A gas fireplace is a great addition to any living room, providing warmth, ambience, and a focal point for your home. They’re easier to operate, environmentally friendly, and unlike traditional log fireplaces, provide a continuous source of heat for however long you need.
However, lighting up your gas fireplace after a period of inactivity can often cause an almighty smell due to the dust, dirt, and other debris burning off the logs. To avoid this, you’ll need to keep your fireplace in good working condition all-year round. Therefore, thorough cleaning and maintenance is essential.
This guide will take you through eight simple steps for cleaning your gas fireplace both quickly and efficiently.
How To Clean A Gas Fireplace
Firstly, before you do anything, make sure the gas is off. To do this, turn the gas valve, typically located on the wall next to the fireplace, to the “off” position. If the gas is left running, it could potentially cause a dangerous gas leak in your house.
Check that the pilot light is completely out, and then leave it a few minutes to allow the gas to leave the piping safely. If you’ve used the fireplace recently, it’s also worth giving it a few extra minutes to ensure that all of the gas fireplace components are cool before you begin the cleaning process.
Next, you’ll need to disassemble your fireplace. This process will vary from household to household depending on the design of your fireplace. If your fireplace has a metal screen, glass doors, or a mesh curtain, it’s best to remove them for easier and more efficient cleaning.
You’ll also need to remove the logs, as well as the burner unit. If you’re worried about returning the components to the exact same configuration after you’ve finished, it’s a good idea to take a few photographs on your phone to help with this.
With your logs safely removed from the fireplace, brush away any dust, dirt, or other debris on each log. Be mindful that they’re reasonably fragile, so don’t brush too hard. Whilst you’re cleaning them, it’s also worth checking for any holes, cracks, or excessive burn marks.
Similarly brush away any debris from the burner unit and inspect each vent hole for any build-up that could potentially clog the flow of gas.
Some gas fireplaces have lava rocks while others come equipped with glass stones. Either way, they’ll both collect dust and need to be vacuumed regularly. Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to go over each rock or stone individually. This should effectively suck up any loose dirt or grime that has settled on them.
Note here, if your rocks or stones are too small to be vacuumed without getting sucked up in the machine, apply a piece of cheesecloth over the nozzle of the vacuum and secure it with a rubber band.
Once the rocks are clean, use the vacuum cleaner on all corners of the fireplace box to suck up any dust, dirt, or cobwebs. Also, use a cloth to wipe down the pilot light and gas line components.
Next, use a fireplace glass cleaner to clean the glass covering of your fireplace. Spray it on, allow it to work for a few minutes, and then use a soft cloth to remove the debris and film.
You’ll be able to find a suitable fireplace glass cleaner at your local hardware store. Don’t ever use a regular window glass cleaner for this task as they can often have an adverse reaction to the carbon deposits that commonly accumulate on the fireplace glass.
With the interior of your gas fireplace clean, it’s time to focus on the exterior - in particular cleaning any soot or dust from the mantle and hearth. Depending on the type of surface, a soft cloth dampened with water should be enough.
Now, it’s the process of reassembling the fireplace. This is where the photographs taken in step two may come in handy.
With everything clean, start by reassembling the fireplace in the reverse order you disassembled it. So, install the burner cover, followed by the logs and the lava rocks or glass stones. Then, install the glass and secure the clips, before finally, the front screen or grate.
With everything successfully reassembled, it’s then safe to turn the gas valve back on.
Finally, check the exterior vents. So, if your gas fireplace is vented to the outside, it’s recommended to check the outside vent at least once a month for any blockages. Some of the most common blockages include a build-up of leaves or animal nests.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often do you need to clean a gas fireplace?
To keep your gas fireplace in good working order, it’s important to clean it monthly, even during the summer months when it’s not being used heavily. Regular cleaning will prevent dust and dirt from harming some of the mechanisms and allow you to inspect the fireplace for any damage.
Do I need to get my gas fireplace inspected by an expert?
It’s recommended that a gas fireplace should be inspected by a trained professional once a year. This helps to ensure that the system is functioning properly and that there’s no potential for harm. Importantly, they’ll be able to tell you if there are any leaks in the piping and whether or not the pressurization levels are safe and accurate.