Q: Jason, Turned on gas fireplace and am noticing a bad burning almost smokey smell about 1-2 minutes after it is lit. We noticed it back in February when we lit it as well. Haven't had it cleaned in a while, but not sure if it maybe coming from something else? - JR
A: Dear JR, It could be a number of things, dirty burner, bad fuel to air mix, might even be a sticker burning off some of the hardware. I would have it checked out right away especially if it has a burning paper or petroleum kind of smell to it. If it has more of a burnt wood aroma, this fireplace must have been used as a wood burning fireplace before it was used as a gas log fireplace. Often over the summer the humidity will mix with the creosote and soot deposits left in the flue of a wood burning fireplace and make a very smelly burnt aroma. When you add flue heat to that mixture by turning on the gas log under it...well, that just stirs the smell up more. Sometimes a chimney cleaning will help the situation but sometimes it just stirs up more smells by brushing and agitating the creosote lining the chimney.
I would have a CSIA certified Chimney Sweep come and take a look at it and do a through cleaning and checkup on it. The smell may be worst at first after the cleaning, but it will tone back down over time. A sweep can get most of the deposits cleaned off and be sure to have him take a good look at your gas log set to make sure it is running well and not kicking combustion fumes into the home. - Jason