One of the most attractive features of gas fireplaces is the fact that they produce relatively little soot and smoke compared to their wood-burning relatives. In fact, with regular maintenance efforts, you can keep your gas fireplace more or less completely soot-free. Yet from time to time, a gas fireplace may produce excessive amounts of soot.
This soot not only mars the appearance of the fireplace, but it also signals a potential health risk since soot almost always occurs in conjunction with carbon monoxide. Homeowners should always contact a professional when their gas fireplace begins to produce soot. Learn about three potential causes of this unwanted phenomenon.
1. Rich Air-Fuel Mix
Soot consists of bits of uncombusted carbon released from the natural gas. When natural gas combusts under perfect circumstances, it produces virtually no soot at all. Instead, soot only occurs when combustion does not occur completely.
The key consideration when it comes to combustion efficiency lies in the air-fuel ratio. In order for the gas to release all of its energy through combustion, it must mix with an appropriate amount of air. When too little air enters the combustion chamber, all of the gas present will not combust. This scenario goes by the name of rich fuel.