Manufactured Fireplace Longevity
Today’s topic is manufactured fireplaces.
I was in a continuing education class recently and learned a few things about manufactured fireplace longevity, maintenance and fire safety. Manufactured fireplaces can be either wood burners or gas log type units. (Masonry fireplaces are another topic I will save for another day).
Did you know that manufactured fireplaces have been around since 1972? If you have a fireplace and live in a home that is less than 40 years old, there’s a good chance you have one of these types of units. Depending on how much you burn your fireplace, the average lifespan on these metal units is about 30 years. We as homeowners don’t always think that these types of units need maintenance, but it’s probably wise to have units that are this old checked out. Parts can rust over time and increase the chance for a fire on both gas log and wood burning units, so remember it’s not worth the risk!
Many newer manufactured gas log type fireplaces have electronic ignition and will only work when there is power to the unit UNLESS you install backup batteries in the bottom of the unit (see photo). Most homeowners don’t even know that during a power outage in the middle of winter, a couple batteries could provide the power needed to light the ignition system on one of these types of units when having some heat could be the difference between life and death. Go check your units and if you have one of these types of units, make sure you have the correct type batteries around for emergencies!
Other Misc tips: Never remove the glass on a sealed gas log unit fireplace! Clean all fireplace glass regularly so dirt and soot doesn’t get burned into the glass. Don’t ever put a chimney shroud on top of a fireplace roof chase without verifying it will work with the particular make and model fireplace installed. Since it is Christmas time, please be careful hanging stockings on the fireplace mantle! Unless the stockings are made from a non-combustionable material (let me know if you find any), it can be very dangerous to have them hang in a non-combustion zone! If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home and if you have a gas burning appliance, HVAC unit and/or fireplace, please consider getting a carbon monoxide detector (it could save your life)!
Fireplace Distributors is our preferred contractor in Louisville, so if you have any further questions about manufactured fireplaces, contact owner Tom Raver and he will be glad to help!
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