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Gas Fireplace Smell

Apr 22, 2013
Gas Fireplace Smell
  • Answers and snippets from forum members on the problem of Gas Fireplaces which create smells in the home.

    Stinky fireplaces are a really hard one to diagnose unless a lot of time is spent on a particular home. One of those where the mfg would be out of business if they really did sell stinky stoves because each one is made with the same materials, the dealer doesn't understand because theyve sold a bunch and it cant be that this one house just happened to get the only 2 stinky stoves theyve every sold.

    Another stove won't usually solve the problem. I don't work for the company that makes yours, but I can say that stinky fireplaces are an industry wide phenomena. I've never heard about it with a free-standing stove before, but I can tell you about stinky fireplaces. It's a really rare problem, but I've seen dealers put 3 different units into a customers home over a 2 year span only to have every unit smell. The 3rd unit being one we first pre-burned in a very controlled environment in Research & Development searching for any hint of a smell, then the dealer does the same in their shop. Then they get it into the consumers home and what do you know, theres some sort of smell. I've also been on the side of the second choice, meaning that another mfg had 2 of their units in a consumers home and both smelled so they choose ours as an alternative. In every case I'm aware of the home still smelled.

    I've only dealt with this phenomena a few times in the last 10 years, but each time it was house specific. In most cases Ive seen its related to the building materials in the home, like what the hearth or surround is made of, or what type of adhesive was used to secure the tile, or the type of paint used on the walls etc. The few left IMO are home owners who are overly sensitive to any types of smells in their homes.

    At some point you have to look at the common denominators in this situation which are the mfg of the stove, the home, and the sensitivity to smell of the homeowner. My advice would be for very sensitive People to stay away from gas units, because my experience with this issue is that another unit will often not solve the issue.

    Other comments:
    In most cases, this is the smell of dust and other compounds from your home that are drawn around the unit and heated. For many folks it appears to happen anew at the beginning of each heating season. The best remedy is to run the unit full tilt for a number of hours while keeping the doors and windows open. If it continues after this, you should have it checked with a detector (called a combustible gas detector) which will at least assure you that there is no leakage of gas exhaust.

    Note - if you have a vent-free (ventless) fireplace, the above likely does not fully apply. These should be diagnosed in a separate manner.