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Do Gas Fireplaces Need to be Cleaned? The Answer is Yes! Here’s Why

Published on: October 4, 2019

IMPORTANT NOTE: . Our company is located in British Columbia, Canada. If you are reading this article in another location, we hope you enjoy the information, but unfortunately we cannot service you. 

“Do gas fireplaces need to be cleaned?” If you were to ask us this question in person, the answer would be a resounding “YES!” Most homes now feature a fireplace using natural gas as opposed to wood for the sake of minimizing the number of chores to be done when winter fully hits. There are still some homes that use wood or electricity, and these all have their purpose no matter what type of fuel source you’re using.

If you want further explanation about why we insist on cleaning your gas fireplace, here are those very reasons:

Obstacles can develop

Nature has a way of interfering with getting the fire going, especially since we all gravitate towards warmth when it’s too cold. These obstacles can create some very nasty ventilation problems and even spark a fire where it’s not wanted:

  • Birds
  • Bats
  • Raccoons
  • Squirrels

All of these wildlife species prefer to build their nests near warm spots, which can include your home’s chimney and the chimney’s flue. If you start a new fire while these critters are occupying your chimney, expect to discover a very unpleasant smell as a result.

Buildup, debris, and all that junk and gunk

Yes, buildup can occur even in the most energy efficient fireplaces (which is what natural gas ones are these days). If you don’t maintain and clean your gas fireplace, buildup is more likely to occur where it shouldn’t be.

A few examples of dangerous buildup includes soot. Considering that your fireplace is fuelled by gas and not wood, soot is a danger sign that needs addressing and the buildup will only get worse if left unaddressed. Dust and cobwebs can also build up and become a hazard, especially if the gas fireplace has gone untouched for some time.

While the faux logs that may come with your gas fire can be reused, these can deteriorate over time too! They can cling to the sides of their insert and become trapped if they’re not replaced beforehand. Cracked or fractured logs should also be replaced for best heating output.

What’s that smell?

We’re not just talking about the aforementioned wildlife obstacles! Carbon monoxide is a smell you can encounter and a dangerous threat if you don’t clean out or tend to your gas fireplace. Usually it is emitted when natural gas is not burned completely. Being exposed to too much can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Headaches and fatigue are just the start of physical symptoms when one is exposed to carbon monoxide. More alarming symptoms involve nausea, loss of muscle control, abdominal and chest pain, dizziness, and bright pink skin and lips. Call 911 if this is happening and get medical attention immediately!

Natural gas can become its own threat if the pipes are damaged and left untended to, not to mention it’s a highly flammable substance. Signs of leaks include dead houseplants, a rotten egg smell, a hissing noise, white fog or mist, and bubbles in water. If you detect any one of these signs, stop what you’re doing immediately and go outside. Call 911 or the FortisBC 24-hour emergency number 1-800-663-9911 and report the gas leak to your technician.

Now you know what dangers lie ahead if you don’t clean your gas fireplace! If you need assistance with gas fitting and proper cleaning and maintenance, or you’d like a professional to address concerns such as a pilot light that won’t stay lit, give us a call. At Rep-Air Heating And Cooling we provide our customers with many options that will best suit your needs from heating and cooling to refrigeration. Contact us today for your complimentary quote: 1-778-728-1476 or and don’t forget to take a look at our website: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for free giveaways!

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