Conducted every two years, the most recent national survey of consumers who regularly use hearth, or fireplace and stove, products has just been conducted by the Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association (HPBA).

The industry study, which collects data from thousands of respondents from throughout the country, provides valuable information to hearth product manufacturers and retailers so that they can best meet the needs of public.

The part of the Hearth Consumer Research Report that caught our eye at the Chimney Safety Institute of America is a dramatic increase in the number of people who say the presence of a hearth product played an important role in their decision to purchase or live in their home.

In 2012, 36 percent of homeowners said their fireplace or stove was a major factor in choosing to purchase and/or live in their current home. That’s up from 12 percent just 10 years ago, according to the HPBA report.

With the fireplace becoming a point of emphasis in home purchases, it’s important that buyers remember to make a Level 2 chimney inspection by a CSIA Certified Sweep® part of the overall home inspection process.

Level II chimney inspections include the inspection of accessible portions of the attics, crawl spaces and basements. It may also include a performance test such as a smoke test or a pressure test and possibly an interior chimney video inspection if recommended by the CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep. This additional inspection level serves to reduce a potentially dangerous situation and costly repair work that could come on the heels of moving into a newly-purchased home.

If the fireplace is an influential factor in your new home purchase, it’s important to have confidence that there are no hidden damages and it can be enjoyed for years to come. Learn more about Level II chimney inspections and explore our online fireplace glossary to better prepare yourself before purchasing your next home.