There are many reasons to keep your homes fireplace and chimney clean and in tip top operating condition. A dirty chimney will reduce the effectiveness of a fireplace as a heat source. Severe neglect and lack of maintenance may result in a chimney fire. Chimney fires can lead to home fires.
This is probably the most unique way I have ever seen a water heater vented at a home inspection. From the basement, the vent was routed through the concrete block foundation.
During the course of a home inspection I remind clients that in order for appliances to operate safely and efficiently, they should be maintained on a regular schedule as recommended by the manufacturer. In the photos above you will see a water heater that I came across at a home inspection. Clearly there are some combustion issues.
It’s the end of January, and with that comes cold, bitter weather here in the Rochester MN area. Higher energy costs, burst or frozen pipes, ice dams, chimney fires and power outages are just some of the hazards and inconveniences that winter can bring.
Home fires are dangerous and devastating. Each year fires cost nearly 347 billion in the United States. Costs can include medical treatment, property loss and damage, fire department costs, and lawsuits, just to name a few.
On a recent home inspection near Rochester MN, I came across what appeared to be a blocked chimney flue. Both the furnace and water heater were functioning properly with nice blue flames. I was however getting back draft Carbon Monoxide exhaust from both appliances.
At a recent home inspection I came across a hot water heater in a utility closet in which the vent flue had become disconnected at the ceiling. In addition to the exhaust and CO venting directly to the closet, you can see that the paper on the adjacent sheetrock is heavily charred from the exhaust heat.
Let’s get organized this spring. Make sure you add all of your digital gadgets and devices to the list. Below are a few tips that should get you on the right path to your digital spring cleaning.
The recent heavy snowfall and drifting brings one more thing that Rochester and Southeastern MN homeowners need to keep an eye on. Home owners with High Efficiency, direct vent furnaces and water heaters need to check to see that the venting has not been drifted over with snow or blocked.
It’s getting cold and you are starting to close up the house for the season. Contaminants that are in your furnace, home, and duct work will circulate through out your home all winter long. Your HVAC (Heating, Ventilating, Air Conditioning) system can collect molds, fungi, dust, bacteria’s, pollens, and other allergens, that can cause irritation to some or all who live in your home. Believe it or not, the air in your home can be 2-5 times more polluted that the outdoor air according to the EPA.
There's a hot fire in the grill, the brats, hotdogs and burgers are sizzling. It's a welcome sight and smell at any family cookout. Don't let that fire make your family cookout memorable for the wrong reasons.
I often get asked whether it is better to place a carbon monoxide detector at the ceiling or use the type that plugs into an outlet.
What is Carbon Monoxide and why do I need a Carbon Monoxide Detector? Yes, Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless and potentially dangerous gas produced when fuel burns without enough air for complete combustion. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, coughing, irregular breathing, paleness and cherry red lips and ears. If symptoms are noticed, it is advised that you immediately open windows and doors to ventilate the home or structure, call 911 and get outside into fresh air. Later, have appliances checked carefully by a qualified heating contractor.
When doing a home inspecion I look for, and note whether there are Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors in all applicable locations. Make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home and within 10 feet of sleeping areas, in rooms over or near a garage, in the basement or other isolated area, and in rooms where space heaters are used. Detectors that have been verified by Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and have been manufactured after October 1995 conform to minimum alarm requirements. Those marked UL 2034 or IAS 6-96 have met the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission guidelines. Follow the directions for installing and using the detector carefully.
To help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning: Your chimney and flue should be checked and cleaned every year. Have a qualified inspector check appliances and heating systems each year. Make sure all home appliances have adequate ventilation. Carbon Monoxide detectors should not be relied upon as a substitute maintaining appliances, furnaces or chimneys. The flames in appliances and heating systems burners should be blue, not orange. Never use a gas range as a space heater. Never run an automobile or gasoline engine in an enclosed space. Charcoal grills should never be used indoors indoors.
What is carbon monoxide? Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. It is often called the "silent killer" because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes.