Like every appliance, gas appliances need to be cared for through regular maintenance in order to keep them working efficiently and safely. As well as doing what you can at home, organising an annual service by a registered gas technician will ensure your gas appliances work efficiently, extending their working life and saving you money.
Use two of your senses to help detect if there is something wrong with your gas appliances that needs to be looked at by a registered gas fitter.
Domestic natural gas is treated with an odourant so that you can smell if gas is leaking. If you suspect you can smell gas around a particular appliance, switch that appliance off straight away, leave the room, turn the gas off at the meter and call a registered gas fitter. If there is a general smell of gas in or around your home you may have a gas leak - the same precautions apply but the gas fitter will check the installation itself.
The pilot light or burner of a healthy gas appliance will have a blue flame, which means that there is complete burning of air and gas - if it is yellow or red, either call the manufacturer or a licensed gas fitter. If your radiant gas heater appears to have a flame beyond the tile, that could also indicate it is faulty and therefore potentially dangerous.
Natural gas is a perfectly safe fuel for use in the home but when gas appliances are taken apart or fitted by someone that is inexperienced or untrained, that’s where the danger lies. Regularly servicing your gas appliances is essential in order to ensure they work safely and efficiently but, just as you wouldn’t service your car yourself, call in a licensed gas fitter to service your gas appliances. The frequency with which you should get your appliances serviced depends on the appliance itself and the manufacturer’s instructions and if there is any sign that something is wrong, you should organise a service immediately.
What you can do
Although anything that involves tampering with your gas appliances should be carried out by a professional gas fitter, there are ways you can care for your gas appliances yourself on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, primary of which is keeping them clean. Basic cleaning will go a long way to maintaining the appliances’ efficiency and safety and prolonging their lifespans. Keep your oven, cooktop and BBQ clean, ensuring there is no build-up of grease, fat or burnt-on food. Scrub racks and hot plates and carefully clean around cooktop burners. The registers of ducted heating systems can be vacuumed as necessary.