In the first of this two-part series, we looked at two common issues with gas fireplaces – soot buildup and pilot ignition problems. This time, we will address other possible issues owners of gas fireplaces may experience and offer advice on how to fix them.
Under proper operating conditions, your gas fireplace should never create a smell in the room or the home. The most important odor to be worried about is that of the gas itself.
If you smell gas coming from even the best gas fireplace or fireplace inserts, that means gas is escaping somewhere and not being turned into fire. This can be a dangerous situation. Don’t try to troubleshoot and fix this problem yourself – rather, call the fire department immediately and evacuate the house.
Over time, fireplaces’ glass doors can become dirty and blurry. This situation will greatly reduce the aesthetic appeal of a roaring fire. Pay a visit to your local hearth store and ask about special fireplace door cleaning solutions. Never use an ammonia-based window cleaner on fireplace doors. Windex, for instance, will cause premature wear of the ceramic glass.
A gas fireplace should make little if any noise. If you hear new sounds – and especially if they’re happening in conjunction with operating problems – you need to look into it.
Here are a few common noise problems:
- Dirty burners will often cause a sound similar to rumbling. If this is happening, contact a professional to perform a through cleaning of your burners.
- If your fireplace has a blower, a grinding noise or a high-pitched whistling sound usually indicates a problem with these components. Repair or replace the fan to fix this problem.
- A subtle roaring sound probably means the flame on your pilot light needs adjusting.
- If the abnormal noise comes from the fan, it might be because it has moved or due to the fan’s balance. Its replacement might be necessary.
Often when a fireplace burner isn’t working, it’s because of an issue with the thermostat. Before contacting a service technician, make sure that your thermostat is set higher than the temperature in the room. When having burner issues, you must contact an expert with experience in this area. Most repair jobs require the skills of a trained fireplace technician.
Common fireplace burner problems include unattached, damaged or otherwise faulty wiring; a dirty pilot light orifice that no longer works efficiently; and a worn-out thermocouple that needs to be replaced. Do not forget to check your fireplace remote control batteries. Some need to be replaced every two months.