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cold house


TARAN
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hi there everyone, i inspected a house, but what i noticed was the whole house was cold except the kitchen, the whole house has wood flooring through out it except the kitchen which had tiles. Is this normal.. thank you for your help. The house is 20 years old and has a gas furnace which is working fine.

Thanks alot guys for your time and input, i just recently got certified as a home inspector. i am doing several mock inspections so i can have the pratical experiance. I tried asking inspectors close to my area if they could be my mentors, but as you guys are aware, who would want to mentor the competion. So once again i would like to thank all of you for responding to my question and any furture questions that my arise.

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Sometimes there isn't any heat in kitchens; sometimes there is, but, if it's hot air heat, whoever has put down the new floor covering has covered up the registers. Also, unless tile floors have radiant heat imbedded in them, they do tend to be a little colder.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I know this may not help but..

A long time ago, a friend of mine told me he bought a 2 flat w/ one furnace and all the ducts to the 2nd flat were dummies. Registers with no ducts. Ouch. How could an HI miss this?

Well, this scared me and now when I inspect the HVAC I go to every room heat supply (register or radiator) to see if there is something going on or not.

I often find no heat to registers or radiators in some rooms. Or cold air returns in bad places like bathrooms and kitchens.

And then there is the very poorly designed Hvac systems that you don't discover until you spend a winter with it.

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Wouldn't that be better than the HI troubleshooting the HVAC system, then offering opinions/explanations as to why the house is like it is?

Maybe, but it might not be the HVAC, or maybe it's the HVAC and its interaction with other components of the house.
Wouldn't the customer likely get better info, and wouldn't the HI be better protected liability-wise if he just handed the liability off to the HVAC guy?
It depends on the experience and knowledge of the HI vs. that of the HVAC guy. In my 22 inspecting years, I haven't seen but a few systems that were installed the way the manufacturer and/or mechanical code describes. There's likely even fewer HVAC mechanics that would actually look for solutions to the real issue. This scenario would likely be just another opportunity for a contractor to sell all new equipment and/or a ducting system.

I would hope a decent HI would go well beyond "The house is 20 years old and has a gas furnace which is working fine" and guide the client in the right direction (I think that's what TARAN is doing by posting the question here).

If an HI regularly makes the effort to understand all the systems in the home, how they interact and provide the client with ALL the information he could, I think the liability thing doesn't have to be a constant worry.

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As Kurt said, there is not enough information to go on.

Is the home occupied or did you raise the t/stat, from a set back temperature, upon arriving at the home?

Did you check air flow from each discharge air register?

Were there butterfly dampers in the branch duct work?

Air filter clean?

You get the picture.

On a side note, when I'm looking at an older furnace (with the furnace off) I reach my hand in and check the dirt build up on the blower wheel. The wheel is what's known as a squirrel cage and the fan blades are curved. With excessive dirt build up the curve of the blade becomes more flat than curved. This will have an impact on proper airflow for the obvious reason.

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Originally posted by Terence McCann

On a side note, when I'm looking at an older furnace (with the furnace off) I reach my hand in and check the dirt build up on the blower wheel. The wheel is what's known as a squirrel cage and the fan blades are curved. With excessive dirt build up the curve of the blade becomes more flat than curved. This will have an impact on proper airflow for the obvious reason.

And if the blower's packed with gunk, the evaporator coil usually is, as well. This kind of simple logic is, for some reason, lost on many HVAC techs in my area.

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Originally posted by SonOfSwamp

Wouldn't the customer likely get better info, and wouldn't the HI be better protected liability-wise if he just handed the liability off to the HVAC guy?

Just wonderin'

WJ

Possibly. But what if the guy that comes out to analyze the system is the one that installed, or his cousin? We have jobs because of how goofy and screwed up the construction industry is.

It's just not that hard to figure out.

I do what Mike does. I run the system, go to every room, and location of registers, returns, and get a general idea of air flow simply by holding my hand on the register for a couple seconds.

After several houses, one gets the idea of how it works. Knowledge like this is what's keeping me working right now. Folks wanna know stuff. I tell 'em, or figure out who can.

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Yeah, there's an end point, and one has to know where it is. If it gets too goofy, I punt.

I just don't find very many situations that I can't figure out reasonably well, especially with forced air systems. You wanna push it out in sufficient amounts in the right places, take it back in at the other right places, and have distribution systems that facilitate, not restrict, air flow. If one understands that hot air rises, cold air falls, and the area of greatest heat loss (in most rooms) is the exterior wall @ the window, it's not particularly complicated.

It's linear. Of course, there's the equipment, but that's almost the easy part.

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Originally posted by emalernee

Be careful when you put you hand over those registers, I hear tell that the air is coming out at around the speed of light or near it!

Ezra Malernee

Canton, Ohio

It sounds like you've been listening to the wisdom of a home inspection training guru down there in the Arizona desert country.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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thanks alot guys for your time and input, i just recently got certified as a home inspector. i am doing several mock inspections so i have the pratical experiance. I tried asking inspectors close to my area if they could be my mentors, but as you guys are aware, who would want to mentor the competion. So once again i would like to thank all of you for responding to my question and any furture questions that my arise.

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"hi there everyone, i inspected a house, but what i noticed was the whole house was cold except the kitchen, the whole house has wood flooring through out it except the kitchen which had tiles. Is this normal.. thank you for your help. The house is 20 years old and has a gas furnace which is working fine."

Was the kitchen on the sunny side of the house with lots of glass.? If the floor was warm it could have been solar heat gain.id="blue">

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There really isn't a lot of information to go on. Taran, if it were me, my brain would be trying to piece together the puzzle in the order of easiest to hardest things to check for. Be analytical. How old is the house? Is the kitchen in the middle of the house? How many exterior walls does it have? How big are they? What about windows? Is the kitchen renovated? Is the tile floor heated? Any upgrades to the windows and doors? How is the insulation?

All I am saying is before running all over trying to check for register temperatures and possible leaks of the HVAC system, you should have some hypothesis of what the problem might be.

What do you think it is?

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Originally posted by TARAN

thanks alot guys for your time and input, i just recently got certified as a home inspector. i am doing several mock inspections so i have the pratical experiance. I tried asking inspectors close to my area if they could be my mentors, but as you guys are aware, who would want to mentor the competion. So once again i would like to thank all of you for responding to my question and any furture questions that my arise.

Was your original question based on a mock inspection or a real inspection?

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Originally posted by TARAN

... I understand the importance of this profession and that is why, untill i am 100% comfortable with every thing i will not do a real inspection.

I'm sure you don't mean that literally, but you might want to shoot for a slightly lower number. The day you are 100% comfortable with everything is probably the same day you start missing stuff. It's that little, nagging bit of doubt that keeps you on your toes and makes you check twice.

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