Company Blog

Gas Fireplace FAQs

Fireplaces can be confusing, especially for the average homeowner. With modern styles that burn fuel other than wood and function with very high efficiency, a lot of questions come up. The following list answers a few common questions regarding gas fireplaces. If you do not see your question answered here, get in touch with Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps to speak with an expert.

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Do I need to have my gas fireplace serviced?

Gas fireplaces should be serviced every year just like any other type of fireplace or stove. While gas fireplaces do not require the same type of maintenance as a wood burning unit, they still need regular care. For example, dirt, dust and even spiders can clog up the ports in the gas line, which can cause the fireplace to work improperly and stop working entirely. In addition, gaskets and seals in the fireplace dry out and crack over time, and leaving them damaged can allow carbon monoxide to leak into the house. To avoid these issues and correct any that form, an expert should service your gas fireplace every year.

Should the flue be open when I use my gas fireplace?

Some gas fireplaces require venting, while others do not. Traditional gas fireplaces must be operated with the flue open to allow the harmful products, like carbon monoxide to escape the living space. On the other hand, vent free gas fireplaces with specially designed gas logs only need the flue open for the initial curing period. After that, the unit can operate without ventilation.

Can I get new logs for my gas fireplace?

Gas logs and fireplaces are generally designed to operate as a unit, so manufacturers discourage mixing logs and fireplaces that were not designed for one another. For example, burning traditional gas logs in a vent free fireplace can produce lethal amounts of carbon monoxide in the house. If you need new logs for your gas fireplace, contact the manufacturer to order the proper replacement set.

My walls and ceilings are wet and my masonry chimney is cracking. Is my gas fireplace causing this?

Symptoms like water stains, moist walls, bubbling wallpaper, eroding mortar, and loose bricks all point to an improperly installed gas fireplace insert. Modern inserts often burn very efficiently, and in order to do this, they take some of the heat that goes up the chimney with other fireplaces and transfer it to the home instead. The problem with this happens when the chimney is cooler than it used to be. These lower temperatures cause the flue gases to condense on the walls of the chimney instead of flowing out the chimney in their gaseous form. This liquid, mostly comprised of condensed water vapor, has an acidic pH, which starts to disintegrate the chimney and liner. The excess moisture in the chimney causes water stains and wetness, and the acidic nature of the water degrades the masonry. In this case, the insert was likely installed without a properly fitted flue liner. A chimney specialist can determine the size of the flue liner necessary for proper functioning and can install it correctly.

Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps has trained experts to help answer any and all of your gas fireplace or chimney questions!

Summer: The Best Time to Schedule Your Chimney Service

Now that it’s summer and you’re enjoying the exterior living space of your home, it may be difficult to think of the winter months ahead. But did you know that the summer months are the best time to schedule home winterizations, including your annual chimney sweep? There are a number of issues which may arise during the warmer months of spring and summer which may adversely affect the safety of your family. Hiring a certified technician to inspect and sweep your chimney will assist in the prevention of house fires, and ensure that your fireplace is a relaxing and enjoying focal point this fall.

Animals in your chimney

To keep your family safe and warm, schedule your annual chimney inspection with us now. You can rely on the chimney and fireplace services from Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps.

To keep your family safe and warm, schedule your annual chimney inspection with us now. You can rely on the chimney and fireplace services from Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps.

If you’re like most Americans, your fireplace is the heart of family gatherings and celebrations. Whether winter or summer, your mantel is adorned with family pictures and holiday cards, and a crackling fire lends a sense of comfort to the atmosphere. Unfortunately, squirrels, birds and even snakes will find your chimney equally enticing. During the spring and summer months, animals may nest in your chimney, but it’s possible that they’ll be unable to get out. While calling animal control for more obvious infestations may be necessary, a chimney sweep can find early signs of nesting and alert you to any necessary fix. As if the infestation of your chimney weren’t unpleasant enough, the smell and potential presence of maggots will lead to quite a troublesome experience if the animals die. In addition to cleaning services, some technicians will be equipped to install chimney guards on your chimney, preventing the entrance of these animals.

Summertime allergies

Ragweed, pollen and dust which are present in the summer are allergens for many. In the South, we experience a sometimes weeks long dusting of yellow pine pollen which accumulates on our cars, our streets and, yes, in our chimneys, too. The weeks following this period of time are a great opportunity to clean your chimney, and to remove these irritants from your home. Other allergens may include the soot from your wood burning fireplace, which has been proven to exacerbate asthma and other respiratory ailments. Pollutants, in addition to creosote and other hazards, can be identified and removed by your technician.

Damage repair

Unfortunately, the South is likely to experience drastic fluctuations in temperature during the winter months. Sudden deep freezes can be followed by weeks of warm sunshine, and this has a tendency to cause structural damage to even the most well built homes. Having your chimney swept and inspected by a certified technician before the danger of freezing temperatures is imminent can allow for timely repair of any damage. Even if you’ve not experienced damage, routine upkeep of all chimney and ventilation components is best performed during the summer months, such as liner and insulation replacement. Appointments are more readily scheduled, and the safety conditions for the technician are improved greatly. Don’t wait until it’s imperative that you use your fireplace for heat. Have your chimney swept and repaired during the warmer season.

Whether you use your fireplace daily or simply as an attractive backdrop for family gatherings, it’s necessary to have it cleaned, inspected, and possibly repaired each year. Scheduling a certified technician is a maintenance task you perform every year; for optimal service, don’t hesitate. Have your chimney cleaned this summer.

Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps is CSIA certified and can inspect & sweep your chimney. Don’t wait until the first cold snap to have your chimney swept and inspected!