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Why is Black Glass on my Wood Stove or Fireplace?

If you look through glass doors to see the flames in your fireplace or wood stove, you likely have an efficient appliance that helps you cut heating costs. It’s nice that you don’t have to give up the pleasure of watching mesmerizing flames for the sake of efficiency. When the glass is blackened, however, the view has been spoiled by a buildup of soot. The black glass is in obvious need of cleaning, as well. Read on to learn possible causes of soot deposits and how to remove the staining. The reason for black glass varies, depending on what type of fuel is used in your heating appliance.

Black Glass on a Natural Gas Fireplace

Gas Fireplace in Richmond VA

A natural gas fireplace with soot buildup typically has an air-to-fuel ratio that’s out of whack. Blockage of the tank regulator could be the cause of the malfunction. The issue could also be an obstruction in the flue or the primary air shutter. Another thing to check is the positioning of the ceramic logs near the fuel nozzles because they could be impeding the air-to-fuel ratio. When any blockage occurs, full combustion of the gas is prevented, resulting in excess soot.

Because the fuel for a natural gas fireplace is piped into the house, the gas can be presumed to be “fresh,” which is the primary difference between natural gas and propane fuel for a fireplace.

It is recommended that homeowners check the faux logs to make sure they aren’t blocking the burner ports if soot starts to build up on the glass. Call a chimney expert if
the problem isn’t resolved with an adjustment of the ceramic logs.

Black Glass on Propane Fireplaces

Propane fireplaces can experience soot build-up due to the same type of obstruction described above for natural gas fireplaces. There is one additional type of malfunction that can occur with propane. Soot buildup can be caused by bad fuel. There is always some heavier gas butane that settles toward the bottom of a propane tank. If butane starts to burn, combustion will be incomplete because butane is less efficient than propane; it doesn’t burn as clean. Butane would require a different setting to get more air in order to achieve combustion, though that’s not the solution. Refilling the propane tank is the best way to resolve the issue.

Wood burning stove in Richmond VABlack Glass on Wood-Burning Fireplaces and Stoves

When soot begins to hinder the view of fires in your wood-burning fireplace or stove, there are several potential causes. Start by checking the dampers or air controls. These should always remain open while the fire is getting built up since plenty of air is needed to achieve complete combustion.

It’s essential to use an adequate amount of kindling and firewood to start and maintain a fire. The wood must be seasoned, which means that it has low moisture content. These steps help to ensure complete combustion. There is less soot when a fire burns hot.

Another possibility is that your chimney needs to be cleaned and obstructions removed, to prevent soot from causing blackened glass.

Tips for Cleaning Blackened Glass

The correct way to clean the glass on a fireplace or stove isn’t necessarily a standardized procedure. Some products come with manufacturer’s instructions on the best cleaning method. The following are some of the approaches to cleaning soot off of black glass:

  • Clean the doors using ashes from a wood fire and moist newspaper.
  • Purchase a commercial cleaner made to clean soot from glass.
  • Fireplace door cleaners that come in paste form are generally considered to be the best.

Whichever method of cleaning you choose, use small circular strokes to scrub the glass. Allow the glass to thoroughly dry, and then buff with a clean cloth.

Contact the Chimney Experts

If you need chimney cleaning or any other services related to your fireplace or stove, contact the trusted experts at Chimney Saver Solutions. Call 804-440-5000 today with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment for chimney services.

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