Author – Marge Padgitt
Unfortunately, many homeowners are under the impression that gas logs, gas stoves, and gas direct vent fireplace inserts never need any maintenance.
This may have been what the salesperson said at the time of purchase of the appliance, but it is definitely not the case.
In fact, every gas insert or stove manufacturer has instructions in the owner’s manual stating that annual appliance checkup and cleaning is necessary for proper appliance functioning and that this service should be completed by a qualified technician. Qualified gas technicians may have a degree and license in HVAC Technology or be National Fireplace Institute Certified.
Many professional chimney sweeps have NFI certification, and a few have the HVAC license. Specialized training in gas appliance service is required.
During a gas appliance check and tune-up the technician may complete tasks such as…
- removal of dust and soot from the logs and burner
- cleaning of the thermocouple and thermopile
- clean out of spiders and webs out of orifices which can block gas
- do a check of the valve and connection
- do a CO test and test burn to check for flame impingement
- check the vent or flue
- check the igniter
- check the gas line to the fireplace, look for proper installation of a safety shut-off valve, clearances to combustibles
- check for flammable bird nests inside the vent or flue.
Neglect of these items can cause flame impingement, excessive sooting which can damage walls or other items, Carbon Monoxide backup or leakage, or other malfunction of the appliance which can include it not working at all.
~ Marge Padgitt