Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Heating System Operation

While inspecting the heating system one of the most important sections that will need to be inspected is the heating system operation. This is where we are going to prove that the heating system is operational and working at the time of the inspection. If it is operational the inspector should take a clear picture of the blue flames. If the cabinet is dirty the inspector should swipe their fingers across the inside of the cabinet and take a picture showing that it is dirty and requires further evaluation by a qualified HVAC specialist. Please review the entire procedure below.

 

NACHI SOP

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:

N/A

 

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

A. Any heating system that did not operate.
B. The heating system was deemed inaccessible.

 

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. Inspect or evaluate the interior flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh-air intakes, 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.

E. 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.

G. Evaluate fuel quality.

 

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.

 

Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Heating System Operation.

Procedure

  • After we have turned the furnace on and got our picture of the ignition, we will want to observe the flames and the general operation of the furnace. We will want to check to make sure that the flames are blue, the cabinet is clean, and the furnace doesn’t short- cycle. There is one picture for this section and it needs to show the flames so we can prove that the furnace operated at the time of the inspection.
  • Most of the furnaces that we inspect are dirty so we will want to use the repair/replace comment if we observe that the furnace is dirty. The picture for that defect is to take your fingers and run them along the bottom of the furnace cabinet and take a picture showing the dust/dirt inside the furnace. We also want to make sure that we get a picture of the flames too in this picture, or take a separate picture of flames.
  • Once we get these pictures we will want to replace the cabinet cover back on the front of the furnace. This is important because we don’t want to leave this off for a homeowner to come home and see. We will now go around and check our heat sources at all of the registers.

 

Common Defects

  • The appearance of the flames indicated gas combustion was not correct.
  • The cabinet was very dirty at the time of the inspection and should be cleaned/serviced.
  • The furnace was short-cycling (repeated start-up and shut-down) during operation.

 

Common Mistakes

  • Not replacing the furnace cover after we have taken our pictures.
  • Not reporting on the furnace being dirty if there is dirt/dust on the inside of the cabinet.
  • Not taking a clear picture of the flames (make sure flash is off on the camera).
  • Confusing this section with the “Cabinet Interior and Exterior” section.

 

Report / Software

IN


  • The [word 1] did fire and appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection.
    • Identify
      • Boiler
      • Furnace
      • Heating System

NI

  • N/A

NP

  • N/A

RR

  • Flames: The [word 1] did fire and appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection. However, the appearance of the flames during operation indicated that gas combustion was not correct. Cleaning, servicing and/or certification of the HVAC system by a qualified contractor is recommended.
    •  Identify:
      • Boiler
      • Furnace
      • Heating System
  • Cabinet Dirty: The [word 1] did fire and appeared to be in serviceable condition at the time of the inspection. However, the interior of the cabinet was very dirty at the time of the inspection. Cleaning, servicing and/or certification of the HVAC system by a qualified contractor is recommended.
    • Identify:
      • Boiler
      • Furnace
      • Heating System
  • Short Cycling: The furnace was short-cycling (repeated start-up and shut-down) at the time of the inspection. Cleaning, servicing and/or certification of the HVAC system by a qualified contractor is recommended.


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