Ventilation, Safety and Efficiency Tips For Using a Gas Fireplace

If you’ve decided that this is the year that you’re going to buy a gas fireplace, the first thing you will need to do is to decide how you want it to be vented. The venting system is very important because it’s what keeps gasses from escaping into your home.

The best choice for both safety and efficiency is a direct vent system. A direct vent uses two pipes, one pipe is used to bring air from the outside into the firebox. The other pipe is used as an exhaust to remove combustion to the outside instead of into the home.

This type of gas fireplace is much safer, the firebox will be sealed. And, it’s much more efficient because it doesn’t use the air in the room for combustion. This way none of the air that is already warm is going to get released outside.

A natural draft vent system requires a vertical chimney to draw combustion out of the fireplace through a flue. To prevent fluctuations from outside air pressure from reaching the burner, a draft hood is needed to isolate the burner.

Though rarely used, power venting is a great choice to use when you don’t have the option of installing a flue. It needs an electric fan to provide venting and doesn’t need a draft hood. Power venting doesn’t hardly use any of the rooms air at all making it very efficient.

You should never intall a fireplace that doesn’t have a vent. Without a vent to direct carbon monoxide and combustion to the outside, all of the gasses are released into the home. Avoid any type of vent free stove or fireplace, the fumes are deadly.

To help improve the efficiency of your fireplace always keep the glass clean. A clean glass will allow the maximum amount of heat to be released into the room. And, if you have a fireplace that has a pilot light, turn it off when you’re not using the fireplace.

Before using any fireplace, make sure that the area surrounding the fireplace is thoroughly clean. Not only can contaminants and debris easily catch fire, it can seriously damage the motor, fan and burner in the fireplace.

If your fireplace has a pilot light and it goes out, make sure to wait at least five minutes for any gas to evaporate before re-lighting it. Never clean the glass on your fireplace until it is completely cool, even shatter resistant glass might break if you try to clean it while it’s hot.

You should have your fireplace inspected by a professional at least once a year. The best time to have this done is right before cool weather arrives. If you have it done in the spring, something could go wrong with it while it’s sitting all summer.

To keep your family extra safe, always install a carbon monoxide detector in the same room where you install the fireplace. If you have more than one fireplace in your home, install a detector in each of the rooms. A detector located in a hallway might not alert you to fumes if the fireplace is behind a closed door!

If you’re using a new fireplace for the first time, carefully read all of the manufacturers instructions. Most companies will have a toll free number and if you have any questions that aren’t answered in the manual either call the company or a heating contractor.

If you smell any odors or gas while using the fireplace, turn it off and have it checked out. Keep all of the air vents cleared of snow, ice or any other debris such as leaves. And, clean the fireplace fan regularly.

A fireplace can add so much to the beauty and warmth of your home, but if not properly maintained your home could go up in flames. Protect your home and your family by doing regular inspections and keeping your fireplace clean.