Memorial Day is right around the corner and it kicks off the grilling season. If it's been months since you fired up your grill, a checkup may be in order.
Deidre Pettinga is is an Indianapolis homeowner.
"We love the outdoors, we have a big backyard patio and pool and backyard seating area so we love spending time outdoors," said Pettinga.
Pettinga and her family grill out year round so it's important to her that the grill is professionally cleaned and inspected each year.
"That grill is going on 20 years old and we are keeping it like new," said Pettinga.
With proper maintenance and care, a grill can be used for several years. Aaron Nelson says a common problem he sees is clogged or greasy burners.
"What can happen to burners is they can corrode over time, they are being heated up so much and cooled down that the burner can rust and corrode, most burners can last five to eight years, but eventually they need replacement like a lot of parts on the grill," said Nelson, a grill repairman.
Experts say the ceramic coals also need to be replaced if they become brittle or break in your hand. If your grill is hard to light, check the tubes that carry the natural gas to the burners.
"You can have debris that collects here, these are the venturi tubes. They actually have screens on here and people wonder why there are screens on a venturi tube, and it's to keep spiders out. This is a huge thing that can affect the performance of the grill is spiders can get inside these venturi tubes and create cobwebs and really affect the flow of the gas, in turn the flame," said Nelson.
Experts say a greasy grill can pose a fire risk. Once you've pulled the food from the grill, allow any excess food to burn off and clean the grill while it's still warm. Each time before you cook, Nelson says brush some olive oil on the grids
"This is brush that can get in between the cooking grids and this is a brush that can get on top of the cooking grids," said Nelson.
Covering your grill can extend its life by protecting it from the elements when you're not using it. If you're in the market for a new grill, remember the more complex the grill, the higher the cost to repair.
"Before you head out to buy a grill be sure to assess what you actually need. How big is your family? how many are you cooking for? you only want to get the accessories that you will actually use because you'll end up buying some really fancy grill and you want use those things and it might lead to larger repair bills down the road," said Angie's List Founder, Angie Hicks.
Experts say gas grills should be inspected at least once a year; twice a year if they are used often. Gas grills typically start at about $75 and go up in cost depending on the make and model. Angie's List says test your grill before the day of the big barbecue to make sure everything is in good working order.