Category Archives: inspection report

WA State Energy Code’s New HVAC Requirement

This week one of our staff went to a WSU Extension Energy Program training in Wenatchee with a focus on duct sealing and testing requirements for the 2009 Washington State Energy Code for HVAC: 503.10.3 Sealing. We have two Energy Star Performance Technicians on staff so this class was more of a refresher course on duct testing but we did benefit from understanding more about the changes to the new HVAC requirements. Basically, the code is in a trial period. Contractors must test the HVAC now but do not have to meet the target rate of allowable leakage during this 120-day testing period. In April 2011 a judicial committee will listen to arguments from all sides and make a decision about the 503.10.3 Sealing WA State Energy Code.

We performed a HVAC leakage test on a home in South Wenatchee. The new construction home performed well. It would have passed the new requirements. It was interesting to note the small leakages that could be easily fixed by mastic. The equipment used for testing the HVAC includes a duct blaster, manometer and blower door which could add up to $5,000. This is a new expense to contractors. There is also discussion about requiring third party testing due to conflict of interest. Should HVAC contractors be able to test their own work?

 Here are a few interesting facts we learned in class this week. Did you know that 40% of a home’s fresh air comes from the crawl space or garage? Thinking about cleaning those spaces right now…aren’t you!? This is also a good time to remind you to open your garage door any time the car is on. A family of four can emit up to 3 gallons of water into a home daily from sweating, showering, cooking, etc. Where do the 12 gallons of water go? Be sure to use your oven and bathroom exhaust fans regularly!

Home Show in Wenatchee: Feb. 11-13th

Home Show Wenatchee Town Toyota CenterEvery year the NCHBA or North Central Home Builders Association produces a spectacular home show in Wenatchee, Washington.  There’s a little something for everyone whether you are interested in remodeling, decorating, building, buying or selling a home…they’ve got all the experts there for your questions!  Here’s some info from their website.  Download this COUPON for $1 off admission:

This year, we have a lot of new things going on and are very excited to “get the Show on the road”! The Kid’s Zone by Lowe’s is going to be fantastic this year. Not only will the kids be able to build their own project with a professional from Lowe’s, they can go on a scavenger hunt with their parents or enjoy FREE ice skating on Friday and Saturday. So, if you have kids that are 12 and under, make sure to take them to the Kids Zone by Lowe’s, located in the Crunch-Pak Hospitality Room on the the main floor of the Town Toyota Center!  Workshops and How-to’s that you WON’T want to miss! Come and see what the Master Gardeners have to demonstrate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the show!   Be one of the first 250 attendees on Saturday and Sunday and receive a special Home Show Entrance Bag! These bags will be filled with small gifts, specials and discount coupons from participating sponsors and vendors! These bags will also come in very handy when you need a place to stow away other information and items you gather!  There will be additional event parking available for attendees across the street at Walla Walla Point Park, both parking lots, as well as at Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. Many thanks to Lowe’s for generously allowing our Home Show attendees to use half of their parking lot for our event!

Christmas Lighting Safety Tips

Christmas Lighting Festival in Leavenworth WA

Image courtesy of Bing: Sparkling Holiday Lights Leavenworth, WA

Christmas decorations and lights really get us in the holiday spirit.  Before you get too far along, check out these safety tips for hanging Christmas lights:

•Only use lights that conform with safety standards and have been tested by a recognized testing laboratory.

•Check each strand of lights for damaged sockets or wires and loose connections.  I best to toss damaged strands and buy new.

•Don’t overload extension cords and outlets!  Only link 3 standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.

•If you must have a metallic tree, don’t decorate it with electric lights.  Electrocution may result.

•Outdoors lights must have exterior use labels.

•Fasten outdoor lights securely.  Use insulated staples or rain gutter hooks. 

•Plug all outdoor lights into ground fault interrupters circuits to avoid potential shocks and blown fuses.

•Unplug lights when going to sleep or leaving your home.

No Surprises

wenatchee seattle home inspectionMost home buyers are not a bit surprised by the results of a home inspection.  The typical scenario is as follows:  the buyer’s realtor has researched the property thoroughly and the seller disclosed everything.  When the inspection reveals a surprise that’s when the buyer may have an opportunity to either negotiate the terms or back out of the contract to find a better fit for them.  Most points identified during a home inspection are just typical maintenance reflective of the home’s age.  The home inspection report provides a strong description of the home’s current state.  With this valuable knowledge the buyer can make an informed decision.

Get Ready for the Inspector

You can keep putting off those minor maintenance issues for that rainy day, but your procrastination could lead to headaches. Peeling paint, rotting decks, leaky faucet, broken fixtures, squeaky appliances, leaky shower door and poor caulking all pose larger threats if not handled in a timely fashion. Insufficient caulking around windows and doors may cause your utility bill to sky rocket. The leaking shower door may start rotting the floor in your bathroom. We don’t want to be the bad guys, so here’s what you do. Go through your home once a year and mark all the items for your “honey do” list. Make a plan and start fixing the problems before they get out of control. Most tasks can be done in a couple of hours, so why put it off? Believe me, our home inspectors want nothing more than to give you or your clients a clean inspection report! In Seattle we see a lot of old homes that just need a little TLC. Take care of your investment and it will take care of you.