Once installed, your gas fireplace will pretty much take care of itself. In comparison with the fires that need constant maintenance, the gas solution is straightforward, easy and perfect for the average home.

But now and then - well, every year - it really needs that extra touch of TLC from a qualified and registered heating engineer, just to make sure there are no problems brewing that could cause your appliance to become less efficient - or less safe.

It’s important you don’t overlook the annual inspection just because you haven’t heard a peep out of your gas fireplace all year. Don’t wait until the problem is throwing up symptoms before you get it checked. In fact, the best time is often the spring, when life is quiet, the summer sun hasn’t yet caused you to forget you own a gas fire, but you won’t freeze to bits if it needs to be turned off for a while.

Your gas fireplace inspection will involve a few things. A lot of it is cleaning. For example, the chimes and the flue will need anything removed that might clog up the airway. Old ceramic logs will need replacing over time. Any glass inserts will need cleaning up and checking to ensure consistent heat output, and anything that’s chipped or cracked or broken will need replacing for safety’s sake.

The engineer is likely to start by inspecting the outside of your gas fireplace. They’ll try out the manual settings and check that switches and dials are working. Then they’ll probably remove the front of the appliance to inspect the inside. They’ll be checking it heats up properly and that no vent is blocked. They’ll also double check your carbon monoxide detectors.

While you have your heating engineer there, it’s really worth asking all the questions you’ve been wondering about your gas fireplace. After all these are trained and experienced professionals who are used to working with gas, and who have masses of information that’ll be tailored to your own model of fire and home situation. Much better than a google search or phoning a generic helpline. Local engineers with good reviews and personal recommendations are a godsend for gas fireplace inspections. That peace of mind is worth having.

Book your gas fire inspection well ahead of time, and make it a regular date on the calendar. That way you’ll avoid finding yourself without heat in a sudden blizzard, where everyone is urgently calling in the heating engineer to fix their broken boiler. That regular maintenance is really worth staying on top of. If you get that annual service, the chances of a random breakdown are minimised, and you can stay in warm and cosy all year round.

If you haven’t had your gas fire serviced lately, make that appointment.