Gas fireplaces are efficient alternatives to wood-burning fireplaces, but being prepared for some common problems you can encounter will ensure you never go without its warm blaze. Gas fireplaces provide the warmth and comfort of a standard hearth without the need for a steady wood supply. With the flick of a switch, your room can be heated quickly. Some gas fireplaces do not even need a chimney or any other types of vents, so the possibilities of installation and placement are virtually limitless. However, should you encounter any problems with your gas fireplace, this guide will help you troubleshoot and find solutions.
Most gas appliances have a very important part: the pilot light. The pilot light is a small flame that ignites a larger gas burner. If you cannot light the pilot light of your gas fireplace, it most likely means that there is no gas flow. Find the valve on the fireplace and open it. Make sure the switch is in the “on” position. If it still does not light, you should check the gas tank to see if it is empty.
If the pilot light is lit but the main burner will not turn on, there could be a problem with the thermostat. Make sure that the thermostat is in the “on” position and that the temperature is set above room temperature.
Vented gas fireplaces can produce soot, but unvented gas fireplaces should never produce soot. If your unvented fireplace causes soot, there is something wrong with your appliance. A variety of factors could cause your vented fireplace to produce soot. Make sure the logs and/or embers are aligned in accordance with the manual that came with your fireplace. Your damper might not be drafted enough or the flue could be blocked. Also, make sure the combustion screen is clear and free of any soot.
Gas is potentially very dangerous. When in doubt, consult a professional. Even if you smell a faint odor of gas, be safe and call your gas provider or the fire department immediately. It is always a good idea to have a carbon monoxide alarm on hand.
If you choose to purchase an unvented gas fireplace, you must use some other form of ventilation. It is recommended that you keep at least one window open while operating the appliance.