If you have a gas fireplace with a closed firebox, chances are it is a direct vent fireplace. B vent gas fireplaces have an open firebox and look similar to the traditional wood burning fireplace. Ventless fireplaces often have open fireboxes as well. While a direct vent gas fireplace will not have an impact on indoor air quality, the one downside is that the glass panes regularly require cleaning.
Combustion air, dirt, and other things mix together and form a film on the glass that must be cleaned every so often so it doesn't obstruct your view. The tricky part comes when you try to remove the glass from your fireplace to clean it. For many people, removing the glass is the most complicated part. So, we wrote this article for those of you who need a little help with that step so you can make the cleaning process as simple as possible.
- reading a manual
First, find your manual. The easiest way to ensure that you remove the glass correctly and don't miss any steps is to read through the instructions the manufacturer wrote for your fireplace. Simple, right? If your manual happens to not have those instructions or you can't find it, you can look for the data plate or tag on the bottom access area to your fireplace. That plate will give you the manufacturer and model number so you can look online & hopefully find a digital copy of the manual. If after all that you still come up empty-handed, go to the next paragraph, we got you covered.
- Cleaning fireplace glass
Before you start the removal process, make sure you haven't used the fireplace within the last hour. The glass can reach super high temperatures and cause severe burns if touched before it has cooled down. While you're waiting for it to cool down, find a large towel or blanket and lay it down a few feet from the fireplace. This will be where you put the glass once you have removed it. When those steps are complete, look for access panels on your gas fireplace. They typically have lower access doors or louvers that can be opened by lifting them up and tilting them forward. After that, look for the upper access panels. Your fireplace may require you to remove those so the glass can be separated from the guide rail.
With a flashlight, inspect the bottom of the glass pane. Work your way around the pane & look for a secondary rail. There are usually two retainers on the far left and right-hand sides. These retainers will most likely need to be pulled forward & downward to free them from the retaining rail. Take a picture of these before you do that step so you have a reference to come back to when you put the glass back in. When the retainers are loose you should pull them out slowly & tilt the glass to verify it's free. Check for retainers at the top of your glass pane like you did at the bottom. If you don't have them you can simply remove the glass slowly and place it on the blanket you laid down earlier. If you do have retainers up top, repeat the step as you did with the bottom retainers.
- cleaning tools
With the glass removed, you can use a water-based cleaner and a damp cloth to remove any residue on the glass. Then use a t-shirt or lint-free rag to dry the leftover cleaning product. While you have the glass out, you may also want to inspect the fireplace gasket seal that runs around the perimeter of the glass pane. The gasket keeps fumes from leaking into your home & degrading your air quality. These are important parts to your fireplace & should be replaced when any damage is noticed. When the glass is clean & the gasket approved, it's time to replace the glass in the reverse order you took it out.
- Door Gasket
Keep in mind that if your gas fireplace has an upper mounting rail, you need to look at the size of the retaining lip vs. the size of the rail. Use this to get an idea of where to place the glass pane. Hold it at an angle & hook the pane back over the mounting rail. It may take a couple of attempts to mount it correctly. When it's mounted correctly, the glass should tilt easily into the vertical position and not be crooked. You also need to check that the glass is centered. There should be a small gap between the glass and either side of the fireplace. This gap ensures that pressure won't build up as the glass and metal frame expand and cause the glass to shatter. With the glass pane centered, lift the bottom retainers into position by pulling them up and forward until they grasp the bottom retaining rail.
And that is all she wrote folks. With these steps, you should be able to remove, clean, and re-install the glass on your gas fireplace. Should you have further questions, please feel free to call our NFI certified techs at 800.203.1642