Annual Fireplace Maintenance

in Fireplace Care

Is your fireplace ready for the cold?

As the nights grow longer and the weather gets colder, people are naturally drawn to spending more time at home. This is also the time of year that we turn to appliances to warm our homes, so it is critical to have those appliances cleaned and serviced to ensure they are functioning correctly and safely.

Regular fireplace maintenance is essential for both the longevity of your fireplace and for its safe operation. It is highly recommended that you contact a licensed gas service provider to conduct maintenance on your fireplace at least once per year.

Homeowner Checklist for Fall

This check list can be sent to homeowners after a site visit or just after a new install. This is a great way to keep in contact and create a service and support relationship.

  1. Book an annual inspection for your gas fireplace. Booking early is a good idea as service professionals are busy this time of year.
  2. Replace remote control batteries and keep spares on hand.
  3. Move any flammable materials that may have migrated close to the fireplace during warmer months.
  4. Check outside fireplace termination for nests and other debris or obstructions.
  5. Don’t forget your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors! Check the “replace by” date on your detectors and replace if necessary. Change the backup batteries and test to ensure correct function.
  6. Homeowners may perform glass, firebox, and logset cleaning themselves if they are comfortable with it.

Fireplace Cleaning

Before cleaning any part of the fireplace, make sure to:

  • Turn off the fireplace completely
  • Allow adequate time for the fireplace to cool down
  • Use eye protection and gloves
  • Have your fireplace manual on hand so you can refer to it for glass removal/cleaning/replacement instructions

Airflows and Louvers

Use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe down the exposed areas of the fireplace. If you unit has louvers, wipe out any dust or dirt buildup. Inspect any air cavities to ensure they are clear of any debris or excessive dust.

Inspect the Paint

Wipe down the exterior of the fireplace and closely inspect the paint. Look for peeling or bubbling, which may indicate the fireplace is not functioning correctly. A fireplace service technician can source high temperature paint and retouch any areas that need attention.

Clean the Glass

Glass must be cleaned periodically to remove any visible film, which is a normal by-product of combustion. Cleaning the glass should be a standard part of seasonal maintenance.

Removing the Door

Cleaning the Glass

Professional Service & Maintenance Checklist

After a cold winter’s day, many of us expect to come home and light up their fireplace without an issue. But problems can occur simply based on the change in climate or the length of time since the unit was last used, which is why annual service is so important.

Here are a few things to expect during a seasonal service and maintenance call.

General Maintenance

We recommend a full inspection and service of all major components including the pilot, burner, gaskets, and safety controls.

Power Outages

Winter brings winter storms! Test the battery back up system and install new batteries (if equipped). Keep some spares on hand as well.

Fan System Cleaning

If the fireplace has not been used over several months, dust has most likely accumulated in the blower system.

Venting System Inspection

Conducting an inspection of the venting system semi-annually is recommended to ensure it is clear from debris. A licensed gas service technician should inspect the vent system annually to make sure it is free from obstructions, is installed safely and securely, and is operating correctly.

Flex Gas Line Inspection

Flex gas pipe is vulnerable to damage. Line crimping or pinching can impede the flow of gas to the manifold (much lower than the appliance is designed for), or worse – line splitting can cause a fire outside the combustion chamber.

If flex pipe must be bent close to the gas fitting (less than 1” away) or if the curve is sharper than the radius of a golf ball, then the gas line is too short. Instead, use one size longer pipe or use 45° or 90° degree angled gas brass fittings.

INCORRECT
Line is bent too tight and vulnerable to damage or breakdown. *do not bend at fitting*

CORRECT
Keep line straight to keep the flex line from crimping or stressing.

INCORRECT
If the bend is too tight, as in the picture above, it could cause damage or even rupture.

CORRECT
Bend radius should not be sharp and should conform to a ‘golf ball’ size at minimum.

 

Ready to book your annual service with a fireplace professional?

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Commercial Quality

Professionals planning a custom residential or commercial fireplace project, please contact the Montigo sales rep in your area.