Gas Fireplace Odours: Causes And Solutions

January 23, 2024


Imagine sitting in the soft glow of your gas fireplace with a coffee cup in your hand – perfect cozy winter evening. But wait – is that an unusual smell wafting through the air? Gas fireplace odours can be a buzzkill for your perfect evening ambiance.

These odours can be more than just a nuisance. They often indicate underlying issues, such as gas leaks, that could threaten your home’s safety and integrity. As a professional HVAC contractor, we are here to help you identify common causes of gas fireplace odours and provide efficient solutions.

By understanding the potential issues and their remedies, you can restore the pleasant atmosphere in your home and get your gas fireplace repaired as safely and effectively as possible.

What Causes Gas Fireplace Odours?

There are several possible sources of gas fireplace odours, depending on the type of gas you use, the condition of your fireplace, and the ventilation of your room. Some of the most common causes are:

Natural Gas Or Propane Smell

Natural gas and propane are odourless but mixed with a chemical called mercaptan that gives them a distinctive rotten egg smell. This is done to alert you in case of a gas leak, which can be very dangerous.

If you smell gas near your fireplace, you should turn off the gas supply, open the windows, and call a professional for gas fireplace repair as soon as possible.

Dust Or Dirt Smell

If you last used your gas fireplace a long time ago, dust and dirt may accumulate on the burner, logs, and other components. When you turn on the fireplace, the dust and dirt will burn, creating a musty or smoky smell. This is normal and should go away after a few minutes of use. However, if the smell persists, you may need to clean your fireplace or replace some parts.

Mould Or Mildew Smell

If your gas fireplace is exposed to moisture or humidity, mould or mildew may grow inside or around it. This can create a damp or sour smell that affects your health. To prevent this, check your fireplace for any signs of water damage, such as leaks, cracks, or stains.

Additionally, keep your fireplace dry and well-ventilated. If the issue persists, you can get help from a professional gas fireplace repairer.

Paint Or Varnish Smell

If you have recently painted or varnished your fireplace or the surrounding area, you may notice a strong chemical smell when you use your fireplace. This is because the heat from the fireplace can cause the paint or varnish to emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can harm your health.

To avoid this, you should wait for the paint or varnish to dry completely before using your fireplace. Also, open the windows and use a fan to improve the ventilation of your room.

Animal Or Food Smell

Sometimes, animals or food may get into your fireplace or chimney, creating a foul smell. For example, birds, squirrels, or mice may nest in your chimney and leave behind droppings, feathers, or fur. Or, food scraps or grease may fall into your fireplace and rot.

To prevent this, install a chimney cap or screen to keep animals and debris out of your fireplace. Moreover, avoid eating or cooking near your fireplace.

Simple Solutions For A Fresh Fireplace

Regular Cleaning

First, you need to select the right gas fireplace for your space. Next, your fireplace needs regular cleaning. Make it a habit to clean burners, logs, and any visible dirt or dust. A clean fireplace is a happy fireplace!

Professional Inspection

It’s time to call in the professionals for persistent odours or suspected gas leaks. A certified technician can thoroughly inspect and identify and rectify issues to ensure your fireplace is safe and odour-free. Additionally, a professional can advise you on gas fireplace repair if necessary.

Ventilation Upgrade

Give your fireplace room to breathe. Ensure the surrounding area is well-ventilated. Simple adjustments, like opening a window or installing a vent fan, can significantly improve airflow, reducing odours.

Dehumidify Your Fireplace Area

Combat moisture-related odours by using a dehumidifier near your gas fireplace. This helps maintain optimal humidity levels and prevents musty smells from taking over.

Maintaining An Odour-Free Fireplace

Now that we’ve covered the basics let’s explore additional tips to ensure your gas fireplace stays odour-free throughout the year.

Choose Quality Gas Logs

Investing in high-quality gas logs not only enhances the visual appeal of your fireplace but also reduces the likelihood of odour issues. Cheap or worn-out logs can contribute to unpleasant smells.

Use Scented Fire Starters

Turn the tables on odours by using scented fire starters. These add a pleasant fragrance to your fireplace and help mask any lingering smells during ignition.

Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Install carbon monoxide detectors near your gas fireplace to detect any issues early. While not directly related to odours, this step adds extra protection for you and your loved ones.

Educate Yourself On Maintenance

Stay informed about your specific gas fireplace model’s maintenance requirements. Regular gas fireplace repair and upkeep can prevent odours and extend the life of your fireplace.

About Us

At ProWest Heating & Air Conditioning, we are committed to providing you with the area’s best HVAC repair and installation services. We have years of experience in the industry, and we are licensed, insured, and certified.

Contact us today to schedule your appointment or to learn more about our services.