AI – Inspection

If you already know what kind of system they have, skip this next question

Ok, I’m going to need to gather a little specific information about your heating system so we can get you on the schedule. What kind of heating system will we be inspecting?

At this point we want to find out exactly what kind of system they have. They might have already said “fireplace” or “stove”, but let’s see if we can find out exactly what kind. If they don’t know or can’t be descriptive do your best to guess what they are talking about.

Fireplaces – Wood Burning

Masonry Fireplace. This may also have a metal firebox. This type of system often has clearance issues and flue deficiencies. Wood under the hearth is common and very dangerous.
Factory Built (prefab) Fireplace. It’s a unit that can be installed in wood framing. Typically the chimney (chase) will be on the outside of the house in siding or wood. This type of fireplace has a metal chimney, it doesn’t suffer from the same issues as a masonry fireplace/chimney.
Fireplace insert. A stove installed into a masonry fireplace. If a wood stove is installed in a Factory Built fireplace, chances are it’s a hazard.

Fireplaces – Gas

This type of gas fireplace can be installed in a wood framed housing and doesn’t require a chimney. There are different styles of direct vent venting. Fresh air comes in through the same pipe as the exhaust leaves.

Fake logs with a gas burner attached. They can be installed in masonry fireplaces. The fireplace needs to be up to code. There are vented and unvented versions.
Unit that slides into a masonry fireplace opening.


A self feeding (wood or corn) pellet burning

A self feeding coal stove.


Oil appliances generally are the only appliance connected to the flue.

Gas appliances many times are also have a water heater connected to the same flue as the boiler.