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Gas Fireplace Basics

New to gas fireplace ownership? Mendota Hearth is here to answer your burning questions! Operating your gas fireplace is easy – all you need to do is flip a switch and you’ve got a soothing, steady fire to keep you warm and cozy. Still, it’s common to have questions about how to best use your fireplace to keep it running smoothly and efficiently, especially if you’ve never owned a gas fireplace before.

Check out a few of our most frequently-asked questions below.

Can I adjust the heat output of my fireplace?

Mendota Hearth remote controls and wall-mounted controls allow you to adjust the settings so you get just the right amount of heat. Using your controller, you can turn the flames on and off and adjust the pace at which warm air circulates the room. You can also set your fireplace to automatically turn on and off to maintain a desired room temperature.

How do I clean my gas fireplace?

  • Exterior: You can use a non-ammonia based cleaner to wipe down the glass front. Never clean the glass while a fire is burning, and make sure to wait until the glass has had time to properly cool before attempting to clean it.
  • Interior: We always recommend having a qualified professional clean any of the interior components of your fireplace. They will often do this as a part of regular annual maintenance.

What kind of maintenance will I need to perform?

Before each heating season, have a qualified professional inspect the unit, remove any bugs or debris, and check the vent for potential blockages. Keeping your fireplace on a regular maintenance schedule will not only help you keep your unit looking clean and new, but also allow it to operate as efficiently as possible.

Can I add a new firebase to my fireplace or rearrange the logs?

It is never safe to add any material to the interior of your fireplace, as this can pose a serious fire hazard, cause damage to your unit, and threaten the safety of your home and its occupants. Your fireplace operates in a sealed environment, and even seemingly minor additions can damage internal controls and cause overheating, which can cause the glass to break.

Similarly, we do not recommend adjusting the position of the gas logs, as they are positioned precisely according to manufacturing guidelines to ensure safety and efficiency.

Can I turn the pilot light off in the summer?

You can. However, the pilot light in your Mendota Hearth Fireplace is designed to burn safely all-year round. In fact, the pilot light helps keep moisture out of the firebox, extend the life of your thermopile and thermocouple, and prevent bugs from crawling inside burner tubes.

Can I use my gas fireplace during a power outage?

Yes. Mendota Hearth fireplaces run on an internal millivolt generator that lets you light your fireplace with a battery pack.

What decorations are safe to hang from my mantel?

Clearance will vary depending on your set-up, however, we never recommend hanging any items from your mantel that dangles in front of your fireplace – even if there is a glass door separating the decorations from the flames. Similarly, keep furniture and other decorative items that rest on the floor at least 3 feet from your hearth.

Can I touch the glass?

The glass and metal panes on your fireplace get very hot while your fireplace is running, but even after you’ve turned off the flames, these surfaces can still be hot to the touch. Because of this, we recommend avoiding touching the surfaces of your fireplace.

Is there something you don’t see on the list above? All of our certified Mendota Hearth dealers are ready to answer all of your questions!

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