3 Common Problems For Gas Fireplaces

Compared to their traditional wood burning kin, gas fireplaces represent a wonderful blend of comfort and convenience. Yet these home heating appliances are still prone to experience problems from time to time. If you own--or are considering installing--a gas fireplace, read on. This article will introduce you to three commonly experienced problems.

Strange Sounds

Though gas fireplaces are by and large quite silent, it is perfectly natural for them to make some noises--especially just after they've been turned on. Things like popping and clicking are generally just the result of the fireplace's metal frame expanding as its temperature rises. Yet certain sounds may indicate more serious problems.

If your fireplace is producing a roaring sound when off, chances are your pilot light is improperly adjusted. Consult your owner's manual as to the location of the appropriate adjustment knob. Lowering the intensity of the flame will often eliminate this problem. A similar sound when the fireplace is on often indicates burners that are dirty and in need of cleaning.


Soot occurs when there is fuel that is not being completely consumed. For those who own an unvented gas fireplace, the presence of soot is a rare occurrence and one that will require intervention by a professional repair person. Vented gas fireplaces, on the other hand, are more likely to produce some degree of soot.

If the amount of soot being produced by your vented fireplace strikes you as excessive, you may need to adjust your fireplace's air setting. This will allow more oxygen to mix with the fuel, thus promoting a higher degree of combustion. You may also be able to reduce the amount of soot being produced simply by adjusting the damper; increasing the draft will help to carry that soot out of your home.

Odd Smells

Under no circumstances should you ever detect the sulfur-like smell of raw gas coming out of your fireplace. If you do, this represents a serious--and potentially life threatening--issue. Contact your fire department at once, and if possible, remove yourself and your family to a safe location until the gas leak has been addressed.

Gas fireplaces may also give rise to other, less threatening odors. These are often caused by dirt, pet hair, and other substances that find their way inside of the burner. Such odors will be much more pronounced if the glass panel on the front of the fireplace isn't sealed properly. Check that the clips responsible for holding the glass in are securely fastened. Ideally, the glass should be pressed up snugly against the back of the fireplace door.

For more information, contact Nebraska Heating & Air or a similar company.