What is the smell of gas? What does it mean when your fireplace smells like gas? Gas is a colorless, odorless, flammable liquid that can be found in your home or at your local gas station.
It’s often used to fuel cars and heating systems. When you smell this odor coming from a fireplace, there are two possible causes: an open vent or back-drafting. Open vents are caused by drafts in the chimney which allow outside air to enter into the system and mix with the burning gases inside.
Backdrafting occurs when combustion gasses go up into the chimney instead of out through it due to improper drafting techniques.
Is It Normal for a Gas Fireplace to Smell?
The first three or four hours of use are usually required for new gas log components to dissipate their strong fragrance. This will fade away after the first few hours of usage, and it is not a cause for concern.
The following items may also produce more persistent gas fireplace odors:
- Pet hair
If you notice a strong or unpleasant smell when your gas fireplace is in use, make sure that the logs are positioned properly. They should be spaced evenly and tightly together with no gaps between them. This will help to ensure proper air circulation for efficient burning. If there are any loose pieces of bark on top of the log set, remove them by hand before igniting it.
This could decrease odor production if they were allowing excessive amounts of unburned gases to escape through them into the room instead of up through the flue system. Before turning on your gas fireplace one last time after cleaning out all visible debris from its components. Also, check inside both sides of each glass panel along with behind and under it for trapped dust particles that might have been stirred up while you were cleaning.
If any are found, carefully vacuum them away with the crevice tool attachment on your vacuum cleaner. If these measures do not alleviate the smell, it might be necessary to contact a professional chimney sweep who can examine and clean the entire flue system to ensure that there is no blockage.
Are Fumes from Gas Fireplace Harmful?
The fumes from a gas fireplace are not harmful, as long as they are used properly. When the fireplace is on, the fumes will go up the chimney and out of your home. If you have any concerns, be sure to ask an expert before using a gas fireplace. They can help ensure that it is installed and operated safely.
Some people may find the smell of gas unpleasant, but it is not dangerous. Be sure to keep the area around your gas fireplace clear of flammable materials. With proper use, a gas fireplace is a safe way to enjoy supplemental heat and ambiance in your home.
Effects of Your Gas Fireplace Smelling
The effects of a smelling fireplace can be small or they can be large. For example, if you smell something like rotten eggs coming from the unit it could mean that there is an issue with the pilot light not staying lit properly. This leads to low heat output as well as carbon monoxide poisoning which is dangerous for those living inside of the home.
On top of this, if people do begin noticing that there’s a problem then their natural reaction will be to turn the unit off and potentially cause further issues such as:
- Low to no heat output, smoke, and carbon monoxide poisoning. This can lead to an increase in your gas bill.
- Low to no warmth and smoke buildup throughout vents.
- Less efficient than the main burner, meaning it uses more gas in general for less overall warmth.
- Excessive air pollution and toxins are released into your home when you use the fireplace without clean filters or vents that lead outside of your house (i.e., carbon monoxide).
Reasons Your Gas Fireplace Smells Like Gas When Burning
Some of the reasons why your gas fireplace smells like gas when burning include:
- Wet paint – If you happen to have wet paint on your gas fireplace and you start burning gas, then you’ll most likely have the smell of gas.
- Cigarette smoke – Another thing that can make your gas fireplace smell like gas burning is cigarette smoke. Therefore, you need to check if there is a cigarette burning around the fireplace.
- Pet hair or dander – Pet hair or dander are some of the other things that can cause your gas fireplace to smell like gas when burning. Therefore, you can check for this and see if pet hair or dander is being burned.
- Scented candles – If you have scented candles and you’re burning gas, you might experience the smell of gas when burning, which might cause you to panic. However, you shouldn’t worry because that is normal with scented candles.
- Another reason is that the pilot light might not be on. If the pilot light isn’t on, then there won’t be enough heat to ignite the gas and create flames in the fireplace. This will cause the gas to build up in the unit, which will result in that unpleasant smell.
- Chimney blockage– Another possibility is that something is blocking the chimney or flue. This can prevent proper ventilation and allow fumes from the fireplace to escape into your home.
- Finally, if your fireplace has been recently serviced, it’s possible that some of the soot or debris from inside got onto the burner. When this happens, it can create a smoky smell when you turn on the fireplace.
Reasons Your Gas Fireplace Smells Like Gas When Turned Off
The smell of gas is a common problem when you turn the system off. Many homeowners complain about this issue and end up calling gas fireplace repair services. Typically, there are two reasons why your device smells like gas after turning it off: insufficient air and gas leaks.
1. Insufficient Air
Insufficient air is the most common reason for this problem. When you turn off your fireplace, all of the oxygen insides are used up and replaced with carbon monoxide. This can cause a strong odor that smells like gas. To fix this, make sure your fireplace has proper ventilation to allow fresh air in. You may also need to adjust the airflow settings on your device.
2. Gas Leaks
Gas leaks are another common reason for a gas smell after turning off your fireplace. If there’s a leak in the system, it will release fumes into the air which will create an unpleasant smell. To find and fix any leaks, have a professional test your fireplace. They’ll be able to determine the source of the odor and make repairs.
Reasons Your Gas Fireplace Smells Like Propane
There are a few reasons why your gas fireplace may be emitting a propane smell. Here are the most common ones:
The pilot light is out – This is the number one reason why gas fireplaces emit a propane smell. If the pilot light goes out, it can cause the furnace to start producing propane fumes. To fix this, simply relight the pilot light following the instructions in your owner’s manual.
The furnace needs to be cleaned – Over time, dirt and debris can build up in the furnace, which can lead to unpleasant smells. To clean it, you’ll need to disconnect the unit from both gas and power sources. Once it’s safe to do so, use a vacuum cleaner with a crevice tool attachment to clean the inside and outside of your furnace.
The damper is out of alignment – The combustion air inlet (or chimney) should be completely open for gas appliances unless they’re equipped with a flue damper. If it’s closed or partially blocked by debris or other objects, this can cause backdrafting which will lead to odors emanating from the fireplace itself.
To fix this issue, make sure that both dampers are fully opened before relighting the pilot light following the instructions in your owner’s manual.
Gas Fireplace Smells Like Burning Plastic
When you experience a burning plastic smell near the gas fireplace, there is likely an issue with your pilot light. Either it needs to be lit or extinguished to resolve this problem.
Here are some things that could cause this situation:
- You need to relight the pilot light
- The flue door is closed and preventing air from entering the unit causing incomplete combustion which produces smoke and smells like fireplaces do when they burn off excess gases before lighting up again
How Can I Tell if My Pilot Light Has Gone Out? What Should I Check First?
First, inspect whether the manual shut-off valve located at the top of each burner assembly (underneath) controls your specific model’s ignition. If not, then turn off the gas at the main shut-off valve. Second, open windows and doors to ventilate the room. You can also turn on a fan to help circulate the air.
Finally, if possible, light a match or use a lighter to ignite the pilot light (the small blue flame near the base of the burner assembly). If you cannot get the fire going, leave it to a professional.
Gas Fireplace Smells Like Burning Plastic
If you’re noticing a smell like burning plastic when your gas fireplace is on, don’t panic! The acrylic panel in the front of your fireplace is likely melting. This smell is caused by the heat from the fire and is not hazardous.
To fix this issue, you can either replace the acrylic panel or remove it entirely. If you choose to remove it, be sure to place it somewhere safe where it won’t catch on fire. Keep in mind that if you do not have an acrylic panel in your fireplace, you will need to cover the opening to ensure safety.
Some of the other possible causes include:
Factory paints – If you’re using your gas fireplace for the first time, there is a high chance it’s burning off any remaining factory paints, chemicals, or sealants.
Air quality – If you have compromised air quality, you’ll most likely experience intensified chemical odors coming from the gas fireplace.
Building materials – Gas fireplaces also sometimes react with existing building materials. These materials could be anything from debris to adhesive.
Gas Fireplace Smells Like Burning Dust
A gas fireplace can smell like burning dust for a few reasons. One is that the flue may not be open all the way, which will allow smoke and fumes to escape into the room. Another reason could be that the pilot light is out or something is blocking the flow of air to the fire.
If it’s an older fireplace, it might need to be cleaned. A professional chimney sweep can help determine why your fireplace smells like gas and make any necessary repairs. If you’re experiencing this problem, it’s best to call a professional before trying to fix it yourself. A faulty gas fireplace can be dangerous, so don’t take any chances.
How Do I Stop My Gas Fireplace from Smelling?
If your gas fireplace is giving off an unpleasant smell, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the issue: Check that the pilot light is lit. If it’s not, light it and see if the smell goes away.
Make sure that there isn’t anything blocking the exhaust pipe. Debris or insects can cause problems with airflow, which will lead to smells coming from the fireplace. If all of those things check out, then you may have a gas leak and should call a professional to come to take a look at it. Do not try to fix it yourself – this could be very dangerous.
Gas Fireplaces Maintenance
Some of the best ways to maintain your gas fireplace include:
Cleaning the glass doors regularly – It’s important to maintain the quality of your gas fireplace, so be sure to clean all glass parts.
Purchasing a high-quality match light – Ensure you purchase one for safe ignition purposes.
Forcing yourself not to use it too much – While many homeowners love how easy it is to have their homes warm in an instant, being aware that this can lead them to overuse the unit means taking care when using it at home.
Ensuring that there are no cracks in the firebox, and ensuring all parts of your fireplace are well connected before it is used.
If you find an odor when using your fireplace, ensure that you follow up with a professional to identify what exactly is wrong. This can be fixed by cleaning out crevices in which dust accumulates over time. However, if something breaks inside of your gas fireplace then it will need to be repaired or replaced accordingly.
As you’ve seen from all that we’ve discussed in this post, if your gas fireplace smells like gas, there is likely an issue with your vent system. You must get this fixed immediately because it can be dangerous to breathe in carbon monoxide, which may result in illness or even death if left untreated for too long.
You’ve now learned why your gas fireplace smells like gas when you should do something about it, and what types of problems could be causing the problem.
If you have any questions or feedback regarding this post, feel free to reach out through our email or post in the comments section below.