Annual maintenance of your direct vent gas fireplace ensures safety, looks, and performance for one of the most favored elements of any home. Like all fireplaces, direct vent gas fireplaces require annual maintenance.
“Direct vent gas fireplaces are so complete and well constructed that the feeling from many homeowners is that the fireplaces will operate forever without any attention,” says Randy Severson, owner of Badgerland Fireplaces. “However, it is a good idea to conduct regular maintenance checks to ensure maximum efficiency and safety.” Direct vent gas fireplaces have become the standard gas fireplace option, replacing the gas logs that used to be installed to look like wood in wood burning fireplaces. Direct vent fireplaces operate at 70-85% efficiency because the burn and the venting of gases are more controlled, actually helping heat your home. Gas log fireplaces, in contrast, operate at about 20% efficiency (they also use the heated air from your home for burning, increasing your heating bill). An annual check-up for direct vent fireplaces is a good idea in order to be sure they are operating properly. It’s not rocket science, but proper operation is not only good for performance, it ensures you and your family will be safe.
Professional Maintenance Checklist:
As an expert, Severson recommends the following professional maintenance checklist for keeping your direct vent gas fireplace in top shape:
- Clean the interior glass. A carbon film often builds up on the interior glass, clouding the view of the fire and making for a dingy look. Many people don’t know how to remove the glass because it is a sealed unit and the result is a very dirty looking fireplace.
- Check for Carbon Monoxide leaks (CO). The seal is a gasket and it is important to make sure that over time the seal isn’t leaking.
- Check to be sure the fittings are tight to ensure no gas leaks.
- Check the venting to be sure the exhaust termination is venting properly. Bird nests or wasp nests can cause it to not vent properly leading to the unit overheating and shutting down.
- Check the gas pressures, and, if needed, set proper gas pressures. Even though the pressure is set at the factory, transit and installation can affect settings or loosen fittings that can change over time.
- Check the standing pilot light to be sure it is burning properly.
- And, check the chimney system, ensuring it’s clean and free of fire hazards. Generally outside factors will cause hazards, unlike creosote buildup as in wood burning fireplaces.
Conducting a thorough annual maintenance check-up of your direct vent gas fireplace will ensure that the unit is safely and efficiently operating for you and your family.