In many homes, gas fireplaces have replaced wood-burning fireplaces because they’re generally a safer and equally beautiful way to heat the house. However, even though gas fireplaces pose a lower risk of fire than wood-burning ones, they can create health hazards if not maintained regularly. Signs of problems include strange noises, unpleasant odors and burners that don’t light. The cost to repair a gas fireplace varies depending on the number of problems it has, and there will always be a service fee—a less expensive and less dangerous prospect than dealing with a carbon monoxide leak.
If a gas fireplace needs extensive work, the homeowner should expect both to pay for building permits and to arrange for a city inspector to sign off on the project, which can cost between $500 and $900. Like any project that influences the structural integrity of the home, fireplace and chimney repairs should be planned carefully and executed by an experienced professional.
Every gas fireplace should have a working carbon monoxide alarm to ensure safety. In fact, California law requires one in every home, which is enforced through building permits. Carbon monoxide alarms cost about $50.
Gas fireplace specialists, such as Highpoint Gas Service in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, recommend an annual fall maintenance visit, which will make sure the gas fireplace functions safely throughout the winter season. This includes an extensive check of the heating system as well as a routine cleaning. Specialists like Hearth N’ Soul in Bethesda, Maryland, or Flame Dynamics in Rancho Cordova, California, also check for gas leaks and damage to any parts, clean the pilot, and replace the ember. The maintenance fee is usually about $150.
Repairing a gas fireplace
Most services charge $100-$150 per hour. Common fixes include lighting the pilot light (about $100), replacing fogged glass windows ($200-$300) and switching out a remote ($50-$100). Replacing wires or other components can add several hundred dollars to a service call. From the wires to the faux logs, almost every part in a gas fireplace can be replaced or fixed, allowing the homeowner to maintain the unit for many years.
Cleaning a chimney
Regardless of the type of fireplace, the chimney should also be cleaned yearly. Most fireplace specialists, including Rock River Chimney & Foundation in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, also offer cleaning services:
$200 to clean a fireplace
$220 to clean a fireplace with an insert
$200 to clean a wood stove
You can get more on chimney cleaning costs here.
Replacing a chimney
Sometimes, chimneys become so damaged they lean, risking significant damage to the house and its inhabitants. In these cases, chimneys need to be completely removed and replaced, which can cost between $10,000 and $20,000.