Many people this time of year have their fireplaces roaring right along with their furnaces and while that is just fine and, admittedly, creates a warm and cozy atmosphere it has the potential to be dangerous. Just like with any other heating and cooling system fireplaces need repairs and maintenance in order to perform safely and properly, but because most of us don’t use them as our sole way to heat our homes or on a daily basis we may forget about the upkeep they need.
Fireplace Warning Signs:
Poor Smoke Ventilation – It is just common sense that smoke needs to leave your home through the quickest method possible (either through the chimney or an exhaust vent) so if even a little bit is escaping your hearth and entering your home you should have this checked immediately. There could be a clog in the vent or chimney or maybe even a problem with the damper. Excessive soot can block the exhaust and potentially lead to a dangerous situation so better to be safe than sorry.
Gas Burner Doesn’t Light – The same concerns that you have with a gas powered furnace or boiler apply to a gas powered fireplace. If the pilot fails to come on or the gas jets along the burner do not ignite – you may have problems with the gas line or maybe too much dirt along the burner. This is not a problem you should tinker around with yourself; most definitely call on a professional when dealing with any problems related to gas.
Strange Odors – Strange odors are a warning sign for so many things and your fireplace is no exception. If an unusual smell starts emanating from your fireplace while it is in use you definitely have a problem. Stop using it immediately and call a professional to investigate. The smell could be caused from any number of things including the flue being clogged, the burner being dirty or if you have an electric fireplace wires may have started burning. It is also possible that you have a gas leak. Natural gas has no odor, but some companies add an ingredient so that you are able to notice the smell and detect a leak before any real harm is done.
If you are enjoying your fireplace and notice any of these warning signs, don’t ignore them. Stop using your fireplace and have the problem checked as soon as possible. If you have issues with your furnace or plumbing give Carmine’s a call at 203-791-8089.