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Fireplace Maintenance, Service & Repair

We recommend having your fireplace and chimney inspected and serviced by a certified professional each year before the first chilly night of the season tempts you to use it.

Here are some fireplace tips specific to the type of fireplace you are considering:

Gas fireplace maintenance

  • You will occasionally need to clean your gas fireplace. Before you do, you should make sure that the gas valve is turned OFF. Follow manufacturers instruction to relight the pilot.
  • Clean fireplace surround and gas logs when surfaces are cool. Clean gently, using soft cloths or brushes and nonabrasive cleaners. Keep in mind that most gas logs are breakable.
  • Have a certified technician check your venting system each year before using your gas fireplace. The inspector will look at the overall operation of the unit, check for clogs or debris in the system, corrosion, and troublesome condensation.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for your specific model.

Electric fireplace or heater maintenance

  • Take care to keep your electric fireplace or heater, particularly stand-alone models, away from water sources like the bathtub or sink.
  • Check to see that the outlet used can handle the load required by the electric fireplace.
  • Clean fireplace when surfaces are cool. Clean gently, using soft cloths or brushes and nonabrasive cleaners.
  • Follow manufacturer's instructions for your specific model.

Wood-burning fireplace maintenance

  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect your fireplace and chimney annually, preferably before the cold season. The chimney sweep will inspect the chimney, check for creosote build-up and check the condition of the chimney cap. If your fireplace is heavily used, you may want to have it inspected mid-season too.
  • For a wood-burning fireplace, we recommend that you occasionally burn creosote logs to help reduce creosote build-up in your fireplace and chimney. A build-up of creosote -- a shiny, tar-like substance that is produced when poorly-seasoned wood doesn't burn properly -- can cause a chimney fire.
  • Clean fireplace doors and other surfaces when they are cool, using a soft damp cloth.
  • Empty ashes into a metal, air-tight container and store away from any residential structure.
  • Make sure your damper fits tightly and that you close it after each use so that you don't send all your heat up the flue!

Additional Resources

Fireplaces Magazine

Chimney Safety Institute of America

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