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Home Care Library

Fireplace (gas)

The Home Wizard app calculates your ideal home care program to avoid problems with your Fireplace (gas), but sometimes trouble can still occur. Here are answers to questions about fireplace (gas) burning off dust.

QUESTION FROM Mark Fingethut

I recently had a gas fireplace installed during a basement remodel. The fireplace is a ventless Desa model. We initially had problems with the pilot lighting and the burner not. This was fixed by the contractor replacing part of the unit. I went to test out the fireplace after they fixed it and found that it worked, but within about 2 minutes the nearest smoke detector (about 12 feet & ceiling height away) was set off. My wife says she noticed a haze in the air when she came down to see what was going on. The contractor claims this is normal and that the unit just needs to burn off dust and residue from the manufactureres painting of the housing. Does this sound reasonable, or do you think there are other issues that might be involved?


Dear Mark F:

If you have installed a ventless gas fireplace in your basement, and you are having problems such as your smoke detector going off and getting a haze in the room, then yes, there could be issues other than just the routine burning off of initial residues.

First, and most importantly, have you checked with the building department for the town or city where you live to see if your local building codes allow you to put a ventless gas fireplace in your basement? Some local safety ordinances do not allow ventless gas fireplaces to be installed in basements. For example, here is a website that shows state-by-state code requirements for ventless products: But again, you should check specifically with your local building department.

The other issue is that ventless gas fireplaces put out a significant amount of moisture as part of their combustion process, which can be a problem in a basement installation, since most basements are already damp.

I assume that you have already determined that the appropriate burner has been installed for your gas fuel type (i.e., propane versus natural gas).

Also, do you have a CO monitor installed in your basement? With any ventless gas product it is very important for safety reasons to have a CO monitor installed nearby.

Hopefully, the problems you are seeing are just due to the initial burning off of dust and manufacturing residue, but to be safe, you should also consider the above issues as well.

Hope this is helpful.

Fireplace (gas)