Why does a Gas Fireplace Smells Like Gas? [Solution Found]

Gas Fireplace Smells Like Gas

You bought a brand new unit of a modern gas fireplace. You detected an odor-like gas during its initial use, which concerned you; however, there is no need to worry.

It is very normal for a fireplace to emit a slight odor. Here’s everything you need to know about owning a gas fireplace, including why they smell and potential risks. o

Does Smelling Gas mean a Gas leak? 

It is not always the case that smelling gas indicates a gas leak. Companies put a chemical into natural gas to make it stink since natural gas alone is odorless, colorless, and undetectable. This is done because if there is a leak, you will notice it right away. 

The smell of gas alerts an individual that there might be a leak in the system. However, if the room is properly ventilated, the odor should dissipate within a few minutes.

But if the room is ventilated, yet you notice a smell, that is a sign that there might be a gas leak.

Gas Valve causing gas leak smell
Old gas valve causing gas leak

How do I know if my Gas Fireplace is Leaking Gas?

You cannot see gas, so you have to be extra careful. The first thing to do if you feel there is a gas leak is to get out of that area as soon as possible.

A slight odor is completely normal, but if you suspect a strong odor, there may be a gas leak from your fireplace.

 Here are some things that will tell you if there’s a gas leak.

  • Hissing Sound

The easiest way to know if your gas fireplace leaks is by listening for a hissing sound.

Make sure it’s quiet by switching off all the electrical appliances. And if you notice a hissing sound coming from a gas fireplace, it is because the leak is big. If this happens, shut down the main valve connecting the place with a gas system and immediately call for help from the gas company.

  • The Bubble Test 

This method will work to find out if there is a gas leak or not.

First, turn off all the electrical appliances and close all the open windows and doors. When the gas is flowing, add a few drops of dishwashing soap to a bucket of clean water. Dip a cloth or sponge in the soapy water, then wipe the suspected area. If you notice bubbles forming, you have a gas leak.

Note: Make sure you wear a mask while doing this test.

  • Installing Natural Gas Detectors 

Installing natural gas detectors is the most efficient way to detect a gas leak. If the detector beeps, this indicates a gas leak somewhere on your fireplace. 

Gas Fireplace Smells like Gas when Turned On

Relax; this is completely okay. The smell you notice isn’t natural. Gas is odorless, colorless, and undetectable, so a chemical called mercaptan is added to it, which causes it to stink.

The chemical is harmless, but it smells like sulfur or rotten eggs when burned.

You will smell gas when you use it for the first time, and it’s perfectly normal for a gas fireplace to vent a small amount of gas when it’s first turned on. Not only does it happen the first time but it can happen throughout the year.

Gas Fireplace Smells like Gas when Turned Off

This could be a sign that there is a gas leak. A faint smell, as said before, is normal, but if the user smells it consistently while using the fireplace or even after that, it could be a sign of a gas leak.

Check for any hissing sounds or the smell of rotten eggs. If you have a natural gas detector installed, check to ensure its batteries aren’t drained. 

Sometimes turning on gas fireplaces after long time can also make them smell like burning plastic.

How to Stop Gas Smells from Gas Fireplaces?

The best way to avoid odors from a gas fireplace is to improve the air quality in your home.

It’s important to keep the gas fireplace maintained for better quality. It is necessary to clean the accumulated dirt, and if you have pets, their hair, and vacuum the fireplace regularly. Also, consider investing in a room air purifier. Do not use any harsh cleaning chemicals.

Gas Fireplace Smells like Chemical

This is due to the mercaptan additive we discussed earlier. Because gas is odorless, colorless, and undetectable, this is added to make it stink so that a user can detect if there is a leak in the system.

Paint, dyes, and dirt accumulate in the fireplace when used for the first time or for a long time.

These are the two significant reasons gas fireplaces smell like chemicals.

How to make a Gas Fireplace Smell Better? 

To make your gas fireplace smell better. Several things must be done, starting with the most basic one.

Clean and maintain the fireplace.

Cleaning your fireplace will help you avoid odors altogether. 

Clean up pet hair, dirt, and ash leftovers. These are the major reasons that it smells foul. So, you should clean the fireplace and maintain it regularly.

Use fireplace deodorant

Taking action and cleaning the fireplace is the primary solution, but the smell will still be around, so you can now use a deodorant meant for the fireplace. This allows you to have a decent smell around the fireplace. Make sure the deodorant isn’t too harsh.

Having an Air Purifier

Air purifiers work to filter the air and remove odors from the room. You can install one near your fireplace. This will be very effective and make the room smell better with a gas fireplace.

Note: Charcoal is capable of soaking up the odor around the fireplace. Set a bucket with charcoal blocks and damp pieces of old newspaper near the fireplace and let the charcoal go to work.


Modern gas fireplaces may emit a distinct odor for various reasons. But the fact is that they emit a very slight odor, which is normal and not considered harmful. 

The gas contains an additive that gives it an odor, designed to alert you if there is a leak in your area, as it can be hazardous; it even smells like rotten eggs. It is also important to take proper precautions if you think there is a potential gas leak.


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