Check for Carbon Monoxide
A chimney acts as a ventilation system not only for heat and smoke but also for harmful gases, such as carbon monoxide, when your furnace is used. If your chimney and connector pipe act as the furnace exhaust system and are not maintained properly, it can cause carbon monoxide poisoning in your home. Carbon monoxide will cause symptoms similar to the common cold or flu. In severe cases, organ failure, brain damage and death can occur.
To prevent the collection of carbon monoxide in your home, have your oil or gas heating system inspected annually before use. In addition to having the heating system inspected, the venting system or flue must also be examined to ensure it is the correct size for your heating system, is structurally sound and is clean. If you have a newer gas heating system, it is important to verify that you chimney can support the natural gas if it once was connected to an oil system. If a chimney that once supported an oil system is switched, damage can occur and dangerous gases can be produced.