Many homeowners choose to install gas fireplaces due to their ease of use and greatly reduced amounts of needed maintenance compared to their wood burning counterparts. While gas fireplaces do not have issues such as soot or ash that needs to be regularly removed, they do have their own unique problems that can arise.
One concern that is exclusive to gas fireplaces is leaking around the gas lines. Because many gas lines go directly to the outside of the home, if they are not sealed correctly warmed or cool air from inside your home can escape outside, hot or cold air from outside can force it’s way in, and pests such as small insects may find their way into your home.
Importance of sealed gas lines
One of the main purposes in correctly sealing around a gas line is maintaining energy efficiency in your home. A tell-tale sign of an improperly sealed gas line is a cold spot or continuous draft around the fireplace. Oftentimes, homeowners blame these drafts on a faulty flue or chimney, only to find that their gas line was the problem. Even a small space surrounding the gas line can allow outside air in, causing your heater or air conditioning system to work harder to compensate for the drafts. Completely sealing around the gas line prevents this loss of room temperature air to happen.
In addition to letting cold or hot outside air into your home, leaving the area around the gas line unsealed also allows in uninvited pests, including small insects. Reappearing ants or other bugs around the fireplace area may be another sign that there is a leak in the seal surrounding the gas line. A fully sealed gas line keeps pests out, allowing you to continue to enjoy your fireplace without worry of bugs entering your home.
How to seal gas lines
There are a number of ways to successfully seal the area around gas lines. However, many homeowners find that when they attempt to seal around their gas lines themselves, the drafts or pests return within a short period of time. Sealants or caulk bought from a big box home improvement store may not be able to completely fill the space, leaving micro cracks for cold air or bugs to enter your home. In addition, using a stiffer sealant such as cement may damage the gas line itself, leading to both safety concerns as well as issues with fireplace performance.
Because of the extremely small area that needs to be filled – along with the delicate nature of the gas lines themselves – it is recommended that homeowners have a professional chimney or fireplace company seal their gas lines. Having a professional seal around gas lines ensures that the area is completely sealed without damaging the gas lines.
If you notice a continual draft around your fireplace, have issues with bugs repeatedly entering around your fireplace, or have unsuccessfully tried to seal the space around your gas line yourself, contact New Buck Chimney Services today. Our staff of expertly trained and certified chimney sweeps can make sure your fireplace is sealed and safe to use for years to come.