Fireplace Tips / FAQ’s
Gas Fireplaces - Edmonton - Tips

Selecting Your Fireplace
Lighting Your Pilot Light 
Cleaning the Glass on Your Fireplace
Other Tips

Selecting Your Fireplace
If you’re a homeowner who is thinking of getting a fireplace, the choices can seem overwhelming.  Below are a few questions to ask yourself to get started:

#1 - What is the primary reason for purchase?

You probably already know if you are interested to improve the décor of your home or if instead you are after a solution that will provide a primary source of heat for your home.  Or maybe you need a unit that outputs a lot of heat and adds to your décor.  We can help you to select a unit that will fit your specific needs.

Decide on the main purpose of the fireplace: heat efficiency, aesthetics, or a combination of both.

  • Avoid choosing a fireplace with the intention of heating more than one room. This will result in an overheated main room, forcing you to keep the fireplace off much of the time.
  • If you are looking for heat efficiency, consider a thermostatically-controlled self-modulated fireplace. This way, the fireplace will automatically turn up and down while regulating the room to the temperature you desire.
  • Review the trim options with Select Fireplaces to determine which trim will suit your decor.
  • When choosing a heating insert that relies on a fan to push the hot air out into the room, be aware that using a fan does help with circulation but will only marginally improve the heat output, and there will be some noise. If you do have a fan, make sure you have a separate control for it so you can turn it up, down or off as needed.
  • When choosing a decorative log set, choose one that easily fits into the fireplace area and leaves some breathing room.  Ample space around the log looks better and ensures that the valve will not overheat.
  • Determine how you want to operate your gas fireplace. Options include wall switches, remote controls, thermostats and manual operation.
  • If a gas fireplace is not an option, consider an electric fireplace. They are available in a variety of sizes, styles and trim options.  They require no venting, so they can be installed anywhere in the home.
  • Ensure that you arrange for professional installation.  How the fireplace is installed can impact its overall efficiency operation and durability.

#2 - What type of fireplaces are available?

Wood, gas and electric fireplaces, inserts and stoves are available.  Most customers have a preference in mind. From there, browse the gallery on our Product page to get an idea of the choices available.  Whether you prefer a traditional or contemporary look, we have a unit for you.

#3 - Where can a fireplace be installed?

You probably have a location in mind where you’d like to have the fireplace installed.  The easiest installation is of course an electric fireplace as only a power source is needed.  The next easiest installation is one where the unit can be vented directly out the wall.  Other locations are possible, and Select Fireplaces can help you to determine if your desired location will work.

#4 - What factors affect the cost?

The three areas outlined above that touch on the reason for your purchase, the type of unit you are interested in and the location where you wish to have the unit installed all affect the final cost.  For example, if you are primarily interested in an electric fireplace for décor purposes, the cost is less than a wood-burning stove as the installation is much simpler.

Other factors that affect the cost include: whether or not you need a gas line, what accessories you would like (i.e. remote, fan kit, etc.) and whether you desire a custom mantle, etc. Select Fireplaces can answer any questions you have and help you to choose a solution that will best meet your needs and budget. Contact us today for a FREE estimate.

Lighting Your Pilot Light

Below are tips regarding lighting your pilot light. If you have questions, contact Select Fireplaces for assistance.

  • Caution:  Always remove your fireplace glass prior to lighting your pilot.
  • Locate gas supply valve (typically behind louvers, below glass opening – may be red or blue).
  • Open valve by pivoting handle to be parallel to gas line.
  • Locate pilot assembly with spark igniter (located behind and below logs in the firebox – typically in the bottom centre).
  • Then locate red or black igniter button*.
  • Push igniter to verify spark at pilot area.
  • Locate the black or green valve control knob (knob with the words “On, Off and Pilot” on it).
  • Push in and rotate counter-clockwise until the word “pilot” is in the 6:00 o’clock position.
  • While pressing and holding in the valve knob (in “Pilot” position – it should press in about ¼”), press the red piezo button repeatedly (once per second) until the pilot ignites.
  • If the pilot does not light, wait 5 minutes and try again.
  • Once the pilot is lit, continue to hold the valve knob in for 30 seconds, then slowly release.
  • If the pilot light goes out, contact Select Fireplaces for service.
  • Remember to shut the gas supply valve off.
  • If it remains lit, press the valve knob in slightly and rotate counter-clockwise until the word “On” is in the 6:00 o’clock position.
  • Finally, turn the unit’s ON/OFF switch (or wall switch or remote control) to the “ON” position to start your fire.
  • Make sure you put the glass front back on the fireplace prior to burning your fireplace.
  • Make sure the glass is securely clamped on, at all points, prior to replacing the front.

*If you do not see a red or black spark igniter button, you do not have a manual ignition system.  If power is actively supplied to your fireplace, simply turn the on/off button, wall switch or remote control to “On” to ignite your main burner.

Note:  some valve assemblies may be inverted in their brackets.

Cleaning the Glass on Your Fireplace
The glass on a gas fireplace can become dirty due to the combustion process.

  • The white film that builds up can be easily removed with a special "wax-like" cleaner available at Select Fireplaces.
  • Using a paper towel or soft cloth, apply 2 tablespoons of the cleaner per side over the entire surface. Let dry for 10-15 minutes. Wipe off.
  • Never use residential glass or oven cleaners to clean your fireplace glass.
  • The dust that collects in the units with doors or louvers can easily be removed with a vacuum or soft cloth.
  • If you have a fan in your fireplace, make sure that you wipe the fan blades free of dust and grime to prevent the fan from getting out of balance and becoming noisy.
  • If your glass has an excess of dark carbon build up, we recommend contacting Select Fireplaces, as it is likely the unit is not burning correctly.

Other Tips:
Homeowners should also take a few proactive steps to ensure greater heating efficiency and safety, and to prolong the life of the unit.  Here are some tips:

Gas Fireplaces

  • It is recommended you have your gas fireplace serviced once a year, much like you would with your furnace. 
  • Being a visual product, you should also clean the glass front on your fireplace at least twice a year - sulfur and other mineral products may be removed with a special cleaner.
  • Don't touch the glass on any fireplace - it can cause severe burns.  A mesh front may be added to some fireplace fronts so curious children do not burn their hands.
  • Vacuum the firebox and heat exchanger regularly (when the fireplace is cold) to keep efficiency and air quality high.
  • Use a soft brush to remove dust or spider webs from gas logs.  Make sure to position logs properly after cleaning to avoid sooting.
  • Use glass cleaner made for gas fireplaces to clean the glass front - never use oven cleaner, abrasives or residential glass cleaners.
  • Consult the professionals at Select Fireplaces to clean the pilot assembly, purge trapped air from the gas supply line, and then test-fire the fireplace.

Wood Burning Fireplaces
Check the chimney or vent before the season's first fire to see if birds or animals have built nests in it, or if leaves or other debris have accumulated.

  • Clean out the firebox at least every week when using the fireplace regularly, but leave an inch of ash in the bottom to act as insulation.  NOTE: Never use a vacuum to clean out the firebox as coals can stay hot for several days after extinguishing a fire.
  • Before removing ash, open the damper so loose ash is drawn up the chimney rather than out into the room.
  • Remove all ash during the months the fireplace is not in use.
  • Burn only seasoned or hard wood in the fireplace. This will help minimize creosote buildup in the chimney.
  • Burning small, controlled, hot fires rather than smoldering fires will also help keep creosote under control.
  • Install a carbon-monoxide alarm in the same room as the fireplace and another one near bedrooms.
  • For homeowners with an existing wood burning fireplace, but who want greater efficiency and convenience, a fireplace insert is the answer.
  • By sliding an insert into the existing opening, the fireplace can be turned into a high efficient vented fireplace.
  • Contact Select Fireplaces for further information.

Electric Fireplaces

  • Clean the firebox and control compartment with a brush and vacuum.
  • Never use glass cleaner to clean the back of the glass, use mild soap and water.  Remove dust particles from glass by buffing lightly with a clean, dry cloth.
  • Replace the light bulbs every two to three years or when the flame and/or ember bed is dark on one side.
  • Follow the manufacturer's instructions or consult Select Fireplaces on cleaning the heater system to extend the fan's life.

 

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