Beware of Cheap AC Tune-Ups

-  He was professionally dressed, wore booties when inside the house, and was very courteous. Scheduling the appointment was easy, and the tech arrived on time.  I’m pretty sure he was also a rookie; when my wife let him in to the house he asked her “What brings you in today?”. ..More

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When HRVs suck on both sides, it’s a safety hazard

-  This is a clear tipoff that the HRV is sucking air into the home through the exhaust. My advice to homeowners, home inspectors, and HVAC contractors is to check HRV exhaust terminals for dirt and debris, as shown in the photo at the top of this blog post.  The next step should be to turn the HRV off, turn the furnace blower fan on, and then see if the HRV exhaust terminal is pulling air into the home by repeating the test that I showed in the video above.  If so, have an HVAC contractor fix it. ..More

  • House Inspection Commerce, CA
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Life expectancy of cedar roofs in Minnesota

- Again, for the sake of keeping this discussion simple, shakes have split faces (appear rough and irregular) and shingles have sawn faces (appear smooth). Taper sawn shakes confuse everyone because they can have exposures from 5” to 7” to 10”. There are two very basic identifying characteristics that tell us if we are looking at a cedar shingle versus a cedar shake. The second identifier is the exposure, or course spacing of the material. Shake roofs typically have a 10” exposure and shingle roofs have a 5” exposure. ..More

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Should home inspectors recommend upgrading to new AFCIs? No.

- The 1999 National Electric Code required AFCI protection for branch circuits containing bedroom receptacle outlets, with the requirement taking effect on January 1st of 2002.  In my words, the NEC definition of an outlet is a place where power is provided to do work. .  Since then, AFCI requirements have been expanded many times, to the point where AFCI protection is now needed for “all 120-volt, single-phase, 15- and 20-ampere branch circuits supplying outlets or devices installed in dwelling unit kitchens, family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, parlors, libraries, dens, bedrooms, sunrooms, recreation rooms, closets, hallways, laundry areas, and similar rooms. ”  The NEC defines an “outlet” as “A point on the wiring system at which current is taken to supply utilization equipment” ..More

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Pre-Listing Inspections: How One Inspection Could Have Saved Over $13,000

- I’ve given many anecdotes of how home inspections done for sellers can help the whole transaction go smoothly, but I recently had a real estate agent share a story with me that tops ’em all. . This agent was an investor in this deal, and he tells the story in his own words: ..More

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