Ask the Inspector: Heating Systems

Home Inspector with National Property Inspections

Combustion appliances or mechanical systems, including fireplaces, gas stoves and gas heating systems, produce by-products that need to be removed using a system of vents or flues known as an exhaust system.

To function properly, exhaust systems must be free of holes, cracks or rust. They should be installed so that combustion products are carried out of the house before cooling and condensation occurs. (Warm gas is more easily moved from one place to another.)

Proper ventilation also requires enough fresh air entering the system to prevent backdrafting. Backdrafting occurs when the combustion gases flow back indoors instead of moving outdoors through the vent or flue. High air pressure outside the house, low air pressure inside the house or improper appliance operation can sometimes impact the effectiveness of vent systems.

Inspecting all visibly accessible parts of exhaust venting systems and testing for backdrafting is part of a general property inspection. A qualified inspector will evaluate the condition of the heating system, the location of master switches, functionality, the type of energy source used and the method of conducting heat throughout the home or business.

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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing. Our heating contractor is doing our fall inspection this morning. It is a good idea to have service contract that will provide regular inspections plus prompt service when you do have a problem. Keep up the good work.

Nov 16, 2009 01:08 AM #1
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