When the winter months arrive, there are few things more satisfying than staying bundled up inside around a fire with your family and a cup of hot chocolate. When you have a gas fireplace in your home, you can control your comfort with the simple push of a button, improve your home’s energy efficiency, and avoid the harmful pollution caused by a wood-burning fireplace.
However, preparing your gas fireplace for cold weather is essential for making sure it’s operating at peak performance and that you can take full advantage of the numerous benefits offered by propane gas. If you’re interested in learning how to prepare your gas fireplace for winter, review the steps below, then contact Spicer Advanced Gas to schedule your annual gas fireplace inspection!
1. Review the Owner’s Manual
If you haven’t used your fireplace since last winter, the first step in the winter preparation checklist is to review the owner’s manual for your unit.
Different models require different forms of cleaning and maintenance to remain working properly and safely. If your manual outlines different instructions than our checklist, follow the instructions for your specific model. If you do not have the owner’s manual or are unsure about how to prepare your gas fireplace for cold weather, contact the unit manufacturer or the contractor who installed it to ask for recommendations.
2. Check the Outdoor Vent
When the unit is not in use, the outdoor vent can develop clogs from accumulated debris. Turning on your fireplace without removing a blockage can lead to increased levels of carbon monoxide in your home or a fire. Clear leaves, sticks, cobwebs, and other debris from the vent to ensure adequate airflow. If you find evidence of pests in your ducts, such as rodents or birds, contact a pest control professional immediately to manage the infestation before it impacts the functioning of your fireplace.
3. Examine the Glass Fireplace Covering
The glass covering on your gas fireplace contains the carbon monoxide produced while you use the unit. Carefully examine the glass for chips, cracks, or holes that can allow this dangerous gas to escape. Also, tighten the hinges to ensure the covering operates properly and creates a tight seal when closed.
4. Clean the Inside of the Fireplace
Dust that builds up on the ceramic logs, rocks, or beads within your fireplace can create a foul odor when you turn on the unit. Turn off the propane gas valve, then dust these features and the entire inside of the fireplace with a handheld vacuum. If the logs, rocks, or beads require a deeper clean, remove them from the fireplace and gently wash them in your sink, then ensure they are completely dry before putting them back.
Logs in gas fireplaces are typically positioned in a specific way to support the functioning of the unit, so take a photo before moving them so you can return them to the same spot after cleaning them. Also, replace any logs that are broken with new ones!
5. Remove Dust From the Blower
The electric blower in the unit circulates warm air throughout your home, and it can become dusty or clogged during the off-season from lack of use. Locate the blower, unplug it, and remove dust with a stiff-bristled brush. Remember to plug it back in after you are done. Any dust that falls into the blower during cleaning should be removed with a vacuum.
6. Inspect the Pilot Light
Make a visual inspection of the pilot light to identify loose or exposed wires. Deterioration, pest infestations, and storm damage can damage your pilot light and prevent it from working. If you see any issues, contact a professional before attempting to turn it on. If it appears to be working properly, test it to confirm that it responds.
7. Schedule a Professional Fireplace Inspection
You should have a professional inspect your gas fireplace at least once every year to perform preventative maintenance, check for problems like faulty sensors and gas leaks, and resolve these problems to keep your unit running safely and efficiently. If you noticed anything out of the ordinary while completing the steps above or you’re wondering how to prepare for winter weather, let them know about your concerns when they arrive.
If you would like to learn more about how to prepare a gas fireplace for cold weather, or you’re interested in discussing the benefits of installing a gas fireplace in your home, contact Spicer Advanced Gas today! We provide a full range of services, from fireplace installation and maintenance to residential propane delivery. We also offer tank monitoring services and automatic propane delivery to ensure your tank is full and ready to use when cold weather hits.
Don’t forget to check out our website or visit our Spicer Hearth & Home showroom to talk to our team of experts!