October is just about here, and that means cooler nights are coming. It's that time of the year again when we need to inspect our pellet stove pipes and fireplace chimneys for that silent disaster just waiting to happen.

I have to say, lining up a professional in the Magic Valley to come to my home and inspect our pellet stove pipes and wind guard has been next to impossible. If you have recently purchased a home, finding out the current condition of your heating source's internal and external exhaust is a must. Records of this type of information are not often included in many home inspection reports.

Creosote is the oil that burns off of treated wood and clings to the inside of a stove or chimney. Over time, this substance can ignite and result in catastrophic damage to your home. It is recommended that these external heat releasing vents be checked by a pro once a year.

We have a pellet stove rooftop pipe that we attempted to have inspected earlier in September, but the company that came out said they were unable to complete the job, and that they would reschedule us. Last I attempted to reach them, they told me they were now booked through October. I phoned a couple of local heating and air companies also, and were told that inspections of this nature were not part of their service.

I suppose I could get up on my roof and do it myself, but I'd rather have it looked at by a professional. I don't exactly have a trained eye for this type of potential problem, and wouldn't really know if I did a thorough enough job cleaning it out. I have no idea when the last time was that our stove was inspected, which makes starting a fire a little bit like gambling with the safety of your family.

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