The weather is finally starting to cool down in Northern New Jersey after a long, hot summer. And as temperatures drop, homeowners are firing up their fireplaces for the first time in months. If you haven’t had your annual chimney inspection and cleaning yet, you may notice your fireplace is having some unusual problems and not performing as well as it should. Although most gas fireplace issues are easy to correct, they could grow into huge headaches if they’re not taken care of promptly.
If you’re a resident in Northern New Jersey and your gas fireplace needs repairs, look no further than Garden State Chimney. We primarily serve clients as far north as Sussex County and as far south as Morris County – but feel free to inquire about an appointment if you’re nearby.
Common Problems with Gas Fireplaces
Gas fireplaces have a reputation for being maintenance-free, but that’s a myth. Gas fireplaces are indeed easier to care for than masonry chimney systems.
However, you should still schedule a chimney inspection and cleaning at least once a year to avoid issues.
These are a few of the problems we see often in gas fireplaces that aren’t well-maintained:
- Ignition issues. If you’re having problems igniting a fire, it could be due to a dirty or malfunctioning thermocouple (a sensor that measures temperature) or thermopile (the part that generates electrical voltage from heat). A weak pilot flame or issues with the gas supply can also be at fault. The pilot light going out, a gas supply issue, a malfunctioning gas valve, a blocked gas line, or a problem with the ignition system could all be factors in the fireplace not producing any flames or heat.
- Soot buildup. Gas fireplaces are popular among homeowners because they burn cleaner than wood-burning fireplaces. There’s something wrong with your fireplace if you start seeing excessive soot on the logs, burner, and glass. This could be caused by an unbalanced air-to-gas ratio, dirty burner ports, clogged air inlets, or low-quality gas.
- Foul odors. No matter what type of fireplace you have, unusual smells are an indicator that there’s a problem somewhere in your chimney system. For gas fireplaces, weird odors could be a red flag. If the smell reminds you of rotting eggs, it could signify a gas leak which is dangerous and requires immediate attention. Other odors might result from dust or debris burning off if the fireplace hasn’t been used for a while.
- Electrical problems. Some gas fireplaces rely on electrical components, such as fans, thermostats, or ignition systems. Malfunctions in these parts can create electrical hazards, including sparks or short circuits.
What Are the Dangers of a Malfunctioning Gas Fireplace?
A gas fireplace problem isn’t always an urgent matter, but you should have it looked at by a certified chimney professional to err on the side of caution. Although most repairs end up being minor, they could evolve into potentially dangerous issues that put your home and health at risk.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning. If your fireplace doesn’t have proper ventilation or the gas doesn’t burn completely, carbon monoxide could build up in your home. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be lethal when levels are too high. Since it’s hard to detect and symptoms are often mistaken for the flu, more than 100,000 people in the United States experience carbon monoxide poisoning every year.
- Gas leak. The possibility of a gas leak is a common concern for homeowners with gas fireplaces. The combination of leaked gas and oxygen is highly volatile and can make your home a ticking time bomb. If you suspect a gas leak, cut off your gas supply and get in touch with your gas provider immediately.
- Fire hazard. You should wipe down your gas fireplace with a hand brush about once a month and schedule annual professional cleanings. If soot and dirt are allowed to build up and clog vents, the risk of a fire dramatically increases.
Solutions to Problems with Gas Fireplaces
If you suspect that there’s something off with your gas fireplace and a chimney technician from Garden State Chimney diagnoses an issue, we can usually get it squared away with no problem. But there are a few things you can do to avoid long-term, expensive damage:
- Keep up with regular maintenance. Have your gas fireplace inspected and serviced at least once a year by a certified chimney technician to ensure it is operating safely and efficiently.
- Install carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide detectors should be installed throughout your home, especially near sleeping areas. They are the easiest way to detect and alert you to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
- Don’t put off repairs. It’s important to deal with repairs as quickly as possible. While we understand that fireplace repairs don’t always fit into your budget or schedule and some repairs can wait a bit, we recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment as soon as you can.
Hire Garden State Chimney to Repair Your Gas Fireplace
You’ve been waiting all year for fall to arrive, so don’t deprive yourself of your fireplace now. Call Garden State Chimney for gas fireplace repairs, maintenance, and servicing. Our team of knowledgeable chimney experts is here to make sure you can use your fireplace as you were meant to – worry-free.
Schedule an appointment online or reach out to us at 973-519-0802. Burning season is right around the corner!