Gas fireplaces give all the warmth and coziness of a wood burning fireplace with none of the mess. Even though they are low maintenance they still need to be checked to see if the gas line is clogged and the log, burner and inside of the fireplace need to be cleaned. This should be done at least once a year before each burning season. Look at the user’s manual that comes with your model before you begin. There may be precautions you need to take before you start the cleaning process.
The first thing you should do before cleaning your gas fireplace is to turn off the gas at the main gas valve. The valve will be attached to the riser pipe which runs from the ground to the gas meter. The pilot light and electrical igniter should also be turned off.
If the glass doors can be removed by a clip or crank then remove them and clean them with regular window spray and a paper towel. A 50% vinegar and water solution is also a good glass cleaner. If the glass is welded to the frame then don’t try to remove it, but call a professional. If it is possible to do, the user’s manual should also tell you how to remove the glass doors.
The logs, coal or stones and the burner can then gently be taken out. They are usually fragile and need to be handled with care. Brush or wipe them with a soft cloth to remove dust and debris. If the log was not designed to be removed, you can clean it in place with some warm soapy water and a soft cloth or sponge. If the log is encrusted with grime, the vinegar solution can be used and there are also commercial gas log cleaners.
Vacuum the fireplace being careful to remove any insects or spider webs. Use the hose attachment to get the dirt and dust from the cracks and crevices.
Look at the vents to make sure they are not blocked with sticks or nests. In most cases you will be able to remove any obstructions.
Wipe the gas nozzle with the soft cloth to make sure it is not blocked with any residue. If any dirt gets into the gas line the pilot light will go out and fire will not stay lit. Make sure there are not any cracks or damage to the gas connection. If there is any damage it is better to have it checked by a professional technician.
If your gas line is clogged with dirt it is better to call a professional HVAC person to clean it because working with gas lines needs technical training. If there is any mistake or the line is not properly cleaned there is the possibility of leaking gas, explosion, fire and incomplete combustion where a large amount of carbon dioxide is being produced.
Reassemble your fireplace and turn on the gas. Light the flames and make sure they are burning cleanly and evenly and that there isn’t the smell of gas. They should be blue at the bottom with yellow tips. Now you can relax and enjoy another season of the warmth and attractiveness of an open fire.