I have a gas fireplace that hasn't been used in 4-5 years. I'm selling my home, and I need to make sure that fireplace is still in working order. (It worked fine last time anyone tried to use it.) Are there any special safety precautions that should be observed when lighting a gas fireplace that hasn't been in use for so long a time?
The biggest single thing would be to make sure that the chimney pipe is clear. Over that amount of time, it's possible that things like wasp nests or even small bird nests could be in the chimney. This could block the venting factor or even catch fire. A visual inspection would be best if possible but you could do a quick vent test by burning something small to observe the smoke exiting at the top. This would at least verify that the chimney is not 100% clogged.
It's doubtful that much else would happen to a non-used gas fireplace. Maybe some slightly flammable dust could be on the logs or other interior parts. Once you have verified that the chimney is clear, you can carefully ignite the flame and watch it closely.
Thanks much (as always).
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