In order to keep our home warm in the colder seasons, a rough and ugly heating system does not necessarily have to be installed. In fact, the classic method of using a fireplace is always effective and elegant. Today we can even install gas fireplaces to prevent dirt from coal or firewood. This does not prevent us from knowing how to clean a gas fireplace.
While we’re not exposed to the same type of dirt as other fireplaces, it doesn’t mean that cleaning it occasionally is less important. Any kind of dirt can mean a loss of performance.
What pollutants do we find in our gas fireplace? The most common is dust. This easily accumulates in pipes and vents and creates plugs that prevent the passage of gas. Gas fireplaces also tend to nest insects like spiders because they don’t have such high combustion temperatures.
Today we are going to specify the right process to keep all types of gas fireplaces in suitable conditions, as well as the parts that need to be checked and how to clean them.
Safety aspects of gas fireplaces
Image source: Susi Builders Supply Inc.
Gas fireplaces are no stranger. If we don’t check it a certain number of times, serious problems can arise.
Electrical wires eventually wear out and break the insulator. A spark can be fatal when combined with gas. The pipes are prone to obstacles due to dirt, which prevents the free movement of the gas. It can also happen that some pipes crack or the connections between them are broken, which can lead to leaks.
The first step so that you are safe when cleaning your fireplace is to make sure it is cold. The fireplace must be off for two hours before it can be checked.
The next thing you should do is separate them. Close the gas valve and switch off the indicator light. Never perform maintenance on devices that consume gas without interrupting the supply, regardless of whether there is a risk of explosion or poisoning.
The chimney protection glass plays a fundamental role in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. If you don’t know how to replace it, hire an HVAC specialist to do it for you.
An additional protective measure is to install an alarm near the fireplace that detects the level of carbon monoxide in the air and warns you of possible leaks.
How to clean a gas fireplace properly
The gas fireplaces should be cleaned monthly. Unlike other fireplaces, it needs to be checked even if we don’t use it all the time to avoid problems with the pipes and cables during use.
Wait a few minutes after closing the gas valve before performing any maintenance or inspection work. The aim is to remove the remaining gas.
Start with the protective glass
The first thing we will clean is what we have the most accessible: the fireplace glass. Once the gas has dissolved, carefully remove the glass and place it horizontally on a smooth surface. In some cases, you need to remove the glass from the hinges in which it is held
There are several fireplace glass cleaners on the market that you can buy. These look like soap and produce foam that is responsible for the corrosion of dirt from the glass. Be sure to buy an alcohol-based cleaner. Simply apply and leave for 15 minutes. Then remove it with another clean cloth.
Now you can put the glass back into the fireplace. It should be firm and well adjusted to prevent carbon monoxide leakage. Take the opportunity to check whether the insulation joints are in good condition or whether they should be replaced.
Decorative logs also get dirty
Image source: Okell’s fireplace
Gas fireplaces also have decorative logs inside (although they’re an important part of the mechanism that makes the fire look real). However, corners can easily become dirty with dust and other particles.
With the gas valve closed, remove the logs from the fireplace and look for an open spot to clean them. The garden or terrace of the house is ideal for removing accumulated dirt.
Remember that these are still decorative and therefore not as resistant as real logs. You should therefore handle them carefully when cleaning them. Simply spray them with water at low pressure. Use a brush to reach difficult areas such as cracks where dust can easily accumulate.
Do not put the logs in the fireplace immediately after cleaning. Take the opportunity to review them and look for imperfections in their structure such as fractures or burns. Some protocols may have reached their end of life, so they need to be changed.
It’s time to clean lava stones
As the logs dry, you should clean your fireplace lava stones or glass stones.
In some cases, these stones are very small, so we can accidentally vacuum them off. To avoid this, just put a nylon mesh or gauze in the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner.
Once the stones are clean, vacuum the corners of the fireplace. These areas are perfect for spider webs and large amounts of dust.
Once the internal structure is cleaned, you can clean the gas piping system and the electrical components you see with a dry cloth.
To remove soot from the inside edges, it is best to use a slightly damp cloth with water. Do not use chemicals to clean the inside of the fireplace as they can react with gas.
Clean the damp cloth with warm water every time to remove the accumulated dirt. After cleaning this sector, you can place the decorative logs.
Clean main burner
If you know how to clean a gas fireplace, you can clean the system that supplies the gas and lights the fire. To locate the main burner, all we have to do is follow the gas supply line that starts where the logs are.
You recognize the burner because you see a small hole near the pipe. Since the oxygen is mixed with the gas so that it ignites, dust can accumulate. This makes it more difficult to light the fire.
Cleaning begins with a superficial vacuum to remove larger residues. Use a soft brush to remove the most difficult residue.
If you still cannot remove all of the dirt, you can finally spray the burner with water or a detergent. It is safest to use water as there is no risk of combining it with the gas. However, we can use chemicals, but you need to be careful with their handling.
To clean the inside of the pipes, you need to buy a can of compressed air. Simply insert the nozzle into all the inlets of the pipes to drive out the stuck dirt and let the gas flow smoothly.
Maintenance is important
It is important to know how to clean a gas fireplace if you want to keep your investment for a long time. With proper and constant maintenance, we may not need to replace entire pipes every few months.
The best way to identify a problem with the gas fireplace is to check the quality of the fire. If the color of the flame is no longer yellow or orange, there is a problem with the gas supply.
The ventilation system is another aspect that you must constantly check. A clogged system means that gases are not being properly ejected from the fireplace, which can lead to an explosion. These harmful gases can also get into your home.
Keep in mind that it is important to keep the carbon monoxide detection system running to avoid poisoning with this gas. Always check that the detector batteries are charged.
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