Most HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning) systems in small residential buildings are relatively simple in design and operation.
They consist of four components:
the heating or cooling unit, and
the distribution system.
Those are the four main components, but how do you know if the heating system works? The adequacy of heating and cooling is often quite subjective and depends upon occupant perceptions that are affected by the distribution of air, the location of return-air vents, air velocity, the sound of the system in operation, and similar characteristics. A home inspector can help, because the inspector will operate the system and check the components during a home inspection.
According to the InterNACHI® Standards of Practice, a home inspector must identify and describe, in written format, the inspected systems, and components of the dwelling. There are many different types of heating systems. Each has its own characteristics that can be noted by a property inspector to identify and describe the type of heating system being inspected,
In the inspection image is a common type of gas-fired forced warm-air furnace with ductwork that is found in a house.
Most heating systems can be identified and described by a home inspector using the following four terms:
warm-air heating system;
hydronic heating system;
steam heating system; and
electric heating system.
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