Common Problems with Gas Fireplaces – Part 2
A gas fireplace is a genuine convenience for many homeowners due to their low maintenance requirements; but there are various problems that can come up.
Strange Noises. It is normal for your gas fireplace to make some sounds which is no cause for alarm. When you start to hear to experience operating issues and hear different noises at the same time you should do some investigating to determine the cause.
- If you hear a roaring sound only when the pilot light is on, it could be because the flame is not properly adjusted.
- If you hear a similar rumbling sound but with the burners on, it usually means that the burners are dirty and need to be cleaned.
A shrieking or grinding noise is most likely caused by a blower, which is not included on all gas fireplaces. Older fan systems are sometimes very noisy; newer technology has improved upon fans and the amount of noise they create.
Soot. Soot is a product of unburned fuel. Unvented gas fireplaces should never produce soot; if they do, have your appliance checked by a professional. It is more normal for a vented fireplace to produce soot, but it should be minimal. Possible solutions to excess soot include:
- A flame that produces a lot of soot typically contains too much fuel mixed with too-little oxygen. Adjust the air setting.
- Adjust your damper to ensure proper draft.
- Be sure your chimney is not obstructed, such as with leaves, a bird’s nest, or other types of debris.
- Make sure the combustion screen is free and clear of soot.
- Make sure embers and logs are aligned according to instructions.
Strange Odors. You should never smell raw gas coming from your gas fireplace which smells like sulfur. If you do smell gas, call the fire department immediately as well as your gas provider. Odors can also be caused by the following:
- Dust, pet dander, and dirt that gets inside the burner or other internal fireplace components can create odors; this is more common in ventless gas fireplaces.
- If the glass on the gas fireplace door is improperly sealed, the result could be that odors are released into your home. Be sure glass fasteners and clips are properly in place and that the glass is sealed against the face of the fireplace.
- Sometimes objects placed around the fireplace on the floor or mantelpiece can cause odors when heated. If you think that is the possible cause, remove the objects one at a time to see if there is no longer an odor when one of them is removed.
Dirty Glass. The glass doors on gas fireplaces tend to develop a cloudy white haze over time. The result is that the fire becomes more difficult to see. You may not need to replace the glass to restore the new look of your gas fireplace. Gas fireplace glass cleaners are available, and these are the only types of cleaners you should use for this purpose, to effectively remove the calcium deposits and leave behind a protective coating which helps to prevent future buildup. It can harm the glass coating to use ammonia-based cleaners, which is why you should never use them on your gas fireplace.
Contact our chimney professionals, who have experience troubleshooting and repairing gas fireplace problems.
Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
formerly Nayaug Chimney Services, LLC
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110