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It is normal for a gas fireplace to give off some odor the first time it is burned. This is due to the curing of paint, adhesives and the burning off of oils necessary for the manufacturing process. It is recommended that the gas appliance be burned for at least 10 continuous hours on high flame setting the first time it is fired up. If the appliance is controlled by a thermostat, the thermostat should be by?passed. If a fan is installed, place the fan in the off position during this time. Some gas appliances may require additional curing time depending on the venting configuration and model, so be sure to tell the homeowner this before you leave the installation.

On any odor call, first ensure the appliance has gone through a suitable curing period. This can be verified by removing the window frame and examining the gasket material. The paint and oils will burn off or cure in the first hour of use, while the gasket adhesive will take longer. The last areas of gasket adhesive to cure will be the two bottom corners, so pull back the gasket to check the adhesive. If it is still tacky, the appliance needs to be burnt for a longer period.

Other things to watch for are:

· Check the chimney draft on naturally vented fireplaces.

· Look for debris and dust in the air outlet passage on top of the firebox.

· Inspect the pressure relief doors and gaskets on direct vents to be sure they are properly seated and nothing is obstructing them.

· Check finishing materials on adjacent surfaces (mantel finishes, caulking) to ensure they can withstand the operating temperatures of the fireplace

· Check clearances to any combustibles

· Vacuum all air passages and then clean with a damp cloth to remove dust. etc.

Vent free appliances are often associated with odors, but are rarely the cause. Existing elements within the dwelling will change as they undergo the combustion process and are then exhausted back into the house. Because these odors are noticed once the vent free fireplace is installed, many people point at the fireplace as the culprit. For the original source of the odor look toward pets, cooking habits, cleaning products, 'new' man-made building materials (off-gasing from carpets, engineered wood products, finishes, dirt on the burner and logs, etc.) and even such obvious items as ash trays and sports gear. Refer to the Vent Free owner's manual for catalyst cleaning and maintenance.

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