Determining if a room with no heat source is indirectly heated

I inspected a 1920s house in NW Washington state that had the main heating unit removed, some type of forced air furnace. Ducting/registers were visible in 1st and 2nd floor walls/floors, but all basement ductwork had been removed. To replace the missing heat source, sellers installed a natural gas stove in basement, as well as a gas insert in the fireplace. Naturally, I called all this out as inadequate or warranting further inspection from an HVAC professional.

The agent called me today as the appraiser also called this out, and now the bank is not happy unless they can verify the heating of each individual room. I did not measure the room temperatures as I thought the situation was screwy enough.

My textbook says a room heat source needs to raise the temperature to 68F 3 feet above the floor and 2 feet from an exterior wall. But it does not mention indirect heating requirements. I recently took the NACHI manufactured home course, and separate rooms can share a heat source if the opening between the rooms is a certain proportion of the overall square footage of the two rooms. This obviously does not work here, but is there a method to determine whether two decorative gas appliances can adequately heat a home?

For example, does the exterior temperature need to be a certain level? And then measure each room?
Or, is this a question of BTUs being calculated over the entire square footage of the house? I’m thinking its the latter, but would love some way to determine if the heat sources are adequate for the whole house.

Not yours to determine. If you pointed out that the heating source was removed and replaced with whatever replaced it - you should have also said you don’t know if the heat from this will be adequate - have a HVAC company further evaluate.


There is an art to knowing what it is you don’t know. Obviously a study of this nature is outside the SoP but any answer would have to be couched with an array of test results from reliable sources using repeatable methods to satisfy the inherent subjectivity which your own questions allude to.

IV. The inspector is not required to:
C. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.

Your state SOP (if you have one) is similar.

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Federal laws requires, every habitable space has access to heat.
Where it gets cold during the winter, there should be access to heat in every room, when possible. Systems include; heat and air system, or heating systems such as space heaters.

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Thank you. I covered my butt in the report.

Totally! Thank you!

Agent is citing an FHA requirement that says a home only needs to be a minimum of 50 degrees. I didn’t ask where that was from. But regardless, they are requiring an HVAC tech determine whether the heat system is adequate for the home.

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