Checklist: Seven Steps to Prepare Your Gas Fireplace for Winter

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Sitting in front of a warm fire is one of the best things about fall here in Connecticut – just make sure your fireplace is ready to go when the time comes!

Here are seven things you should do before you fire up your hearth for the first time in autumn 2018:

  1. Re-read your owner’s manual – If you haven’t used your gas fireplace in a while, it’s a good idea to get a refresher course from your owner’s manual. PLEASE NOTE: If your owner’s manual includes different guidelines than the one found here, use the instructions in your manual to ensure that you handle your unit appropriately.
  2. Check/clear the fireplace vent – Your fireplace vent can become blocked with debris during the offseason, which should be removed before it can pose a fire or carbon monoxide hazard in your home. Clear away any cobwebs, sticks and leaves from your vent, and have any pests removed before you use your fireplace.
  3. Inspect the glass covering of your insert – If you have a propane fireplace insert, check the glass covering for cracks or chips; integrity of the insert’s casing is important because the enclosure helps contain carbon monoxide emissions. Check and tighten hinges to ensure that the glass closes securely and operates properly.
  4. Clean your log set – The ceramic logs in your propane fireplace log set can become dusty in the offseason. While this dust doesn’t create a hazard, it could cause an unpleasant burning smell when you start a fire.

    Two important things to remember when cleaning your propane log set:

    • Always make sure your propane gas valve is closed before handling your fireplace logs or doing any other work on your gas fireplace.
    • Your logs must be returned to their EXACT position after cleaning; logs that are not positioned properly can cause carbon buildup and damage your fireplace. Consider photographing the logs before you remove them to remember how they are positioned.

    Once you remove the logs, clear dust with a handheld vacuum and replace broken logs. If you have glass rocks or beads to clean, remove them from the fireplace and wash them at your sink. Dry all components thoroughly before returning them to their place in the fireplace.

  5. Dust off the blower – If your fireplace insert or freestanding propane fireplace has an electric blower, unplug it and clear away any dust with a stiff bristled brush. If dust falls into the mechanism as you brush, vacuum it up after you finish cleaning the blower.
  6. Check your pilot light – If your fireplace has a pilot light (rather than an electronic ignition), inspect it visually, looking for any loose or exposed wires; if you see loose wires, contact us for service. If you don’t, test the pilot light; if you encounter a problem, contact us for service.
  7. Schedule preventative maintenance – Gas fireplaces require a professional inspection at least once a year to identify problems such as gas leaks and broken sensors, and generally to keep the equipment running as safely and efficiently as possible. The best way to do that is to sign up for a Hocon Hearth Products Fall Tune-up, which include equipment inspection and cleaning, battery changes, flame quality, efficiency, and leak checks, and more.

Cool nights are coming to Connecticut – make sure your gas fireplace is ready for them! Contact us today to schedule a Hocon Hearth Products Fall Tune-up for your propane gas fireplace or fireplace insert.

If you don’t yet have a propane hearth, what are you waiting for? With our current Specials, there has never been a better time to install one and enjoy its click button coziness all fall and winter long! Contact us today to get a FREE, no obligation estimate!

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