If you're using a gas fireplace, here's how to maintain it for worry-free use.
Every house is different. Some may have one gas fireplace, whereas others have one in every room.
No matter how many gas appliances you have, they all have something in common: They use gas and a vent to heat your space. So safety is a particular concern when it comes to maintaining these appliances.
It’s true! I've my hands in and around more than 300 gas units a year. The most common comment I hear is, “I just don’t feel safe around gas.” That common fear is valid, but you can live in harmony with your gas appliance and feel safe if you take a few easy steps every year.
Tune up your gas fireplace
The number one tip I recommend is having a professional tune up and clean your gas fireplace every year.
Everything may seem normal, but your gas fireplace consists of many working parts, metal to plastic and more. You depend on those parts to stay clean and working smoothly year after year. And you depend on those parts to keep you safe and warm. So why not give them a few moments, once a year?
As a homeowner, you may not know what you're looking for when you flip down the control panel of your gas appliance. The heat generated from the fireplace can cause parts to warp, shift and just plain wear out. These are problems that you sometimes can't spot from a single glance with a flashlight.
Install a cabon monoxide meter
If you already have one, check your batteries. Between your smoke detector and the CO meter, you will have a great early warning system for any problems. These two easy and inexpensive ways can calm your nerves and give you a little piece of mind.
Turn your pilot light off in the summer
If your unit uses a pilot light and you don’t turn your fireplace on during the warmer months, why not just turn it off? You save yourself a few dollars in gas and won’t have to worry about leaks or problems with the gas while it's off.
Make it a routine. Have your gas fireplace pilot lit and your unit cleaned every year at the same time. You'll have peace of mind that your fireplace is in good working order, and if you do have a problem you’ll deal with it at the beginning of the season and not during the busy holiday season.
Trust me, there's nothing colder than a fireplace that won’t light on the chilly day you need it!
About this Experts Contributor: Mark Ahling owns Flame Dynamics and has been a fireplace gas technician since 1993. He has been certified by most major fireplace manufacturers over the last 15 years and has installed and serviced gas appliances in some of California's most prestigious homes, hotels and commercial locations. Follow the company on Google Plus.
As of April 4, 2016, this service provider was highly rated on Angie's List. Ratings are subject to change based on consumer feedback, so check Angie's List for the most up-to-date reviews. The views expressed by this author do not necessarily reflect those of Angie's List.