A high efficiency gas fireplace can keep you comfortable through Portland’s chilly, damp winters. There are a few tricks you should implement to keep your fireplace working safely and efficiently throughout the entire season.
A gas fireplace contains non-burnable ceramic or refractory cement “logs” set over gas vents. The system is designed to produce yellow-orange flames that rise from beneath the logs to look like a real fire. Conveniently, the fireplace’s glass doors help block cold drafts when no fire is burning. Because gas fireplaces provide both convected heat (warm air) and radiant heat, they feel like wood fires.
Operating Your Gas Fireplace
Your fireplace’s pilot light operates in two modes — intermittent and standing. A toggle switch on the exterior of your fireplace lets you select the pilot light mode. During the winter, choose standing mode. This will warm up the chimney vent and prevent condensation buildup. Use intermittent mode for warmer periods when you won’t be using the fireplace.
The typical high efficiency gas fireplace is ignited using a remote, although some use a button or switch on the fireplace itself. You can use the fireplace’s thermostat to adjust the heat output, choosing anything from flickering flames to a crackling blaze. Never leave the fire unattended. When you no longer need the fire, use the remote to turn it off.
During a power outage, you can still use the fireplace to some extent. The pilot light will stay on and the system will produce heat. However, the electronic ignition that controls the blower and flame height won’t work. Luckily, some systems can retain enough battery power to run normally.
Caring for Your Gas Fireplace
After use, once your fireplace is cool, wipe down the glass doors with glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth to prevent soot buildup. Soot on logs can be removed with a soft brush, but keep in mind that heavy soot buildup may mean your system is due for maintenance. Regardless of performance, your fireplace should be professionally cleaned and inspected once a year.
For professional guidance on using and maintaining your high efficiency gas fireplace, contact Roth Heating & Cooling in the Portland area.