A few simple steps to ensure your gas fireplace is up to par before Old Man Winter comes knocking.

Gas fireplaces are a wonderful addition to any home. They offer convenience, warmth and comfort at the flip of a switch or remote control. Because they are so reliable and easy, sometimes we tend to overlook them when it comes to things that aren’t as fun, like general maintenance. Don’t take your gas fireplace or fireplace insert for granted! Follow these simple steps to make sure it operates safely and efficiently this season.

1. Install a carbon monoxide detector. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, poisonous gas that can be deadly. For safety reasons, every home should have at least one CO detector located in rooms near gas appliances. If you don’t have one, get one.

2. Clean the summer dust off your fireplace. When the fireplace is cool, use a soft cloth and glass cleaner specially formulated for fireplace glass, such as White Off, made by Rutland Co., to clean the glass. It’s never good practice use anything abrasive on the glass, since scratches can compromise the integrity and strength of the glass. For all other exposed areas of the fireplace, use a damp, soft cloth to clean them up. If you have a mantel and/or hearth stone, wipe them down as well.

3. Have a licensed gas technician inspect your fireplace annually. He or she will check and clean the burner and control compartment, as well as check for condensation, the venting and the fan (if you have one). This is important, and time is ticking by. Call your local hearth dealer to schedule this important visit, or obtain a referral.

Gas fireplaces, particularly direct vent gas fireplaces, revolutionized how we enjoy the warmth and ambience of fire in our homes. Take good care or your gas fireplace and it will provide years and years of warmth and enjoyment!

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