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Minumum heating requirement - wood stove


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What are the minimum heating standards for a home?

I am thinking specifically a home that has a wood stove as the sole source of heat. HUD has established Minimum Property Requirements for purposes of appraisals, "Homes with a wood burning stove as a primary heat source must also have a permanently installed conventional heating system that maintains a temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit in areas with plumbing."

In the IRC, R303.8 Required Heating:

"When the winter design temperatures in Table R301.2(1) is below 60 degree F, every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68 degrees F . . . ."

But the IRC does not seem to state that the source of heat has to include something other than a wood stove. What if you have to leave the house for a day or two, and can't be there to shove more wood on the fire? Plumbing eventually freezes.

Aside from common sense, is there anywhere else in building code that requires a "conventional" source of heat besides a wood stove?


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It's no difference with electric or gas or oil heat. What if you have to leave the house for a day or two and you forget to set the thermostat or you turn it off?

It doesn't matter what the heat source is if you don't use it correctly.

I inspected two homes last year for folks who had to have their homes completely rebuilt after they walked off and left them with the water heater and furnace turned off to go on vacation and the temperature around here dropped.



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While I agree that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, you're right that any idiot can mis-use or abuse any house or item in a house. However, we have established some rules that the builder should at least provide some basic working elements.

Just because the homeowner may remove the smoke alarm because he got tired of hearing it beep when the batter runs low, the builder is still required to install smoke alarms in the proper locations.

So, again, my question. Is a builder required to provide a basic functioning heating system, even though the home owner may forget to turn it on. Is a wood stove sufficient as the sole source of heat?

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