by Lee Wyatt
(last updated December 7, 2020)
On the average, cleaning a gas fireplace is going to be a whole lot easier than cleaning a regular fireplace. After all, gas burns cleaner, and with a whole lot less mess, than a regular fireplace. Most gas fireplaces are designed to have the "log" remain in place, and should not be removed. If you find yourself needing to clean the log, simply get a washcloth or a sponge, and scrub the log clean with warm soapy water. For any particularly nasty buildup though, you can always use a strong cleaner, such as vinegar, to get the crud off. Keep an eye out for one thing though, and that is any dirt getting into the gas line. You can often tell that your gas line is getting clogged with dirt and grime, if the pilot light goes out (even after repeated cleaning), or that the fire goes out once you have it lit.
If you find that dirt is getting into your gas line, then you have a problem that you need to have fixed immediately. Unless you are a professional HVAC repairman though, you should hire a professional to do the work for you instead of doing it yourself. The reason for this is that gas is an extremely dangerous substance to work with, and should best be left to the professionals to deal with.
Hire a professional to come over to inspect your fireplace. Often when people try to clean out their own gas fireplaces, they accidentally damage the orifices. This allows dirt to get into the lines and clog them. Aside from leaking natural gas, and a possible uncontrolled fire or risk of explosion, there is also the danger of "incomplete combustion." This means that abnormal amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) could be getting produced.
When you hire a professional to inspect, and clean, your gas fireplace be sure that you do a few things first. Be sure that you call around to several places, ask questions, get an estimate, and compare prices. You may be able to get some recommendations from friends and family, but be sure that you still go with one that has several years' worth of experience. Make sure that the professional at the very least looks at the thermocouple as well as taking a look at the log itself to see if it needs to be replaced. While it is more expensive to hire a professional, you can be sure that you are getting quality work done, and that it has been done right.
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