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Indoor fireplace maintenance

Periodic cleaning

A fireplace insert that draws combustion air from the room will also attract dust, carpet fibres and pet hairs over time. When these particles combust, they can leave a slight powdery residue on the inside of the glass. Periodic cleaning of the glass and light dusting of the logs is relatively simple, provided you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Before cleaning anything

  • Turn your fireplace completely off, including the pilot light.
  • Wait for the unit to cool down completely.
  • Put down a drop sheet to protect your carpets.
  • When the glass is cool, put on gloves and eye protection.
  • Refer to the manufacturer's manual for instructions about opening the glass panel or removing it.

Cleaning the glass

  • Ensure the glass is at room temperature. Wiping hot glass with a damp cloth can cause thermal shock that can break the glass.
  • Remove the glass and its frame, remembering the position of the glass and the gasket(s), and clean the glass.
  • If the glass or the gasket(s) appear to be damaged or degraded, contact a licensed gas contractor before using the fireplace again.
  • Don't use abrasive cleaners on the glass - use cleaners recommended by the manufacturer.

Cleaning the inside of the firebox

  • If you're attempting to clean control compartments, burners and other working parts, use a soft brush or gently vacuum with a brush attachment.
  • If your fireplace is installed during construction or renovations, don't operate it until the working parts have been thoroughly cleaned of drywall dust and other contaminants.
  • Moving the logs in an attempt to clean them may disturb their safe, efficient operation. It is better to consult a licensed gas contractor.

Warning signs

There are almost always warning signs that a fireplace isn’t working properly, including:

  • pilot light outages
  • "booming" noises on ignition
  • delayed ignition (slow to start up)
  • excessive soot or corrosion inside the fireplace or on the vent
  • the smell of rotten eggs or sulphur, or a sharp odour that causes your eyes to sting
  • symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: nausea, headaches, lethargy or other flu-like symptoms

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