Find Out Why You Should Never Skip Your Yearly Fireplace Service Call

Gas fireplaces are all the rage—and for a good reason. Homeowners choose them for their beauty, energy efficiency, and convenience. There’s nothing better than gathering your friends and family around a cozy fire on a chilly winter night or reading a book in the warm glow of a gas fireplace.

When you install a natural gas fireplace into your living space, it adds instant class and sophistication. It transforms your living room into a central hub for family gatherings or adds an ambiance of romance to your bedroom.

Not only do they burn cleaner than a wood-burning fireplace, but they are easier to maintain and help cut down on energy bills in your home.

But just because gas fireplaces are low maintenance doesn’t mean they don’t require any care or attention. Along with regular gas fireplace maintenance, you must get your gas fireplace inspected every year to ensure it functions properly and keeps your home safe.

Let’s look at the risks of skipping your annual gas fireplace inspection and what you can expect from your yearly service call.

What Are The Risks Of Skipping My Annual Gas Fireplace Service Call?

If you’re like most Billings, MT residents, you have a very busy schedule. You may feel like you’re always on the go between the work week, family obligations, and homeowner responsibilities.

But much like regularly cleaning out your dryer vent, a yearly gas fireplace inspection by the fireplace experts cannot be put on the back burner.

Not only will it ensure your gas fireplace safely runs for the entire heating season, but it can help you identify issues early on that could lead to costly repairs or even the need to replace your unit.

So whether you have a gas fireplace insert or a fully vented chimney system, you are putting your home at risk if you skip a yearly inspection. Let’s look at some issues in your home when you miss an annual gas fireplace inspection.

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Creosote And Debris Build-Up Can Lead To House Fires

Homeowners know that gas fireplaces burn cleaner than a wood-burning fireplace. Since they are fueled by natural gas, there’s no black soot build-up or ash to clean up after every burn.

But according to the Chimney Safety Institute Of America, the number one cause of damage to gas-fired appliances is the natural combustion byproducts.

While gas fireplaces burn cleaner than their wood-burning counterparts, they still produce small amounts of creosote residue that can wreak havoc on your system.

Creosote is a sticky substance that sticks to the flue, firebox, and interior chimney walls during the combustion cycle. It can cause your gas fireplace to stop working or lead to a house fire.

All it takes is a single spark from your ceramic log or a piece of debris that made it onto your gas logs to start a chimney fire that can cause damage to your home and put your family in danger.

A fireplace expert can check your gas fireplace for the presence of creosote build-up and remove the threat if they find it. The CSIA recommends an annual inspection even if you feel your unit is functioning as it should.

Gas Leaks That Put Your Family At Risk

You already know how dangerous a gas leak can be, especially if you have a gas appliance in your home. You need to have it inspected regularly to avoid catastrophe.

Even if you have carbon monoxide detectors in your home, small amounts of gas could go undetected. The slightest puncture in the gas line or minor damage to a gas valve can cause a carbon monoxide leak that can directly impact your family’s health.

If a minor gas leak goes undetected, your family can experience carbon monoxide poisoning, which can lead to symptoms like:

  • Dull Headaches
  • Dizziness And Confusion
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness/Fatigue
  • Blurred Vision
  • Loss of Consciousness

Prolonged exposure to a carbon monoxide gas leak can lead to permanent health damage and death, so regularly checking your gas lines and gas fireplace is essential.

Additionally, an undetected gas leak can lead to an explosion. So you must have your gas fireplace inspected annually by a licensed professional.

Worn Out Parts

Like any gas appliance in your home, many essential components keep your gas fireplace up and running. And like any other appliance, these parts inevitably wear out with everyday use.

An annual gas fireplace inspection will evaluate these parts and catch weaknesses before they break, leading to costly repairs. A yearly evaluation will check out every essential element, including the:

  • Ceramic Logs
  • Pilot Light
  • Gas Valves
  • Hoses
  • Couplings
  • Thermopile or Thermocouple
  • Ignition System

Excessive wear or malfunctioning parts can lead to a house fire, carbon monoxide poisoning, or even the need for a brand new fireplace before your existing one has run its full lifespan.

Annual fireplace maintenance helps minimize safety issues and avoid costly repairs.

Flue Obstructions

In order for your gas fireplace to function safely, it must have a way to vent the toxic fumes created during the burning process away from the interior of your home. The flue is the part that allows these fumes to escape.

However, small rodents like mice and squirrels, nesting insects like wasps, or even debris like leaves and grass cuttings can make their way into your flue. This can cause a dangerous clog that prevents gas fumes from escaping your unit.

When the chimney flue is blocked, these contaminants will back up into your home and put your family at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning.

An annual inspection by a professional will check this area of your gas fireplace system and ensure it’s clear of even the most minor obstruction.

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What Gas Fireplace Maintenance Should I Do Between Annual Inspections?

Have you ever tried to turn on your AC on the hottest day of the year and realized you need HVAC services? Much like any other heating or cooling appliance in your home, you don’t want to be caught unprepared when you need warmth from your gas fireplace.

The best time to schedule an annual gas fireplace inspection is prior to the burning season. This will ensure your unit functions properly all winter long and won’t leave you in the cold.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t maintain your gas fireplace between annual inspections. Here’s a maintenance checklist you can use to extend your fireplace’s lifespan and keep your family safe while your gas fireplace is in use.

  • Visually Inspect The Glass Doors, Gas Logs, And Firebox: Each time you use the unit, do a quick visual inspection to see if any component looks off or if any debris is present. Check for cracks, peeling paint, or rust. Ensure the gas logs are in the proper position. If they are crooked, they could prevent the unit from firing up.
  • Clean The Glass: If you notice the view of the flame looks hazy or there is a white film building up on the glass doors, take the time to clean the glass on your gas fireplace.
  • Clean The Inside Of The Firebox: While gas fireplaces burn cleaner, they still produce debris that can pose a fire risk. Use a soft paintbrush and vacuum to remove the dust and dirt from inside the firebox to prevent sparking.
  • Check The Outside Vent: Look for any leaves, nests, or other debris build-ups. Remove the debris if the flue is cold if you can easily reach it. However, if your vent is on the roof or the obstruction is deep in the chimney, you should leave it to the professionals.
  • Check The Batteries On Your Carbon Monoxide Detector: While this isn’t part of your gas fireplace system, it’s a crucial component to keeping your family safe. Ensure you have one in the same room as every gas fireplace. It should be 4-5 feet above the floor but not directly above the fireplace.

By taking these basic steps, you can keep your gas fireplace running between annual service calls and lower the risk of dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning.

Remember, essential homeowner maintenance isn’t a replacement for an annual professional inspection. Be sure to schedule a yearly gas fireplace inspection with a certified technician.

Trust R & T Services For Your Gas Fireplace Repair And Inspection

If you want your gas fireplace to burn bright when the temperature drops, you’ll need to have it inspected. An annual fireplace service call will prevent surprise repair bills and keep your home warm all winter long.

R&T Services knows what it takes to maintain your gas fireplace. We also know how vital this gas appliance is to your home. So whether you call for a fireplace installation, service call, or annual inspection, we will arrive on time and get the job done.

Contact us today to schedule your annual gas fireplace inspection so you can keep your living space warm and cozy day after day.