Inspection Training

How to Inspect for the Presence of Installed Heat Sources

At the end of the home inspection one of the last things that will be inspected is the heating system and supply registers. After activating the furnace and taking your required pictures for that section the next thing to do would be going into every room to check that the heat source is working properly. The inspector should wait for the temperature to reach at least 100 degrees before taking the required pictures. Please review the entire procedure below.


International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection


3.4. Heating


I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The heating system, using normal operating controls.


II. The inspector shall describe:



III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. Any heating system that did not operate.


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.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: While the heat is turned on at the property the inspector will check all operable heat sources in the interior rooms.


Tools Needed

The infrared thermometer will be used to test that heat is coming out from the supply register


  • Once the heat is turned on in the property (exact procedure will be under the heating system section) the inspector will check all accessible heat sources in the interior rooms. This should be one of the last things that you perform during the home inspection.
  • You will use your infrared thermometer to check if heat is coming through the supply registers. We want the picture to show us pointing the infrared thermometer at the supply register showing a temperature over 100 degrees. We want to get these heat sources for every register that is accessible in the home, not just a couple.
  • If there is no heat source present you will take a picture with the infrared thermometer turned sideways. This would be a defect if no heat source is in a room to be considered a living space.

Common Defects

  • Supply register or return air cover is damaged, broken, loose, missing, noisy, old, or weak.
  • There is no heat coming to the supply register.
  • Baseboard heater is damaged, broken, loose, missing, noisy, old, weak, or has no heat coming from it.
  • Supply register is not intended for the the floor.
  • The louver on the supply register is stuck or damaged.
  • There is no cover for the supply register, baseboard heater, or return air vent.
  • Having a heat source that is not present in an interior room.


Common Mistakes

  • Not checking all of the supply registers in the interior rooms when the heat is on at the property.
  • Only checking the registers for heat and not checking for any damage.
  • Not checking return air covers for any damage.


Report / Software


  • The heating system was turned on using normal operating controls and all interior rooms had a heat source. Inspection of air flow and/or distribution is beyond the scope of this inspection. We are not able to determine the supply adequacy of the heating system during the course of a general home inspection. As a courtesy to the client, the inspector checked a representative number of registers throughout the property for heat when the heating system was operated. This does not determine whether a heating system can properly supply heat to any room. For additional information, the inspector recommends further evaluation by a qualified HVAC contractor


  • The heating system was not operational at the time of the inspection and the interior room heat sources could not be inspected.


  • There was no heat source [word 1]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or add as necessary.
    • Location:
      • Multiple locations around the home


  • The [word 1] in the kitchen [word 2]. A qualified contractor should evaluate and repair or replace as necessary.
    • Identify:
      • Baseboard Heater
      • Return Air Cover
      • Supply Register
      • Supply Register Cover
    • Defect:
      • (Not Intended for Floor)
      • Broken
      • Damaged
      • Loose
      • Louver (Stuck)
      • Missing
      • Missing (Cover)
      • No Heat
      • Noisy
      • Old
      • Weak
    • Location:
      • Multiple locations around the home