Heating/cooling source required in each room?

I use the interNACHI standards of practice. I see throughout the forum where others are calling out the absence of a heating/cooling source not being present in each habitable room as a defect(maybe they use a different SOP). After reading through my interNACHI SOP I don’t see any mention of a heating/cooling source in each room being required to report on. Can someone please shed light on this and whether I should be reporting on it?

Thanks a bunch !

Cooling system absence is not necessarily a defect but the heating system should be capable of maintaining 68 degrees in every habitable space. Bathrooms and laundry do not count as habitable. I would still make a detailed report as to the absence of equipment either way as a service to the client.


Remember, the SOP is the minimum requirement. You may exceed it and every inspector I know does at sometime during their inspection.

My rule of thumb, if it has a supply vent it should produce conditioned air (sometimes ductwork gets disconnected or not installed).

I will follow that rule (common sense applies), however I disagree with bathrooms and laundry. Some of those rooms are big.

I just inspected a home that had a 12x12 laundry addition that did not have a supply vent or other source. I called it out.


Or gets covered over by flooring. Common DIY mistake. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


The area I observe most often that doesn’t have a sufficient heat source is in 1950’s brick ranches that have an attached garage that was converted to habitable rooms.

I comment on lack of heat source as a safety defect. I don’t mention lack of cooling.

If you’re looking for a source for the requirement other than the building code. The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires that all habitable rooms must have access to sufficient heat. They define it further but I don’t have it in front of me.


Think, Capacity.
Think Space heaters.
AC is not required in homes.
Reporting; Read your SoP.

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As a home inspector, code inspector, hvac contractor … FORGET a SoP …Habitable rooms are to have a permanent heating source … You don’t report it and someone calls you on it YOU may be paying to install one.


Funny [stuff] how you get to pick and choose when you may have to pay for it or when it’s not part of the SOP defense BS :smiley:

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I think the liability with exceeding the SOP is when you exceed it in some areas but do not in others. Example, take an electrical panel cover off but not a sub panel cover. Lift shingles to check for drip edge flashing in the front but not the back etc.

Not exceeding SOP is nonsense. There is no way to perform a competent inspection without exceeding the SOP. Most inspectors that claim otherwise don’t even know they’re exceeding the SOP.


Agreed! Unless you want to do $195 walk-thru checklist inspections.


Walkthrough inspections are not allowed [legally] in my state.

We have relo companies here who hire them. No photos. Checklist predetermined narratives. Dirt prices. And you can do them following our SOP, but not our training. It’s crap. I see the ads. $195 any size home. Certified inspector.

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I agree with Dan Bowers.

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Habitable upstairs should have a heating source capable of keeping the home at 68 F. The heating source doesn’t have to be in a room, the source just has to serve the room. A heating source in an adjacent room might work if there is a large enough opening between the two rooms and if the opening can’t be closed. A cooling source isn’t required for habitable rooms.

The inspector shall inspect:
A. the heating system, using normal operating controls.
II. The inspector shall describe:
A. the location of the thermostat for the heating system;
B. the energy source; and
C. the heating method.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:
A. any heating system that did not operate;
and B. if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.
IV. The inspector is not required to:
A. inspect, measure, or evaluate the interior of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes, makeup air, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.
B. inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems.
C. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.
D. light or ignite pilot flames.

R303.9 Required Heating
Where the winter design temperature in Table R301.2(1) is below 60°F (16°C), every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of not less than 68°F (20°C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in habitable rooms at the design temperature. The installation of one or more portable space heaters shall not be used to achieve compliance with this section.

:thinking:I measure.

I disagree with your bathroom and laundry exceptions. There is a real estate standard for measurement of habitable spaces and it requires heating for it be usable square footage. A client may want to know that the listed square footage may not match the actual square footage and that their bathroom is potentially going to be chilly in the winter.

The semantics of the SOP language of whether that unheated room can be thought of as the heating system not fully operating - well I would not want to leave that interpretation up to opposing legal counsel.

Here in NM there is language in the Purchase Agreement protecting the seller and REAs from sq. ft. variation.

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Yes, you should be reporting on it, no heat source that is, AC is not a requirement. Imagine the phone call you might be getting if your past client discovered in the middle of a cold winter night that their child’s bedroom had no heat, or if they suddenly realized they had to take showers in a freezing cold bathroom…

Personally I call out any and all rooms with no heat source that are exposed to one or more exterior walls, including bathrooms, laundry rooms and finished areas of basements, I don’t call out lack of a heat source if the room is not exposed to any exterior walls, such as some powder rooms.

IV. The inspector is not required to…
C. determine the uniformity, temperature…or supply adequacy of the heating system.

If I only followed the minimum standards of the SOP I would not have any business.

Btw, your website link is broken.