How to Make a Gas Fireplace Smell Better

Gas fireplaces differ from traditional wood-burning fireplaces in that they are more convenience and provide more warmth. The Direct Vent (DV) type utilizes an enclosed chamber for the logs and burner assembly thus providing more warmth than an open style fireplace. Since DV fireplaces produce extra heat, they can cause odors from the fireplace.

New Gas Fireplace Installation?

Let us begin with the smell you perceive when you install a new gas fireplace. Your gas fireplace smells when first turned on, and that is normal to experience this. This type of odor may occur any time of year with a newly installed unit. Gas fireplaces frequently use paints, lubricants, and other production procedures that leave debris in the pathway, just like other products created in a factory. This will in turn, produce a stink quite similar to burning plastic.

Thus, when starting your new system, open the airways to allow fresh air to come into the home. This is only necessary during the initial use as this smell is gone after a few hours of use.

Common Causes of Gas Fireplace Odors

New gas fireplace logs typically have an initial period during which they can smell strongly. Usually, this subsides after the first three or four hours of use and is not cause for concern. Other things that can cause more persistent gas fireplace odors include:

  • Pet hair, dander or dust
  • Scented candles
  • Wet paint
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Strong chemical cleaning products
  • Off-gassing from new furniture
  • Gas leak from plumbing assembly
  • Exhaust spilling back into home

While you may not notice these smells when they float around your home, they are quite hard to miss when concentrated in the fireplace.

Preventing Gas Fireplace Smells

The best way to prevent smells in a gas fireplace is to improve the quality of air in your home. If you smoke, take it outside. For pet lovers, endeavor to vacuum regularly, and consider purchasing a room air purifier as well. Don’t use plug-in deodorizers or strong cleaning agents either.

How to Extinguish Fireplace Odors

Any home benefits from having a cozy fire. The lingering odor of ashes and soot does not, though. When moisture and a dirty flue combine, the smell of a fireplace becomes extremely strong, making it more noticeable during rainy days and humid months.

What can be done to treat a fireplace that emits an awful odor? There are various ways to get rid of fireplace odors, regardless of whether your goal is to cover it up, get rid of it entirely, or prevent it completely.

1. Clean and Repair the Chimney

Cleaning your chimney and fireplace will help you avoid odors altogether. Clean up ash leftovers and dirt after putting out each fire. The main cause of offensive fireplace odors is creosote buildup. So, you should clean the chimney in summer and spring to remove their buildup.

Cleaning your chimney and fireplace will help you avoid odors altogether

It’s also a good idea to install a chimney cap to help keep moisture out. If moisture doesn’t reach the creosote in the chimney, you shouldn’t have an odor problem. Conversely, if you already have a chimney cap and your fireplace still suffers moisture issues, then you should check for cracks in your chimney, and fix them or replace them entirely.

2. Use Fireplace Deodorant

After taking action to remove the primary cause of fireplace odors, there is every chance that the scent can still linger if the soot and ash sinks into permeable bricks and masonry. You can now use a deodorant that’s meant for the fireplace. To ensure optimal freshness, place the bottle on the smoke shelf and bring up the wick.

3. Deodorize with Vinegar

A powerful deodorizer like vinegar can effectively get rid of the overpowering soot stink that surrounds your fireplace. You can attempt any of the options that are listed below and then choose the approach that works best for you:

  • Place vinegar in a few shallow bowls around the room to absorb any unpleasant odor.
  • Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the fireplace area to deodorize at the source.
  • Spray a towel with vinegar and wave it around the room to absorb the fireplace odor.
    TIP: You can also use it to eliminate cigarette smell in your home.

DO NOT combine vinegar with ammonia or bleach, if you decide to use vinegar to deodorize your fireplace. This combination could produce a dangerous toxic gas.

4. Absorb the Smell with Charcoal

Charcoal is an effective way to treat a smelly fireplace as it is capable of soaking up the odor around it. Set a bucket with charcoal blocks and damp pieces of old newspaper near the fireplace and let the charcoal go to work.

5. Run an Air Purifier

Air purifier in cozy white living room for filter and cleaning removing dust PM2.5 HEPA and virus in home, for fresh air and healthy Wellness life, Air Pollution Concept

Portable air purifiers are designed to remove odor from the air. You can run one near the fireplace. Ensure you find a model that doesn’t produce ozone as a byproduct. This known lung irritant could be harmful to people with respiratory problems.

6. Have Your Fireplace Inspected

If odors still persist despite following all these tips, there could be an airflow issue. A fireplace inspection could help to reveal potential problems so you can have them repaired on time. Inspecting fireplaces and vents before problems develop will ensure that issues get detected early enough thereby helping to avoid unsafe situations.

When Can I Say It’s an Emergency?

Air quality issues are usually the cause of strong gas fireplace odors. However, to rule out more dangerous possibilities, follow the steps below:

  • Turn off your fireplace by shutting off the main gas valve
  • Allow the room odors to fizzle out
  • If you still smell gas, there may be a small leak somewhere in your system

You should now be concerned if you notice a gas smell coming from your fireplace. The odours that come from dust burn-off can be explained, the same with an initial start up. However, when it comes to smelling gas, you must take immediate action regardless of whether the fireplace is in use or not.


Modern gas fireplaces could emit a particular smell for a number of reasons. Although a fireplace typically emits a faint odor, it is also important to take proper precautions if you think there is a potential gas leak. 

Natural gas fireplaces are safer than conventional wood-burning fireplaces and rarely provide any life-threatening issues. Natural gas itself is odorless, but has an additive that makes it smell like rotten eggs. This is designed to alert you if there is a leak in your area, as it can be very dangerous. If you perceive an odor similar to that of rotten eggs around your natural gas fireplace, leave your home immediately and contact your local utility service.

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