Welcome to another issue of Mr. Fireplace You Ask… We tell. In this issue we tackle a few of the most common questions we get asked as fireplace professionals.
Q: How often should I have my gas or wood fireplace/stove serviced/cleaned?
A: This is a question with a few answers. Since each fuel source will require a different answer we will break it into two.
First a Gas fueled unit. These units are recommended by the manufacturer to be serviced annually. We would suggest that you have this done before the busy burning season. In most cases the summer will be the best time to have this done as you will be more likely to get your desired service date and quite often there are summer service specials available to help keep a few bucks in your pocket.
For Wood fueled products most manufacturers suggest you have your chimney cleaned at least once a year, again probably before your busy burning season. Now this can increase based on your wood appliance usage meaning if you burn your wood fireplace or stove more you may require two or more cleaning a year.
Q: Can I cover the louvers on my fireplace front?
A: No. These louvers are part of the safe use of the fireplace often used to draw room air into the fireplace cavity helping in keeping the unit at it’s designed acceptable temperature. Blocking this air flow can cause a fire and void your manufacturer warranty and possibly your homeowners warranty as well.
Q: Is that odor in my new gas fireplace normal?
A: When a new unit is burned there is a curing process in most gas fireplaces. The Curing process involves the units curing the paint used in the interior of the fireplace and is a normal process. The side effect of this process is that the smell can be unsettling to some. The curing process can take about 15 hours for it to fully go away and we suggest to combat the smell to open a window to get fresh air in your home. If you have done an acceptable burn to cure the paint and still are experiencing an odor we suggest you contact our service department. Your unit could just require a cleaning or it may be related to some other cause such as dust, adhesives from the surround materials or even some of the items on your mantle reacting to the heat.
We hope these answers helped with some common fireplace questions you may have had. If you have further questions pertaining to these questions or different questions that you would like answered in future issues please leave them in the comments below.