Cool weather is on its way and new homeowners will soon put systems through their paces. If there’s a defect that slipped by you, count on hearing about it. Your training should prepare you to describe the type of heating system in the home and uncover material defects that interfere with the operation of a residential HVAC system. With that information, buyers will have a better idea of the type of heating system in the home and whether or not it has defects that may require repair or replacement.
Standards of Practice for a Home Heating System Inspection
Standards of Practice vary, but they share more similarities than differences. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), home inspectors should:
- Open heating system access panels
- Inspect the installed heating
- Inspect vent systems
- Inspect flues and chimneys
- Inspect distribution systems
- Describe the heat system energy source
- Describe the heating system
That’s the framework for reporting on the heat system. Within each section, you can elaborate on the condition of the system and any defects that you find. For example, when inspecting the vent systems, you should note any defects such as a broken connector or a degraded seam seal.
Types of Home Heating Systems
The most popular home heating system by far is forced air. Systems vary but the result is the same: warm air is carried through a network of ducts and sent out into the home, powered by a fan. Systems may rely on gas, oil, electric or a hydronic coil to produce heat. Paired with a fan, they become forced air heating.
Radiant heating doesn’t move warm air. Instead, heat radiates out from the unit, whether it’s a series of tubes or wires under the floor, radiators along the walls or baseboard radiators. Radiant heating can be powered by a boiler, a geothermal unit or electricity.
Performing the Heat System Inspection
The steps of a home heating system depend on the type of system installed. To begin, you’ll describe the system, its location and the energy source. Take a look at forced air furnaces.
Location is critical, as some installations are prohibited. A gas furnace should not be installed in a bedroom or bathroom. Clearances are important, as well. Oil furnaces need at least 5 feet between them and an unenclosed tank. If there’s an exception that allows furnace installation in a bedroom closet, does the closet door have louvers? Is the air return too close to the combustion unit? If the furnace is installed in a garage, are the burners at least 18 inches above the floor?
As you work your way through the home heating inspection, each high-level category has several potential problems. That’s why ICA School home inspection training is so comprehensive. Without proper training, you might spot a furnace that seems unsafe for a number of reasons. With training, you’ll have guidelines that tell you what’s safe and what is a defect.
Homes are made up of numerous systems, some of which you might never have considered before. With ICA School, you’ll learn about interiors and exteriors, roofs, insulation, plumbing, electricity and more. And for each system, you’ll learn the proper way to identify it and perform a thorough inspection that leaves little room for a defect to go unnoticed.
If you’re ready for a new career, becoming a certified home inspector is a great opportunity. You can study on your own time and at your own pace. Take more time for complicated topics without worrying about the pace of the class leaving you behind. Breeze through topics that come more easily for you and earn your certification sooner.
The important thing is to begin. Enroll now and you could have a new career in a matter of weeks.