This time of year we get allot of gas fireplace calls! Many of the fireplaces we work on are 10 years and older, and they have never been serviced. And while most gas fireplaces will burn year after year without proper service; it does take a toll on the fireplace itself, and it’s certainly not the safest thing to do. I thought I would take some time and tell you about the safety side of gas fireplaces.
There are many times we find gas fireplaces that have been totally neglected. Keeping the fireplace clean and checked for carbon monoxide and gas leaks are very important things to do to keep it running safely and efficiently.
I have seen for example where a fireplace will light but I can't see the fire, and that's dangerous in my book! Whenever a fire is lit in a fireplace I like to see the fire for a couple reasons. First, I think when the fireplace is clean and burning properly it adds a certain decor to your home. It can be soothing and relaxing, and that goes a long ways towards attitude! Staring into a nice fire just seems to do something for the soul!
Second, for the safety of it! I like to see how the fire is burning, because if it doesn't burn correctly it isn't burning safely. While gas fireplaces are built to look good; so they don't burn the gas as efficient as say a gas furnace would. If the fire is burning too rich (has too much fuel and not enough oxygen) it can cause excessive carbon build up. That's when the logs and or glass build up with that black soot. The black soot is a sign of inefficiently in all inserts, (gas log sets burn differently). If the fire is ghosting (the fire lifts off of the burner) that's not safe either! There are raw gases in that system not burning, and that’s never safe!
There are different reasons for these problems to occur and being able to see the fire is critical! Without seeing the fire one doesn't know if there are problems with it. Again, when any gas appliance burner is not burning properly it is not burning safely!
I mentioned checking for carbon monoxide and for gas leaks so I thought I would expand on them a little more.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a byproduct of burning any fuel. It doesn’t matter what the fuel is; paper, wood, natural gas, or whatever, it all produces CO! Depends on how efficient we burn the fuel is to how much CO we produce. CO is a Silent Killer because you can't smell it, you can't see it, and you can't taste it. Even if there are levels that are deadly you may never it until it's too late! There are signs though that most people mistaken for the flu or some other sickness. CO poisoning causes nausea, headaches, vomiting, tiredness and more. But again most folks ignore the signs. If you feel these symptoms you should see your doctor and ask them to test you for CO poisoning. You should also have Qualified Technician check your home for CO. As I said CO comes from burning all fuels. So it can come from your furnace, gas fireplace, gas oven/stove, or water heater. It can even come from outside, say for example from your garage if you keep your can running while in the garage.
According to Time NewsFeed, 500 deaths happen per year nationwide because of CO! The sad part is that most of those deaths could have been avoided with proper detection! Having your gas appliances inspected yearly by a Properly Trained Professional, and having a Low Level CO Detector in your home can give you great protection! Furnaces and gas fireplaces should be inspected yearly to help keep them running safely and efficiently. Putting that off could be deadly!
Natural and propane gas leaks can be explosive, but thankfully most gas leaks do not explode. However with that said, gas leaks should be considered dangerous. Because of its explosive nature it is nothing to take lightly. Having your appliances inspected yearly by a Properly Trained Professional will help stop most gas leaks. I say most because it really depends on how the technician checks for the leak. I like to use both a gas detector and soap bubbles. A good gas detector will find any gas leak, but I need bubbles to sometimes help pinpoint the leak.
Again, having your furnace and gas fireplace inspected yearly can save your life! For more on Gas Fireplace Repair in Superior and Louisville Colorado give Trinity a call, were here to help!