Fall may be over, but chimney sweeps are still busy cleaning, inspecting, and repairing chimney systems across the country. At White Glove Chimney and Air Duct, we service fireplaces year-round, and it’s not just wood fireplaces that need attention. Gas fireplaces have to be inspected annually as well.
Why Inspect Your Gas Fireplace?
Gas appliances are highly efficient and come with features that make the fireplace experience a dream! They are so easy to use and maintain that you may make the mistake of assuming they don’t need an annual inspection. Believe it or not, your gas fireplace needs an annual inspection because it is so efficient! It doesn’t produce ash, soot, or creosote like a wood fire, but gas appliances do produce water vapor. In fact, your gas appliance may produce up to 1.5 gallons of water through the chimney every single hour that it burns. This moisture doesn’t always make it out the chimney system and can coat the inside of the flue, damaging the liner, the masonry, and it can even cause moisture damage to your home.
What Kind of Inspection?
The annual chimney inspection is generally a level 1 inspection, but over the life of your home, you may need to schedule a level 2 or 3 inspection.
- Level 1 Inspection – Required annually when nothing has changed with the chimney system. The system will be used in the same way as the previous year. Also there are no known problems with its function. This inspection includes all readily accessible portions of the system and attached appliances. During a level 1 inspection, your gas appliance will be taken apart, checked over, and replaced.
- Level 2 Inspection – Required before the sale or transfer of property, after a change is made to the system (new appliance, conversion, repair, etc.), or if the home has endured a tornado, hurricane, earthquake, or flue fire. A level 2 inspection includes everything assessed in a level 1, plus accessible portions of the chimney structure. Enclosed flues are assessed using video scanning.
- Level 3 Inspection – Required when the chimney is considered hazardous to use. It includes all that in a level 1 and 2 inspection as well as designated portions of the chimney structure and building. Parts of the chimney or building may be removed to allow access to a hazard.
But, Which One Do I Need?
Depending on the circumstance, you may only need a level 1 inspection. If you haven’t had your system inspected in the last 12 months, you need to schedule a level 1 inspection now! You also need an inspection if youhaven’t had it inspected since installing the new gas appliance. In this case you will need a level 2. If you’re unsure when your system was last inspected, call White Glove and ask an expert. It’s important to have your gas appliance checked every 12 months so that you can rest assured that your appliance and piping is working properly for another 12 months.