Louvers are slots that see to the ventilation of your fireplace. They are common features on gas and wood fireplaces, made from a variety of base materials like brass and gold plates. These trims can be kept clean by passing a damp cloth over them and not by using abrasive chemicals as this will damage the finish.
However, as with everything else, they are susceptible to wear and tear. If your regular inspection comes up with rust spots, streaks or holes, you will have to replace these louvers. Fortunately for you, you can buy do-it-yourself kits from your nearest hardware store to improve your chances of a successful endeavor.
Step 1 - Before You Begin
It is important to maintain safety when dealing with parts of your fireplace. Ensure that the gas valve is off before you begin. Only replace the louver panels when the fireplace is cool.
Step 2 - Removing the Louvers
Most louver panels are located on the top and bottom quarters of the fireplace, though this depends on your brand. Depending on how they fasten into position in the first place, removing them should be quite easy. Use the screwdriver if the louver was screwed on. Otherwise, some fireplaces will allow you to slide these panels out of their slots easily and will only need a tug or two.
For the top louver, pull it forward and away from the fireplace for this removal. Some bottom louver panels need a button to be pushed for their opening. Once you have done this, remove the panel by pushing it in while simultaneously shifting it from left to right.
Step 3 – Replace the Louvers
This should be just as easy as step number 2 and is simply a matter of reversal. On the existing hood of the replacement assembly of the top louver, lower the new panel into the slots on the lower edge of the cabinet top flange. Fasten it into place using hinge screws and fasteners if necessary or depending on your fireplace make. Use the screwdriver to fasten the hinge screws and spacers where appropriate. Repeat the process with the bottom louver.
Louvers come in different models but that does not mean that you can trade in your worn one for one that is specific to another fireplace type. Contact your manufacturer for model specification and instructions on how to go about it.
You do not always need a chimney vent to cater for the ventilation of your fireplace. Louvers are therefore a common feature with gas fireplaces. Install a simple vent pipe in the room where you want to keep your gas/wood fireplace at a small cost. Remember to open the louvers wide when in use to increase air circulation and heat output into the respective room