It is a common misconception that gas fireplaces are not a carbon monoxide (CO) risk. In fact, all fuel-burning appliances, even gas, can pose some sort of carbon monoxide risk. At Old Smokey’s we want to you to understand that even though there are some carbon monoxide risks associated with gas fireplaces, if you follow a few simple safety guidelines, you can keep your home free from this toxic gas.

What is Carbon Monoxide and How Does My Gas Fireplace Produce it?

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that is produced when carbon-based fuels such as wood, charcoal, gasoline and natural gas do not combust completely. It is completely colorless, tasteless, and odorless making it impossible to detect with human senses alone. Inhaling carbon monoxide causes a decrease in the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. Over time, this can cause:

  • fatigue,
  • headaches,
  • nausea
  • and can eventually lead to organ failure or even death.

Your gas fireplace will produce trace amounts of carbon monoxide. However, if your fireplace has been properly installed and periodically maintained by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) certified technician, carbon monoxide will be vented out of your home. If you own a ventless gas fireplace, your oxygen-detection sensor should protect you from carbon monoxide building up in your fireplace. Issues occur when your fireplace isn’t being properly maintained. Clogged vents, faulty sensors, and dirty fireplace components can all lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

Invest in a Carbon Monoxide Detector.

A carbon monoxide detector is a safety device designed to alarm you when carbon monoxide levels are starting to reach a dangerous level. No matter how comfortable you are with the condition of your gas fireplace, you should always have a carbon monoxide detector installed nearby.

Schedule Periodic Inspections

Periodic inspections are vital to the health of your gas fireplace. The CSIA suggests having your fireplace and ventilation inspected at least once a year by a CSIA-certified technician. During your inspection, a certified technician will be able to check your ventilation, sensors, and burners to see if there are any potential issues. If there are, they will be able to tell you what needs to be done to remedy the situation.

You don’t need to live in fear of carbon monoxide gas. Keeping up with annual inspections and installing monitoring devices should give you the peace of mind, allowing you to enjoy your fireplace. If you have any questions about carbon monoxide or would like to schedule a gas fireplace inspection, please call Old Smokey’s at 800-876-6539, or schedule an appointment online to have one of our CSIA-certified chimney technicians assist you today!