The attic is not exactly one of the places people frequent often. If they go up once or twice a year that is a lot. That’s why you need someone like a your home inspector to get up there occasionally and really look around.
In the picture, you can see some insulation and a metal flue:
Wherever there is a metal flue in the attic, it’s worth having an inspector look at it. In this case, you can see that there is a small brown area in the center of the picture. That brown spot indicates that the insulation is too close to (in this case, actually touching) the flue, and that’s bad.
Metal flues that serve gas-fired appliances, as this one does for the furnace, typically require at least one inch of clearance around them. Why? Because they get hot. Really hot! That wasn’t done here, and the lack of clearance could eventually result in a fire.
It’s a simple fix. Simply pull the insulation away and hope that it does not fall back against the flue, or place a fire collar around the flue to keep insulation away, similar to this one:
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