Gas fireplaces are nice to have because they are less messy than wood-burning stoves, but many gas fireplaces use chimneys to vent the fumes and gasses. If your gas fireplace has a chimney, you will need to take proper care of it, which means having it inspected and cleaned on a regular basis. While the chimneys in gas fireplaces do not present the same risks and issues as those used with wood-burning fireplaces, there are still dangers you should be aware of. Here are three potential dangers of gas fireplaces.
Buildup In Chimney
While you might think a gas fireplace burns completely clean, this is not the case. Your chimney will not have ashes, wood particles, and creosote in it, like a wood-burning device has, but the chimney can still have buildup in it. Buildup can occur in several ways, but a common cause of buildup is due to the debris left when gasses do not burn completely. This soot can adhere to the inside of your chimney flue and can cause an obstruction.
Other types of dirt and debris can also get trapped inside your chimney, and this includes dirt, rodents, and birdhouses. If you burn ceramic logs in your gas fireplace, some of the material from these logs can break off and end up in your chimney over time.
When dirt and debris gets trapped in your chimney, it can prevent the chimney from operating properly. As this happens, it prevents the gasses from rising and leaving your house. This can leave a strange odor in your house, and it can prevent the fire from burning properly, because it starves the fire of oxygen.
To make sure your fireplace is safe, you may want to hire a chimney sweep to inspect and clean it each year. During a cleaning, the chimney sweep will remove any buildup found inside the chimney flue. Doing this yearly will make your fireplace safe for use.
There is another potential danger of gas fireplaces, which involves carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is created when certain types of fuels do not burn completely. This not only includes natural gas and propane, but wood-burning fireplaces can also produce carbon dioxide.
The problem with carbon monoxide is that you will never know it is there. It is silent, odorless, and colorless, yet it is extremely dangerous for your health.
When you hire a company to perform chimney cleaning and maintenance, one thing they will check is your carbon monoxide detector. If you do not have one, they will recommend getting one immediately. If you do have one, they will test it to make sure it is working properly.
Components Of The System
Finally, when you get a chimney inspection, you can also have your gas fireplace inspected. A gas fireplace has several key components a chimney sweep can inspect, and each is vital for the safety and performance of the fireplace. Here are some of the important parts that should be inspected annually:
- Burners – The burners tend to get dirty from use and should be cleaned at least once each year.
- Pilot light – The pilot light must be in good working condition in order for the fireplace to run properly. If necessary, the chimney sweep will clean or adjust the pilot light during the inspection.
- Blower – The blower is what the device uses to force the heat produced into your home. Blowers may need to be cleaned each year in order to function properly.
If any of these parts are not operating correctly, it could pose risks to your home. To schedule an appointment for fireplace maintenance, contact a company in your area like Early Times Home Solutions that offers chimney cleaning.