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Gas Fireplace Maintenance
When owning a gas fireplace, it is very important to understand how it works and to make sure that it is operating appropriately for efficiency and safety purposes. The following information will help you enjoy your gas fireplace and feel confident that you and your family will be safe.

Cleaning Before you clean your gas fireplace, always make sure the gas valve is turned off. Then, before relighting it, make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions to a tee. The burner and control compartment should always be kept clean, which can be done by vacuuming and brushing it a minimum of one time per year. For cleaning the logs, simply use a soft, paint brush to brush off debris or spider webs. Since most logs are fragile, this type of brush will ensure it does not break.

For the appliance and door itself, simply use a damp cloth while everything is cool. Avoid any type of abrasive cleaner and for the glass, use a standard window cleaner.

Venting System - Before you use your fireplace, especially the first time at the beginning of the new season, check the venting system to make sure there is nothing clogging it. If you have any concerns, have a qualified technician inspect the fireplace before you begin using it all the time. Additionally, look for any areas that show wear or corrosion, which would look like streaks or rust spots. If you find any, they will need to be replaced before using the fireplace.

Be sure to remove the cap and use a flashlight to look down the vent to see if any birds have built nests or if any leaves or other debris has accumulated in the chimney, which is a serious safety issue.

Condensation You also wantto look for any condensation that would look like water droplets forming in the vents. If condensation continues, the caps will corrode along with fittings and pipes. The joints should also be checked to make sure nothing has been loosened.

Brass Louvers or Gold Plated Many of the new, sophisticated fireplaces have 24-karat gold trim. To keep this trim clean, you can simply use a damp cloth and wipe it down. Never use anything abrasive or chemical cleaners since they will damage the finish.

Logs If you have any broken logs, do not use the fireplace. In this situation, turn the gas value off and let the fireplace cool if it had been in operation. You want to make sure the pilot light is off and always use the appropriate replacement log. Keep in mind that not all fireplace logs fit universally. Check the position of the logs as well to make sure they are connected firmly and safely. If the logs are not positioned according to the manufacturers guidelines, carbon build-up can occur and ultimately damage the unit.

Latch Be sure the latch of your fireplace, whether gas or wood burning fits tightly, creating a perfect seal.

Door Gasket It is important that the door gasket of your fireplace be the right type to handle high temperatures.

For wood burning fireplaces, consider the following:

Always burn seasoned, hard wood. By using unseasoned or soft wood, you will not get a hot fire and sap can build up in the chimney, creating risk for a chimney fire.

Creosote As wood is burned slowly, tar and other vapors are produced. When these vapors mix with moisture, creosote is formed. What happens is that the creosote condenses inside the cool chimney flue and as the residue builds up, it can cause a fire to burn dangerously hot.

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