireplaces there is no need to chop, haul, season, and store firewood, saving both time and money. Finally, there is no need to sweep and remove ashes from a gas fireplace.

A few simple steps can help to ensure the longevity of your gas fireplace.

A few simple steps can help to ensure the longevity of your gas fireplace.

While there is no day to day cleanup of ashes with gas fireplaces, they still do require annual maintenance to continue performing at optimum levels. By completing these simple maintenance tasks and having an annual inspection, your gas fireplace will last for many years to come.

Cleaning

The exterior glass and metal finish of a gas fireplace can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. Homeowners should avoid using any abrasive or chemical cleaners, however, as these can damage the finish. This cleaning can be easily completed as needed.

The interior of your gas fireplace should also be carefully cleaned one to two times each year. Before cleaning, the gas valve should always be completely turned off. The burner and control compartment can be kept clean merely by brushing and vacuuming them. Because they are fragile, a soft, clean paintbrush should be used to prevent accidental damage. As with the exterior of the fireplace, abrasive chemicals should never be used, and the fireplace should never be cleaned while it is still hot.

Glass and log replacement

While gas fireplace components are made to last, they can sometimes become damaged. This can be the result of long term wear and tear or accidental breakage. The main concern when replacing either the glass or log of a gas fireplace is to make sure that the new parts are certified to be used with your particular unit. Likewise, improper positioning of a gas log can result in poor performance and an excessive buildup of carbon.

Working with a professional fireplace company may be the best way to ensure that the new parts are both licensed for use with your unit and installed correctly.

Vent maintenance

While the venting system of your fireplace will be checked during an annual inspection, homeowners should check their vents one to two additional times each year. This is especially important to do if the fireplace has not been used for a long period of time. The exterior vent should be free from signs of damage or obstruction, and should not have any rust signs or holes. If any damage is present, discontinue use and contact a fireplace company immediately.

Professional inspection

Just like a wood burning fireplace, a gas fireplace should be inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep each year. Doing this ensures that your appliance remains in excellent condition, has not been damaged, and can be used safely for another year.

If you have any questions about caring for your gas fireplace or need to schedule an annual inspection, contact The Cozy Flame today!

Maximizing Your Fireplace’s Efficiency

For many of us, our wood burning fireplaces create a comforting ambiance on a cold winter day, but the warmth it provides, unfortunately, is usually more show than substance. The explanation is simple enough. Warm air rises. Because of this scientific fact, the majority of the heat produced by your fire attempts to escape through your chimney rather than staying down in your house. Not only that, this rising hot air creates an updraft in its wake that pulls even more warm air up and out right along with it. If you’re in the market to maximize the heat output of your wood-burning fireplace, we can help!

Relax and enjoy the warmth your fireplace with no worries. Boost your fireplace's performance now.

Relax and enjoy the warmth of your fireplace with no worries. Boost your fireplace’s performance now.

Plan Ahead—Season Your Firewood

An easy first step you can take to increase the performance of your fireplace is to season your firewood before burning it. Non-seasoned (green) firewood burns inefficiently and produces a lot of smoke but little to no real heat. The vast majority of the heat energy produced from burning green wood goes into evaporating the excess moisture in the wood instead of going into heating your home. The excess moisture in the wood also attempts to extinguish the fire the whole time it’s burning. Seems a bit counterproductive, doesn’t it? The seasoning process, on the other hand, provides the wood with ample time for the undesirable moisture to evaporate prior to your ever burning it in your fireplace and burns much more efficiently than its non-seasoned brethren.

More Oxygen = Improved Combustion

Now that you’ve seasoned your firewood and have it neatly arranged in your fireplace, opening your damper—throat-mount, top-sealing, or both—as far as possible will increase the amount of oxygen to your fire. It’s science time: this will improve the combustion and, ultimately, increase the amount of heat produced by your fire. One drawback to this increased combustion, however, is that your firewood will burn faster. This will mean that you have to add seasoned firewood more often to get a continuous flow of heat and will therefore go through more firewood over the course of the heating season.

A Yearly Chimney Inspection and Cleaning is a Must

Having your chimney inspected and cleaned by a CSIA-certified chimney sweep yearly will also make it possible to boost your heating performance, as the cleaning process removes the creosote buildup inside your chimney system that can significantly restrict air flow. Once your fireplace and chimney have been cleaned, you can replace the mesh screen in front of your fireplace with tempered glass doors that you can keep closed while the fire is burning. Keeping the doors closed will increase the temperature of the fire in your fireplace and reduce the amount of warm air that the fire pulls from your living space.

Following the steps mentioned above will give your fireplace the kick-start it needs to provide your home with more heat than it might otherwise produce. Our experienced staff takes pride in the service provided to each and every one of our customers. Take a minute to call and ask one of our staff members what is available for your specific application that will help to maximize its performance. One call is all it takes!

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The Cozy Flame | 116 Research Dr. Suite Q, Milford, Connecticut 06460