Fresh air intake, new homes and we all need to breath fresh air.

Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Fresh air intake, new homes, and we all need to breath fresh air. Leavenworth Home Inspections


Most people just do not think about it. You buy a new home and think it should not have many problems, you hope!


Now the issue is that you as a home buyer most likely do not know what is required for new construction. Codes and the requirements that come with them are constantly changing, typically every three years. I try to keep abreast of these changes because I do quite few new home inspections and perform quality control/phase inspections for several clients.

On a recent new construction inspection I found the home did not have a fresh air duct or other approved means to bring in fresh air into the home. Since 1991 Washington State has required that whole house ventilation since newer homes are built much tighter that they older counterparts to meet the energy code requirements and to create a healthy indoor air environment.

Here in the Wenatchee and Chelan County area we typically use the Furnace/AC air handler to introduce the fresh air into the home using the home’s ductwork to distribute the fresh air to all the rooms.


Typical installation

Now there are other ways to meet this requirement but using the air handler is the most common method and usually one of the easier ways to provide fresh air throughout the home.

So I recommended that a fresh air is provided to the home as required. I suggested using the air handler with a fresh air duct and damper may the easiest solution to achieve this requirement.


On the re-inspection, I found that did install a fresh air duct as I recommended. But…. the duct never made to the exterior and is now pulling air from the attic! Obviously, this does not meet the requirement and will need to be corrected. There were a few other issues with this installation but the main concern was getting that fresh air duct to the exterior.


New fresh air duct                                                    The Attic termination

I often tell potential home buyers that having a new home inspection is a very wise thing to do. We all make mistakes but it is best to find some of these items at this time versus when selling the home when it will be out your pocket versus the builders.



“Codes are minimum standards and most houses are built by the lowest bidder”


Don Hester




NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Oroville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  





Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service


Instructor- Fundamentals of Home Inspection-  Bellingham Technical College                                                   509-670-9572




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If you find any errors or have additional information that would expand on any code, building standards or manufacturer requirements please let me know.



Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Great minds, Don.  We both posted on new construction inspections today.  I don't think fresh air was required here until the recent 2000s, but could be wrong.  I never saw it until a few years ago.  And I often see the air pulled from the attic.

And NASA stuff was built by the lowest bidder too!

May 12, 2016 12:24 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Jay Markanich 
This one was a doozy. So much stuff.  

On NASA, maybe in some cases but their specifications have a much higher standard :)

May 12, 2016 12:32 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That NASA comment was an astronaut joke.  But I get it!

May 12, 2016 03:54 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

After the flood we had in 2011 all homes affected also had to have fresh air brought into the home. I thought it was a good thing that they made all these older homes comply with new standards but it was an extra burden on many of us who already were financial strapped from having a river run through our homes for a month Donald Hester 

Jul 04, 2016 05:08 AM
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Bob "RealMan" Timm Yeah, That is a tough one. This is always an issue with mandatory upgrades.  There often is no simple answer either.

Jul 04, 2016 05:22 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm

You can imagine the mess we/the City faced with aproximately 8,000 homes all being rebuilt at the same time. It was a mess (and robbery) at the home improvement store as well as many trades people were also using it as a license to steal Donald Hester .

Jul 04, 2016 05:33 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks you very much for sharing your experience.

Stay cool and have a most productive week.

Jul 06, 2016 08:08 PM