A gas fireplace insert is a breath of fresh air when it comes to maintenance, especially when compared to the traditional wood burning fireplace. Although gas inserts requires drastically less maintenance than wood burners, they aren't maintenance-free. The following guide will help you perform the small amount of maintenance necessary so your gas insert will continue to work flawlessly.
#1: Check your carbon monoxide detectors
This is the first maintenance task because it is the most important. If you use a fireplace, even an insert, there is always the risk of a deadly carbon monoxide leak in your home. Make sure you have detectors throughout your home and check them on the same day every month. Checking on the same day, whether it's the first of the month or the first Saturday of every month, makes it easier to remember the task. Twice a year, perhaps during the Daylight Savings time changes, swap out the batteries with new.
#2: Clean the fire box
Unlike a wood burner, the fire box isn't going to get filled with ashes or soot. There may be dust and smears that get on the glass doors or that settles in the corners of the fire box. You can wash the doors with plain water or a glass cleaner, as preferred. Just make sure to use a lint-free, non-abrasive cloth for wiping down the glass so you don't scratch it. To clean the fire box, use a wand attachment on a vacuum cleaner. If the fake logs are particularly dusty, you can carefully remove them and then brush them clean with a soft brush. You don't want to wet or damage the finish on the logs, since this keeps them looking realistic.
#3: Inspect the insert and chimney
An annual servicing of the gas insert is necessary if you want to avoid problems down the road. Fortunately, this is usually little more than routine maintenance. Your service technician can clean the fan and vents, as well as make sure the ignition and gas delivery system is working well and has no problems or blockages. If your insert vents through the chimney, they will also do a cursory chimney inspection to make sure there is no damage and that nothing is blocking the chimney, like a bird's nest, and remove it if necessary. Since the insert simply vents through the chimney, there is no need to clean out soot as there would be with a wood burner.
For more help, contact a gas insert company in your area.