Evoking familiar memories of cozy ambiance, fireplaces are part of our collective imagination. How many of our favourite movies and our own holiday memories have a roaring fire in the backdrop? A collective gathering place for family and friends that we can have in our own homes as we create memories with our loved ones.
Particularly popular are gas fireplaces. They are easy to operate as well as being clean and efficient to use. They can last for decades with proper maintenance and annual cleaning. But, you may wonder, do they require any special treatment or care to be considered safe?
Here are some of the most asked questions that we have run across in our many years in the gas fireplace repair and maintenance business that answer some of your most important queries.
How Do I Know if My Gas Fireplace is Safe to Use?
First, and most important, gas fireplaces are powered by natural gas that has an additive that smells like rotten eggs. If you ever smell that odour, immediately call fortisBC or a certified fireplace technician.
Beyond the emergent, gas fireplaces have components that must work in tandem with perfect synchronization to bring optimal enjoyment. By having an inspection conducted by a licensed professional, you can assure that your gas fireplace is in good working order.
Consider a well-cared-for vehicle; you hardly think about what’s happening under the hood. You just assume everything is working fine. Your vehicle has been serviced by a pro and you operate it confidently knowing that someone with a wealth of knowledge has signed off on its viability. The same goes for your gas fireplace.
Do Gas Fireplaces Need Periodic Inspection?
Absolutely, gas fireplaces not only have working parts, i.e., fans, vents, and motors, but they also have gas-related pressure components, safety features, as well as the potential fire issues from misfiring equipment or nesting animals.
By having an inspection performed by certified and licensed professionals, you can rest assured that your gas fireplace is in excellent working order. Conversely, if there are problems or repairs that need to be made, you can implement those repairs prior to using your gas fireplace and endangering your family and property.
How Often Should a Gas Fireplace be Inspected and Serviced?
At least annually, it’s a good idea to have a thorough inspection and cleaning. It’s also good to have a maintenance service that tunes up the equipment and ensures efficient operating. Prior to the fall and winter seasons — when gas fireplace use really takes off — is a good time to get your gas fireplace inspected to make sure it is in tip-top shape.
Can I Do it Myself?
While there are instructions and videos online, our recommendation is to engage a certified professional company. Their expertise is to identify potential problems and relay issues that require repair or replacement.
For instance, at Kirkstone Heating, we have a 360◦ Maintenance and Inspection service that includes a thorough cleaning, complete inspection, and an annual maintenance including:
- Carbon monoxide emissions testing
- Gas leak testing on gas connections throughout
- Careful inspection of gas fittings and connections
- Testing and inspection of all components for signs of failure or potential failure
- Inspection of the combustion chamber
- Testing of all safety shut-off controls
These things need to be completed by a trained gas fireplace technician/inspector with the appropriate technical skills and equipment to get the job done.
What Can I Do Throughout the Year to Ensure Proper Operation?
There are a few things that you can do throughout the year to maintain your gas fireplace.
- Clean the glass as needed and make sure that there are no cracks or loose panes.
- Vacuum the interior and gently dust the logs to keep clean. If you suspect animal activity in the chimney, please contact your gas fireplace repair company or an urban wildlife specialist.
- Replace the batteries in the remote.
How Do I Find a Trusted Gas Fireplace Inspector in Vancouver?
There are many good companies in the city of Vancouver, but be sure to use a company that has a long history in the community, can provide exemplary customer reviews, and understands the gas fireplace business top to bottom. You want a company that offers certified technicians, with many years of experience under their belt, and who undergo continuous technical training.
At Kirkstone Heating, we have serviced over 50,000 homes since 1996, so we must be doing something right? Our technicians are highly trained FortisBC-certified gas fitters with a minimum of 15 years of experience each.
And our policy is “100% right…or 100% free”!
Contact us at Kirkstone Heating for all of your gas fireplace inspection, maintenance, and service needs in the greater Vancouver area and surrounding municipalities, including Abbotsford, Aldergrove, Burnaby, Cloverdale, Coquitlam, Delta, Ladner, Langley, Lions Bay, Maple Ridge, Mission, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Richmond, Surrey, Tsawwassen, Vancouver, West Vancouver, and White Rock.