Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Thermostat and Operating Controls at the Heating System (UPDATED 6/14/18)

While the inspector is checking the heating system they will need to operate the heat by using the thermostat. It is very important to take a picture before touching the thermostat and to take a second picture of the thermostat after it has been set to the original setting. If there are multiple thermostats in the home the inspector should repeat this procedure for every thermostat. 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:

A. The location of the thermostat for the heating system.


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:

F. Override electronic thermostats.
H. Verify thermostat calibration, heat anticipation, or automatic setbacks, timers, programs or clocks.


Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: Same as NACHI Standards of Practice.


Tools Needed

No tools required to inspect the Thermostat and Operating Controls.



  • Once we locate the thermostat in the home we will take our first picture in order to show what the thermostat is set at before we touch it. This section requires two pictures but for now we are going to skip taking the second picture and do that after the heat has been operated at the end of the inspection.
  • We also want to check the thermostat for any general damage and make sure it is located in a proper area of the home.
  • After we have operated the heat in the home we will go back to the thermostat and set it to the original setting that that we found it. Once it is set to the original setting we will want to take our second picture to prove that we set it back to what we found it. We want to make sure these pictures are very clear. These pictures are extremely important to prove that we left the home in the same condition in which we found it.


Common Defects

  • The thermostat is too close to the exterior, a window, or a supply register.
  • The door of the thermostat is damaged or missing.
  • The thermostat was broken, damaged, or did not operate properly.
  • The thermostat was missing or not fastened securely to the wall.


Common Mistakes

  • Not taking the picture of the thermostat at the end of the inspection.
  • Not taking clear pictures of the thermostat settings.
  • Not documenting all of the thermostats if there are multiple thermostats located in the home. We want to follow the same procedure for every thermostat.
  • Not making sure that the thermostats are located in the proper areas of the home.


Report / Software


  • The [word 3] was controlled by [word 1] [word 2] thermostat(s). The thermostat(s) was installed at a location in the property which appears to be adequate to operate the [word 3] efficiently. The thermostat(s) was fastened securely to the wall, activated the [word 3] and appeared to be in serviceable condition.
    • COUNT:
      • 1
      • 2
      • 3
      • A
    • TYPE:
      • Manual
      • Programmable
      • Boiler
      • Furnace
      • Heating System


  • The furnace was not on at the time of the inspection, so the operation of the thermostat could not be verified.


  • There was not a thermostat installed at the property at time of inspection. A qualified contractor should evaluate and install one as needed.



  • The [word 5] was controlled by [word 1] [word 2] thermostat(s). The thermostat was installed [word 3]. The thermostat [word 4].
    • COUNT:
      • 1
      • 2
      • 3
      • A
    • TYPE:
      • Manual
      • Programmable
      • Boiler
      • Furnace
      • Heating System
      • OK
      • Too Close to Exterior
      • Too Close to Register
      • Too Close to Window
      • Door (Missing or Damaged)
      • Was Broken, Damaged, or did not Operate
      • Was Fastened Securely to the Wall
      • Was Missing at Time of Inspection
      • Was Not Fastened Securely to the Wall