Practical Guide To Gas Fireplace Cleaning Process

Here, we’ll be learning how to clean gas fireplaces.

Gas fireplaces tend to be much more efficient than wood-burning fireplaces. One of the most noticeable differences is the less frequent cleanup required for gas fireplaces.

Despite this fact, gas fireplaces still need to be cleaned, and this is what we seek to discuss.

How To Clean A Gas Fireplace

You might be wondering what type of dirt is found in a gas fireplace since it produces no ash that needs to be cleared. We will discuss this and more shortly.

Whether you’re seeking to hire a chimney sweep to perform this task or are more of a DIY’er, this article will help.

Do you have a gas fireplace you wish to clean but seem limited by your understanding of the cleaning process? You’re not alone!

Many homeowners face the same challenge, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. In this article, we comprehensively discuss the several steps involved in cleaning.

Irrespective of gas fireplace design, we offer essential tips on the cleaning process.

Here, you’ll find information about the benefits of gas fireplace cleaning, the different components, and how to clean them. The process is also vital.

One of such includes taking a snapshot before you begin.

If any of the information above sounds confusing, all you need to do is read on for clarifications. By the end, you should have the basic idea of cleaning a gas fireplace.

Do Gas Fireplaces Need To Be Cleaned?

Whether your gas fireplace is frequently used, you’ll notice that it often accumulates dust.

While this is true, that isn’t the only type of dirt found in the fireplace. There’s usually an accumulation of soot for those in use due to changing fire levels or patterns and animal dander.

With the common types of dirt established, what remains is how to proceed. Compared to electric and wood-burning fireplaces, the cleaning approach is quite different from a gas-powered fireplace.

Also, the process isn’t as complex as you may think. You only need to follow the guidelines provided below.

Benefits of Gas Fireplace Cleaning

When it comes to gas fireplace cleaning, there are multiple benefits derived.

These include extending the fireplace’s lifespan, improving functionality, preventing water damage, preventing chimney fires, and preventing carbon monoxide leaks.

Let’s explain each of these points further.

  • Extending the Lifespan of your Gas Fireplace

Gas fireplaces are designed to last a period of time or lifespan.

After this period, the different components begin to fail. While that is true, the lifespan of a gas fireplace can be shortened when it isn’t taken care of. Through cleaning, you ensure that all its parts function optimally.

In cases where certain components begin to fail, you can notice and have them replaced quickly. Knowing the cleaning frequency is also important.

Proper scheduled cleaning helps keep the gas fireplace in good working condition.

  • Improving Functionality

Proper functioning of your gas fireplace is primary.

Every homeowner wants to have their heating system in good working condition when they need it most. While gas fireplaces may not get dirty as frequently as their wood-burning counterparts, they still accumulate dirt.

Soot is a common type of dirt, among others. With steady accumulation, these eventually affect the normal functioning of the fireplace.

You’ll need to set a defined cleaning schedule to ensure your gas fireplaces’ functionality is kept at optimal levels.

  • Prevention of Water Damage

One of the problems posed by the lack of gas fireplace cleaning is water damage. By inspecting for signs of condensation during cleaning, you can address and fix any developing problem before it worsens.

Common condensation signs include ceiling stains, damp patches on interior walls, and wall discoloration.

With a compromised chimney, it’s only a matter of time before it extends to your gas fireplace. You don’t have to wait until the damage worsens before fixing it.

Acting early can help you prevent expenses.

  • Preventing Chimney Fires

Vented gas fireplaces work with a chimney. Now, a slow and steady soot accumulation and other combustibles accumulate along chimney walls.

Without regular cleanup, these could ignite and cause chimney and house fires that could be fatal.

  • Preventing Carbon Monoxide Leaks

Carbon monoxide can be released when using your gas fireplace. This can go unnoticed, thus exposing your household to poisoning.

You’ll need a carbon monoxide monitor to alert you of any leaks. Despite such provisions, you’ll need to ensure your gas fireplace is well maintained.

Everyday situations like the front glass of your gas fireplace not closing properly could filter out these harmful combustion products.

Regular cleaning of your gas fireplace enables you to identify such problems early and fix them.

Is Gas Fireplace Type Relevant to the Type of Cleaning Performed?

Irrespective of type, gas fireplace cleaning is pretty much bare.

In other words, you can handle it without contacting a chimney sweep. Gas fireplaces include direct vent fireplaces, natural vent (B-Vent) fireplaces, and outdoor fireplaces.

Other types include ventless gas fireplaces, fireplace log sets, gas fireplace inserts, see-through gas fireplaces, and standalone gas fireplaces. Whichever of these types you have, the information here will prove crucial in helping you carry out essential maintenance.

Tools Required for Gas Fireplace Cleaning

Cleaning tools are crucial to performing a thorough gas fireplace cleanup.

However, such tools must be the right ones. They include a vacuum with a hose attachment, an alcohol-based cleaner for fireplaces, cloth rags, angle brooms, dustpans, dish soap, drop cloths, and an old towel.

Other cleaning tools needed include a soft-bristled brush (a paintbrush will serve) and a face mask. This helps prevent inhalation of soot and dust. Remember also to have a fireplace glass cleaner and some warm water.

With these cleaning tools provided, you’re ready to start the cleanup process.

Routine Cleanup Vs. Deep Cleaning

An important decision needs to be made regarding cleaning frequency for gas fireplaces. There are two types of cleaning; routine and deep cleaning.

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As the name implies, routine cleanup of a gas fireplace is more frequent than deep cleaning.

This weekly procedure limits dust, soot, and dander accumulation. It isn’t thorough and takes less time to complete than deep cleaning.

The gas fireplace is dismantled for deep cleaning, with each component cleaned of all filth.

This can be done every six months or yearly depending on use frequency.

i. Routine Gas Fireplace Cleaning

As stated earlier, routine gas fireplaces cleanups are performed more frequently.

However, they aren’t as thorough as deep cleaning.

Nevertheless, routine cleaning helps with the necessary removal of settled dirt in the form of dust and dander.

To proceed with basic cleaning, you’ll have first to turn off your gas valve and allow burners to cool off. This is a necessary safety precaution that helps avoid problems like gas leaks and explosions.

With the burners cool, you’re ready to proceed to the next step.

Using your vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, vacuum out all dust and debris lodged within the vents (for vented gas fireplaces) and around the fireplace.

Next, the gas logs will have to be cleaned up of any settled dust or soot. The same procedure is repeated for decorative fireplace grates. This cleaning action is best performed using a soft-bristled brush.

What remains is the fireplace door. These are mostly made of glass. Using your glass cleaner and some paper towels, wipe the mirrors clean. Alcohol-based cleaners designed for fireplaces will best serve this cleaning process.

Your decorative andirons should also be cleaned using dish soap and water.

This process rounds up the routine cleanup. With this completed, your fireplace is ready for use.

ii. Deep Cleaning a Gas Fireplace

Unlike routine gas fireplace cleaning, deep cleaning is a more thorough procedure. This is even more vital when musty odors gradually build whenever your fireplace is used.

Such smell is due to animal dander, debris, and soot accumulation.

Other signs pointing to the need for deep cleaning include the pale whitening of your fireplace glass. Depending on how frequently you use your gas fireplace, you should do deep cleaning every 6 to 12 months.

Ideally, you should do a deep cleaning before the winter season.

So what’s the procedure like? As a safety precaution, turn off your gas valve and allow for complete cooling before proceeding. Unlike routine cleaning, a deep cleaning solution needs to be made here.

You’ll need supplies such as bleach, a heavy-duty cleaner, and a gallon of water.

You should add a cup of bleach to the gallon of warm water and about ¼ cup of your heavy-duty cleaner to the mix.

Having emptied and stirred the cleaning solution in a bucket, you’re ready to proceed with cleaning.

  • Turn Off Gas Valve

One of the first safety measures to take during gas fireplace maintenance involves turning off gas flow. After turning off the gas valve, ensure the burner is completely cool before proceeding with the cleaning process.

  • Take a Picture

Taking a picture of your fireplace is highly essential as it helps you recall where certain components are placed. The picture becomes useful when returning the different components back in place.

With your picture taken, you can now proceed to carefully take the gas fireplace apart for cleaning.

  • Remove Glass Doors

Does your fireplace have glass doors? If it does, you’ll need to have the door removed for cleaning. Having removed the glass door, have it cleaned with an appropriate glass cleaner. Paper towels will prove useful for this cleaning process.

  • Remove Ceramic Logs

After removing and cleaning the glass door to your gas fireplace, proceed to remove ceramic logs. These should be placed on an old towel or drop cloth for cleaning. A paint brush will serve the purpose of cleaning the log set. Simply dust off these components to get rid of debris and dust.

  • Scoop Out Lava Rocks

This is the stage where you need to remove lava rocks within the gas fireplace. Have them scooped out and emptied into a container holding a cleaning solution. By swishing the stones around, you’re able to remove accumulated dirt and debris on them. Have them rinsed and spread out to dry.

  • Remove Glass Wool

Not all as fireplaces have glass wool. For those with it, such will have to be removed in readiness for vacuuming. You can put these in a bag or other suitable container.

  • Get Rid of Dust & Debris

At this stage, proper cleanup begins. A good vacuuming machine will serve this purpose. You’ll have to target all debris and dust within the gas fireplace. All areas where dirt may be found are targeted for cleaning.

  • Remove Grime and Soot from Fireplace

Your gas fireplace walls and floor are likely to hold grime and soot. You’ll need to start cleaning from the walls and moving down. Of course you’ll need to make a cleaning solution in addition to using a stiff brush for scrubbing dirt off the fireplace walls and floor.

  • Rinse & Wipe Fireplace

Having successfully removed grime and soot from fireplace walls and floors, what remains is to have the area rinsed and wiped with a clean and absorbent cloth.

  • Wipe Gas Grate

The gas grate isn’t left out during cleanup. Both the gas grate and unit should be wiped down with a clean cloth while applying a little spray of your cleaning solution. Do this until all the dirt is eliminated.

  • Allow Fireplace to Dry

With cleaning completed, you’ll have to allow the gas fireplace to dry. Here, we’re referring to the fireplace walls and floors you just cleaned. Drying should take only a few minutes after which you’ll have to reassemble the different components.

  • Reassemble your Gas Fireplace

The picture you took of the fireplace before cleaning began will prove helpful in coupling back the different components of the gas fireplace.

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Of course you’ll need to perform the process in reverse fashion. In other words, the last components removed for cleaning will have to be replaced moving up.

Cleaning Your Gas Fireplace Step By Step

So far, the discussion above has been necessary to help lay the groundwork for a comprehensive understanding of the topic being discussed.

The whole cleaning process involves multiple steps that include getting essential tools and materials, inspecting the fireplace, and getting to the controls.

Other actions you need to take include switching off gas flow, removing the glass, cleaning it, and taking photos. Why? You’ll soon find out! What more? Have the rocks removed and cleaned together with the logs.

Also, give the firebox a thoroughly clean in addition to the burner.

Cleaning is complete, and the gas fireplace will need to be reassembled and tested.

To have a better idea of what the cleaning process entails, we’ll have to take an individual look at each of the points mentioned.

Let’s proceed as follows;

  • Getting the Needed Tool & Materials

Before cleaning your gas fireplace, you’ll need to get the right cleaning supplies and tools.

So, what are these exactly? Tools include a vacuum, a bucket or large bowl, and a screwdriver. All needed is a glass cleaner and compressed air when it comes to supplies.

With these, you’re ready to proceed.

  • Inspection

Simple as it may sound, inspection is crucial to the cleaning process. Through this action, you’re able to know exactly what to do.

It would be best to look at the logs for settled dust and debris here. Also, closely inspect the glass to ensure it isn’t loose or cracked. The cracked glass will require replacement.

The chimney and exhaust vent need to be visually inspected for blockages and loose bricks & mortar. You may not be able to do much here without the right expertise and tools.

To ensure that the gas fireplace is still functional, it must be started and observed.

  • Getting to the Controls

Having determined the need for basic cleaning, what remains is getting access to fireplace controls. As discussed earlier, fireplaces come in different designs.

Nevertheless, you only need to take off the front screen. Another option (depending on design) is to open the fireplace grate.

  • Switching Off Gas Flow

The next preparatory action to take involves switching off the gas flow. This is crucial and a safety requirement to help avoid gas leaks and possible ignition.

Here, turning off the gas valve isn’t enough. You also need to turn off the pilot light. Before you start cleaning, you also need to remove the glass. This takes us to the next point.

  • Removing the Glass

Depending on how your glass frame is designed, you may have to unscrew or release the bottom two spring clips before releasing the two clips on top of the glass frame. Carefully take out the glass and have it lying on a soft surface.

Having a look at the condition of the perimeter gasket is important. This simple action helps identify any issues that may be developing.

  • Cleaning the Glass

Cleaning correctly begins with the glass. With the help of your glass cleaner and soft paper towel or cloth, you’ll need to clean both sides of the glass.

Certain stains can be difficult and may require a heavy-duty glass cleaner to remove stubborn carbon deposits. With cleaning complete, you’re ready to move to the next stage.

  • Taking a Photo

How does taking a photo help with gas fireplace cleaning? To understand its importance, you’ll need to consider a tendency to forget how the gas logs were sitting.

With a simple snapshot on your phone, you can easily remember the positioning of these logs hence avoiding improper placement.

  • Remove and Clean the Rocks

A good gas fireplace cleanup will require removing the rocks and washing them.

These lava rocks need to be collected in a separate container from the ember fiber. A good rinsing using a strainer will help clean up the lava rocks.

After cleaning these rocks, have them spread on a clean surface or cloth to allow them dry. It’s good to dispose of all dirty water from the washing outdoors.

In other words, it shouldn’t go down your sewer system.

  • Remove and Clean the Logs

With the lava rocks removed and cleaned, what remains is to have the logs cleaned as well.

Remember, you took a picture of these to help you replace them correctly. However, the logs are installed; look closely and have them removed accordingly.

With the logs removed, all you have to do is have them blown with compressed air or vacuumed. Any of these actions should help remove dirt.

  • Clean the Firebox

At this stage, the firebox is empty and ready to be cleaned. You can perform effective cleaning through vacuuming. This action targets all forms of debris and dust.

The firebox walls also need some cleaning. It would be best if you did this with the help of your microfiber cloth.

  • Clean the Burner

Lastly, the burner should be targeted for cleaning. Sometimes, you may not have ready access to the burner due to covers or shields. Have these removed and vacuum the burner.

This helps remove soot deposited on the burner. Another option for cleaning is to use your compressed air canister for cleaning.

  • Have the Gas Fireplace Reassembled and Tested

At this point, you’ll need to start putting the different gas fireplace components together. It would be best to do this in reverse order with the rocks sprinkled around the logs.

These gas fireplace cleaning steps are essential and help you obtain the desired cleaning results.

Now you have a clean gas fireplace. So far, we’ve shown the systematic way to clean the fireplace. It’s not a complicated process and can be handled by following the outlined steps.

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