A natural gas fireplace offers instant warmth and ambience to a room. Here is some basic information to keep it working safely and efficiently.
Call a professional
Schedule regular inspections, cleaning and maintenance with a licensed gas contractor. Refer to your fireplace owner's manual for directions on frequency of service (usually at least once a year), and what that maintenance should involve.
A fireplace service should include, but is not limited to:
- cleaning the glass
- inspecting the burner, gas valve, pilot system, door gaskets, venting and air openings
After the service, ask your gas contractor for a copy of their completed checklist. For more details, see the BC Safety Authority’s complete service checklist.
Basic fireplace safety measures
Keep small children, pets and combustibles away from hot surfaces. Installing a safety screen and/or a fire-resistant hearth guard may help prevent young children from touching the glass panels of a natural gas fireplace.
If your fireplace is being installed in a home during construction or renovations, do not operate it until the area is thoroughly cleaned. Drywall dust and other contaminants may harm the fan, motors and burners.
Be alert to problems
If your fireplace is malfunctioning or in need of service, you're likely to experience warning signs such as:
- pilot light outages
- "booming" noises upon ignition
- delayed ignition (slow to start up)
- excessive soot or corrosion inside the fireplace or on the vent
- a "rotten egg" or sulphur smell (that's the odourant in the natural gas) that may cause eyes to sting
- symptoms of the presence of carbon monoxide: nausea, headaches, lethargy or other flu-like symptoms
Find more information about the benefits and safety features of natural gas fireplaces.