With a trend towards cleaner-burning fuels, many homeowners are installing gas fireplaces. They are convenient and provide lower heating costs. And while most homeowners know they need an annual inspection for a wood-burning fireplace or stove, they don’t always get an inspection when it comes to gas appliances. Some mistakenly believe that the smaller amounts of combustible deposits aren’t a safety risk. But here’s why a gas fireplace needs an annual inspection, too.
While a gas fireplace burns cleaner, there is still a small amount of creosote residue that sticks to the interior chimney walls and flue during the combustion process. Creosote is a sticky, tarry substance that is highly flammable. If it is not removed, it will continue to accumulate inside the chimney. A simple spark from a ceramic log or other debris is all it takes to start a chimney fire. An annual chimney inspection is necessary to prevent an excessive build-up of creosote.
Inspect for gas leaks
A gas leak is hazardous. Even a small puncture in the line or a damaged valve can cause gas to leak. An undetected gas leak inside the fireplace can result in an explosion. That’s why it is imperative that your gas line and connection are inspected annually by a certified professional.
Replace worn parts
A gas fireplace contains quite a few essential components. And just like any other appliance parts will eventually wear out. Inspecting your ceramic logs, burner, hoses, couplings, valves, and other components annually and replacing worn parts helps prevent premature failures minimizing safety risks. Excessive wear or other damages can increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or fire.
Prevent flue obstructions
The safe operation of your gas fireplace depends on the venting of toxic fumes through the chimney. Small animals, rodents, leaves, and other debris can clog the flue, preventing gas fumes from escaping. When the chimney or vent is blocked these contaminants back up into your living space. The real danger is carbon monoxide poisoning. It is called the silent killer because it is a highly toxic colorless and odorless gas. And it is the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S. Some of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, headaches, and nausea. Fire safety experts recommend all homeowners with solid or liquid fuel heating appliances have an annual chimney inspection. It is also recommended that you install a carbon monoxide detector in your home.
Annual inspections for gas heating appliances
Your gas fireplace is a convenient, energy-efficient, and clean-burning source of heat for your home. And when properly maintained, it will provide years of safe operation. Don’t wait until there is a problem. Have your gas fireplace inspected and cleaned once a year by a certified chimney professional. It’s quick, convenient, and affordable.