This weeks blog is about the dreaded heat switch. Our blogs this year some will have a twist with guest bloggers from the industry and few topics that haven’t been talked about before. The biggest thing is making sure our information is correct and up to date. This weeks blog is about heat loss. So, lets begin.
When it comes to heat loss we really do not think about it until the outside temperatures are cold. Cold enough for us to put the dreaded heat switch on. A lot of us will try to put extra layers on before that happens. And some just accept the fact. (me I dread the heat)
Lately you may have noticed the heat comes on and goes off. And if it is doing it more than coming on for about 15 minutes per 50 minutes you could be experiencing heat loss. Now homes will loose heat. Unless you are in a new condo or apartment you will. Doors, windows, fans will allow cold air in and heat out. This is normal and we aren’t trying to sell you a remodel. But this will tell you how much and what to do.
What we tell customers before we do an inspection or service for this we ask them to go to the windows or door with heat off and ask them to place a match or lighter next to the area. If the flame is moving slightly you will be experiencing heat loss. We will use infrared technology to determine this. Also, if you feel the ceiling is cold some insulation maybe needed to upgrade.
Now you maybe asking ok, what do I do. Well the minimum is put plastic on the windows. Bubble wrap is a good inexpensive way. Another is check to make sure the caulking is good. Not cracked or missing. Check the insulation in the attic. If its blown and dense, you may need to upgrade. Also you can call us to perform an energy audit, infrared test or blower door test. And one last thing. Your thermostat. If its old, or in a spot near the door or windows, consult with an HVAC contractor.
We hope this helps with the dreaded heat button. If you have any questions, feel free to call us anytime or look us up at www.emeraldinspectionservice.com
This blog goes in accordance with last weeks blog about dirty air vents. The main reason I decided to do a 2 part blog is because of the time of the season. Even in Florida we use the heat occasionally this time of the year. But we some how forget about the vents, filter and outside units. While some of us in different parts of the country are in full heat mode, I am sitting here with shorts and tank at 80 degrees. (Rough Life) So lets begin about Air Quality.
When we talk about air quality in the home or office a lot of things will come to mind. First, we have the air we breathe. This could be at your desk at work, the hobby shop in the backyard shed, or just areas around the home. When we go from different closed environments our senses and possible allergies will be affected. For instance, lets say you are in an office setting and they just turn the chiller on to heat mode due to the chill outside, or you turn your heat on at home. That time they maybe dust in the vents that could cause the allergy affect. So, as we go from season to season there is a few things to think of.
For instance, a lot of us forget about the ducts. It is a good habit to have your ducts cleaned about every 2 years. Yes, the filter gets replaced every 1-3 months and we vacuum the dust around the vents to help. But, the actual dirt still gets in the ducts. And this is true as well with pet dander from the hair. Perfect example, if you the person who lived before you had pets and you turn the ac or heat on you will smell the pet odor that has been absorbed in the home, especially when people are allergic to dogs. (Like me) This will affect the you with the allergies and sneezing. This is a small area of air quality.
Other areas may include having mold in the ducts, dirt, debris and other elements. When there is mold in the insulation it is due to some type of moisture. Moisture will be drying in the ducts and can cause mold. A lot of us could be allergic to some type of mold. When we do air quality testing this is a common test as well as just dust. The samples are taking to the lab and the laboratory technician will diagnose the sample. From there a plan of action needs to be placed for removing any mold in the ducts. Alot of times duct cleaning companies will be able to handle this. It is very important that when people clean ducts they are actually cleaning the duct work and not just spraying an air freshener to the ducts.
So in closing, the ducts need to be on a maintenance schedule as well. If you are experiencing sneezing for example at home or the office but it clears up once you are out of that environment then there is some kind of element affecting your allergies. To learn more about this, feel free to call us at 352-322-2700 or look us up at www.emeraldinspectionservice.com. As we close this year, we will have 2 blog announcements for Season Greetings. This will be our last technical blog of the year. We want to wish all our followers a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Hello everyone. This weeks blog is about mobile home inspections. We did a blog about this a year or so ago and wanted to re-visit this because people have the perception that its not needed. So lets begin.
A mobile home inspection is very similar to our general home inspection. There are a few differences though. First the crawl space has to be inspected. This is a must. In the crawl space you will see a lot of deficiencies guaranteed. For example there will be electrical lines not in conduit. Plumbing pipes will be there, so to see if there is a leak on drain or the main service. My favorite is the main service water line is never insulated. Also you have the vapor barrier. If there was a previous leak a lot of times the vapor barrier will be open and insulation will be dangling. This is just a small portion of the deficiencies you may find.
Now, you also have the roof and inside that has to be inspected. On double and triple wides you have a “marriage wall”. This is where each portion is tide together. And you wanna make sure there is no leaks. (we use an infrared camera). So your inspector needs to know where to look and inspect. Also you have a data tag. For mobile homes this is the identification number for each portion. Singles have one tag, doubles have 2 and so on.
Then you have the remaining part of the inspection which is room to room and utilities. A lot of times the panel box inside the home is energized by the main disconnect at the meter. Your main shut-off valve for the water is at the meter but you also have a valve in the crawl space about 6’0 before the water enters the home too.
So you may be thinking OK, this is easy. No its not. A true inspector will have to undergo some extreme conditions to inspect the home properly. Crawl space usually has varmints or water, the roof is hot and need to know where to walk, the main disconnect can have insects inside the box. The reason I mention this is because these are 3 areas of major concern about the mobile home and are usually neglected.
So if you are thinking about buying a mobile or modular home think about these things. You want an experienced inspector that will do, due deligience. We take pride in these type of inspections as this is a major investment for a home owner. We provide mobile home inspections in Clermont, Ocala, Largo, and Winter Haven Florida to name a few communities. We will gladly inspect in the State Of Florida. Feel free to call us or look us up on the web: 352-322-2700 or www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or www.tampahomeinspectors.net
If you live in the Tampa Bay area, Brooksville, Clearwater, or Webster Florida you more then likely have a crawl space or some other style where the house is on bricks, columns or piers. The crawl space is a vital part of the home. You need to have adequate insulation and ventilation for the space. Additionally, this is where critters and rodents like to live too. Each quarter you should inspect the crawl space to make sure there is no pests starting to intrude, varmints residing and that the mechanical is in tact.
The main plumbing service line is usually P.V.C. piping. A lot of times this sits on the earth. This pipe should be insulated and additionally be resting on a concrete brick to avoid contact. The main reason for this process is so the plumbing line does not freeze during the cold nights and erosion. Secondly, if there is a leak on the pipe, you maybe allowing dirt, and other particles in your drinking water. This process is very economical and will be a blessing if you sell the home.
While we inspect the crawl spaces, we look for items such as this, electrical conduit that has not been chewed upon, wet stains on drain lines, HVAC connections in place and not torn, the insulation beerier intact, recommend not storing items in the crawl space, and no pest tunnels along the dirt or along the underneath of the home.
To learn more about crawl space inspections, go to our website; http://www.emeraldinspectionservice.com or call us at 352-322-2700