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The Home Depot

5 Signs You Need a Chimney Inspection

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Fireplace & Chimney > 5 Signs You Need a Chimney Inspection
5 Signs You Need a Chimney Inspection

Having your chimney inspected isn’t just something you should do – it’s something you have to do for the safety of your home and your family. Regular chimney inspections ensure that carbon monoxide produced by your home’s heating system can properly exit your home.


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Fire Protection Association and the American Lung Association all encourage regular maintenance of home heating systems and their chimneys to keep the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning at bay.


But when should chimney inspections be performed? This guide from Redbeacon will help you know when it’s necessary to have your chimney inspected.

  1. Having your chimney inspected isn’t just something you should do – it’s something you have to do for the safety of your home and your family.

    1.You have just purchased a home

    Get your homeownership off to a safe start by having your chimney inspected before you move in – maybe even before you put in an offer. That will give you a good indication of whether the chimney is in working order. If it’s not, you will also know how much money it will take to get it fixed.

  2. 2.It’s that time of year

    The National Fire Protection Association recommends be inspected annually. So, find a good professional you trust using Red Beacon or by asking friends and neighbors. Schedule an appointment, and then set it up for the same time every year. According to the National Fire Protection Association, most chimneys don’t need an in-depth inspection. Under what they call Level 1 inspection, your chimney professional should examine the readily accessible portions of the chimney exterior, interior and accessible portions of the appliance and the chimney connection. Your technician will be looking for basic soundness of the chimney structure and flue as well as the basic appliance installation and connections. The technician can also verify the chimney is free of obstruction and combustible deposits.

  3. 3.You notice build up

    Chimney Safety Institute of America advises that open masonry fireplaces should be cleaned when there is a quarter of an inch of sooty buildup – sooner if there is a glaze present on the chimney walls. The group says that factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when there is enough fuel buildup to cause a chimney fire capable of damaging the chimney or spreading to the home.

  4. 4.Your heating system isn’t working correctly

    If you notice that your home isn’t heating correctly, excessive smoke or funny smells, you should definitely have your chimney inspected. Your carbon monoxide inspector is also a sign to not only exit the premises immediately, but to have your chimney inspected.

  5. 5.You use a gas fireplace

    When people think of chimney cleaning, they probably think of wood-burning fireplaces. But all homes probably have a heating system that needs to proper ventilation. Gas is a clean burning fuel, but the chimney can still be compromised due to things like leaves, birds’ nests or other debris blocking the flue. According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, newer equipment doesn’t mean fewer problems. “Modern furnaces can also cause many problems with the average flues intended to vent the older generation of furnaces,” the group says.


    For the safety and health of your family, regular chimney inspections are a must. Follow this guide and you’ll be breathing clear for a very long time.

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