Maintaining the home’s HVAC system is vital to keep it running efficiently and holding down energy costs. But is cleaning out the ductwork part of that strategy? It may surprise some homeowners and a few home inspectors to learn that the answer is a firm “maybe, maybe not.” Having the ductwork professionally cleaned may be an appropriate course of action if the system has been contaminated by moisture or mold, but, absent these issues, it may create more issues than it solves. A general amount of airborne dust in a home is normal; homeowners shouldn’t try to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. But before making any recommendations to your clients, read more about it in our six-part article series: The Home Inspector’s Guide to Air Duct Cleaning.
Marketing your inspection business is as important as performing accurate inspections and delivering high-quality reports. But in addition to netting prospective clients, you also need to appeal to real estate agents, and this sometimes means going above and beyond what other inspectors do. With the holidays rolling around, we’ve taken some of the guesswork out of gift-giving that’s both RESPA-compliant and useful for agents, as well as your business. Read more in Four RESPA-Compliant Holiday Gifts for Agents That Promote Your Inspection Company.
Many home inspectors are finding it increasingly valuable to use a drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), to assist them in their inspections. Not only is it safer in many respects, but it can make the inspection go faster. It can also appeal to inspectors and clients alike who appreciate a more state-of-the-art approach to their inspection. Lest you hesitate taking the leap because of the rapidly evolving regulations governing drone use, InterNACHI® General Counsel Mark Cohen has put together the ultimate legal guide for home inspectors who are interested in integrating drones in their home inspection arsenal: Drone Law Primer for Home Inspectors.
Although home inspectors are considered generalists and are discouraged from quoting code in their inspection reports, it’s always a good idea to be familiar with the latest requirements, especially regarding residential electrical systems. Read this primer for some updates in the 2015 International Residential Code (IRC): Inspecting GFCI and AFCI Protection.
While homeowners facing natural disasters are rightly focused on the steps to take to prepare for them, there’s the inevitable aftermath. Read this article to find out what homeowners should do – and how home inspectors can guide them – along with the resources that may be available to help them rebuild and recover: For Homeowners and Inspectors: What to Do After Disaster Strikes.
The U.S. and Gulf Coast and Atlantic regions are seeing unprecedented storm activity this year. Homeowners must do what they can to prepare for damage and flooding, but they should also take certain precautions afterward. Read more in our latest article: For Homeowners and Inspectors: Re-Entering a Flooded Home.
Energy efficiency is now a major consideration for new home construction, but even older homes without state-of-the-art appliances can benefit from being retrofitted, either entirely or via certain components. Inspectors should be aware of these options, as well as the many configurations and multiple uses of heating appliances, by reading Inspecting Gas-Fired Boilers.
The majority of new home construction is deadline-driven, which means that, sometimes, minor but essential work may be performed haphazardly or not at all. This is especially true of sealing around exhaust fans and ductwork. If the opening cut for the installation of the fan box or duct leaves large gaps around the unit, air can escape into unconditioned spaces and create airflow and moisture problems that don’t reveal themselves until they become critical. Proper installation at the outset can help prevent such issues. Inspectors can read more about them in Inspecting for Air Sealing at Kitchen and Bathroom Exhaust Fans.
Inspectors who inspect homes that are being built or retrofitted with newer HVAC systems should know something about ductwork and air returns. Making sure that airflow and return air are being moved through the system properly is vital for energy efficiency and comfort. Read more in Inspecting Ducted Returns.
Cooling is essential for homes in regions that experience hot weather. And it’s vital to get the right installation and balance for homes in climates that are particularly humid. Find out more by reading Inspecting Whole-House Dehumidification Systems.