How to position finding

Inspected a home where a bedroom had been built in the lower lever of a Bi-Level. Two issues with the room, the first being that there was no vent to provide heat to the room and while not really an issue, will be noted as such. The bigger problem that I see is that on one wall of the room is a large sliding door which leads into where the Furnace, water heater and Washer and Dryer are located. Now we are not code inspectors, but it is my understanding that there should not be a door to the furnace room from any designated sleeping area (not to mention a lack of Smoke and CO detectors on that level.) Not sure how to state this on my report

That actually is a big issue. At least in my area. Was it counted as a bedroom on MLS?

One of the easiest ways to address this type of issue is to make an informative note in your report stating that the room should not be used as a sleeping room for the following reasons…


As Ryan stated, no heat, no bedroom. See sellers trying to pass this off many times.

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House is not on MLS, owner is not selling. Just wanted an honest evaluation of the problems with her house

I report a room with no heat register as an unconditional space.


Actually, when I said room with no heat was not really an issue, what I meant was how to report it wasn’t an issue, but thanks for suggestion on other issue!

No door/sliding door is permitted from a utility room to a bedroom. Utility room walls/ceilings should be fire rated to 40 minutes. Each bedroom must have a heat vent, however, it’s still a conditioned area if a hot duct is passing through it. My understanding.

A gas fired appliance mechanical room should not have a door connected to a sleeping room.

A habitable room must have a heat source. I’m not sure if a duct passing through fits the bill. There are other ways to satisfy that requirement, but the pass thru duct is new to me.

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I’m not saying it satisfy a living area/bedroom…heat vents are required there….I’m just saying it’s still considered a conditioned space cuz of heat transfer. Think of a crawl space, if a duct is passing through it, it’s considered a conditioned space.

No it’s not.


An unfinished crawl space is considered a conditioned space if a hot duct is passing through it and if the crawl space is adjacent to a conditioned space that has an opening or a door to the crawl space.

It should be called a habitable space

[HABITABLE SPACE] A space in a building for living, sleeping, eating or cooking. Bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces

I’m not trying to argue with you sir, I’m just trying to state what I read in the Albera building code when I was working as a code inspector.

A heating duct passing through a space doesn’t make that space conditioned or habitable. There is more to it.


Maybe its a language barrier thing, because in Yankee English, saying “unfinished crawl space” is kind of redundant. It begs the question “is there any other kind?”

For clarity, when Brian and I say “Crawl space”, we are talking about the space under your subfloor with wall vents spaced every 8-12 feet around the perimeter, a dirt floor under-foot, preferably covered in plastic sheeting with minimal spiders or other vermin.

An encapsulated crawl space might have a dehumidifier and/or HVAC air supply and return, and differs significantly from a standard crawl space as far as the building envelope is concerned.

No amount of ductwork, water heaters, grow lights or anything else hot will make an American Crawl Space a conditioned space. Definition: Conditioned Space- An enclosed space within a building where there is intentional control of the space thermal conditions within defined limits using natural, electrical, or mechanical means.

Read more at: Conditioned Space – Defined | NC State Extension

I’m curious if “Crawl space” means something different in the queen’s English. I will admit that the Red-neck lingo the Brian and I speak may be different from your language. For example we might call a drink “Unsweetened Tea” instead of just “Tea” simply to emphasize the point that it never got a heaping helping of sugar like God intended.


Okay. There will be different definitions of a conditioned space. An uninsulated heated duct could technically condition a space within the building thermal envelope indirectly, but there are calculations to make this determination.

According to IRC, here is the definition. Once again, you could be correct if the crawlspace is within the thermal envelope with uninsulated ductwork.

CONDITIONED SPACE. An area, room or space that is enclosed within the building thermal envelope and that is directly heated or cooled or indirectly heated or cooled. Spaces are indirectly heated or cooled where they communicate through openings with conditioned spaces, where they are separated from conditioned spaces by uninsulated walls, floors or ceilings, or where they contain uninsulated ducts, piping or other sources of heating or cooling



Very cool. It’s it common in your area for the crawlspace to be part of the building thermal envelope?

Do you have air conditioning in your area? Heating only?

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That’s exactly what I was trying to say, finally I made my point lol….thanks for responding

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Well, I think you misunderstood the code section.