HVAC Standards for Inspections

I have a couple questions about standards for inspections with interNACHI:

  1. What is the standard procedure for inspecting a water boiler system and baseboards?
  2. What is the acceptable amount of baseboards to square footage required to heat a house?
  3. Is an inspector expected per your standards to point out the lack of baseboard heaters sufficient to heat a house?
  4. How far are inspectors with interNACHI certifications expected to take an inspection of a heating unit (furnace or boiler)? If there is rust on the parts, or pieces are lacking, are they expected to point out those items?

Thank you for your help!

here you go

3.4. Heating

I. The inspector shall inspect:

the heating system, using normal operating controls.
II. The inspector shall describe:

the location of the thermostat for the heating system;
the energy source; and
the heating method.
III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

any heating system that did not operate; and
if the heating system was deemed inaccessible.
IV. The inspector is not required to:

inspect or evaluate the interior of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems, or solar heating systems.
inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems.
determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the heating system.
light or ignite pilot flames.
activate heating, heat pump systems, or other heating systems when ambient temperatures or other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.
override electronic thermostats.
evaluate fuel quality.
verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.

From International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection - InterNACHI http://www.nachi.org/sop.htm#ixzz34HN9hgRV

If there aren’t enough baseboards to heat the house, would that be something the inspector would be expected to note? The SOP isn’t clear on that item.

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

broken out a little better for you…

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.

So basically, if we turn on the heat, and the heat comes on, we note that. we are not HVAC experts. We are generalists.

-Carl

I believe there are some other things, like heat in each bedroom. But still, even IV C. would apply in that case also I believe.

-Carl

Depending on where you are located there are different Codes and Laws regarding your question. In most cases a heat loss/heat gain calculation would have been required in order to determine the sizing of the heating system. The old rule of thumb (feet of baseboard per square feet of area) is definitely NOT accurate and should NOT be relied upon. The best suggestion for you as a homeowner would be to contact a certified HVAC technician for a specific inspection regarding the sizing and distribution of the heating system. Some interNACHI inspectors offer this as an Ancillary service.