Why Do My Gas Logs Smell?

gas fireplace
Are you concerned about a distinct gas odor coming from your ventless fireplace? It’s natural to be worried when you smell gas in the home, but in this case, the odds are that the condition is harmless. In fact, a faint gas smell is an unavoidable consequence of using gas fireplace logs. More than anything, it’s a sign your fireplace is working the way it should. Let us explain.

As the name implies, ventless gas fireplaces don’t require an open chimney to operate. Because they burn only small amounts of natural gas or propane, they are safe to operate indoors. However, any flame requires oxygen to keep burning. In a gas ventless fireplace, oxygen is provided by the air in your home. If that air contains impurities, those impurities are drawn in with the oxygen and can produce odors which are amplified by the flame.

Common Causes of Gas Fireplace Log Odors

New gas fireplace logs typically have a break-in period during which they can smell strongly. This will go away after the first three or four hours of use and is not cause for concern. Other things that can cause more persistent gas fireplace odors include:

  • Pet hair, dander or dust
  • Scented candles
  • Wet paint
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Strong chemical cleaning products
  • Off-gassing from new furniture

While you may be desensitized to these smells when they are just floating around your home, they can be hard to miss when concentrated in the fireplace.

Preventing Gas Fireplace Smells

The best way to prevent odors in a gas fireplace is to improve the quality of air in your home. If you smoke, take it outside. If you have pets, vacuum regularly and consider investing in a room air purifier. Avoid the use of harsh cleaning chemicals and plug-in deodorizers.
Fireplace natural gas logs

When to Be Concerned

Air quality issues are the most common cause of strong gas fireplace odors. However, to rule out more dangerous possibilities, all you have to do is turn your fireplace off by shutting off the main gas valve. Allow some time for the room odors to clear out. If you still smell gas, there may be a small leak somewhere in your system.

A leak is a more serious problem that should be addressed immediately by a qualified professional. Call Foster Fuels for emergency service — if possible, get out of the home and definitely avoid the use of any lighters, candles or other sources of open flame.

Why Should I Get My Gas Logs Cleaned?

When the next winter season rolls around, you’re ready to turn up the heat with your Foster Fuels fireplace but how ready is it actually? It might not seem as important to clean, but taking care of your gas logs can actually help you save in the long run.

How do I know when my gas logs need cleaning?

  • Annually get your gas logs professionally serviced to ensure top performance as well as check all vents.
  • Check for soot build – up. A little soot is normal.

Always call your technician if you suspect your gas logs need maintenance!

How do I know when my gas logs aren’t working properly?

  • Watch for yellow flames. When working properly, your propane fireplace burns with a blue flame. If the flame is yellow, the gas may not be burning completely. If this occurs, contact your Foster Fuel certified technician.

Just in case!

Check your chimney sweep before using your fireplace. Over the months that you haven’t used the fireplace, birds may have created a nesting place in your chimney. Clean out all debris before lighting your gas logs.

Learn More about Gas Logs and Winter Tips:

Post updated on January 14th, 2019

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