When installing, repairing, and servicing your HVAC system, a qualified professional is your best ally. All work on the system must be conducted according to local and state building codes. This is to assure that the system is safe and as efficient as possible. One question every homeowner or business should ask is, “Is my furnace up to code?”
Why HVAC Codes Are Important
Standards on the installation, repair, and maintenance of heating and cooling systems are included in local and state building codes. Local and state building codes differ, and they can change from time to time. They are designed to make sure that the system is safe, and they set standards for energy efficiency and operation.
Some of the items that might be covered under building codes include the electrical systems, proper distance between the furnace and other structural components, and venting regulations. A qualified HVAC professional must keep up with changes in building codes. They are trained to spot issues that might affect whether your system is out of code.
Common Causes of Building Code Violations
Most building code violations involving HVAC systems happen because the codes have changed since the system was put in place. Unless the code change was to prevent a significant safety issue, most homeowners do not need to be concerned about such a change in the codes. Any work that was performed before the code change is considered “grandfathered.”
Another reason why your furnace might be out of code is if you have performed any renovation or repair work in the room where the system is located. Repairs to the roof can interfere with the venting system. Structural changes to walls, such as when you finish a basement, can cause issues with your furnace not being located a proper distance from the structural components of the home. Many issues, such as these, are not intentional and are a result of a lack of awareness when performing the work.
If you hire other contractors to do work in the room where the HVAC system is located, they might not be aware of regulations related to the system. This means they might inadvertently do something that could cause the HVAC to become out of code. Unfortunately, as the homeowner, you are the one who will be responsible for remedying the situation, especially if you plan to sell your home in the future.
Another reason why your furnace might be out of code is its age. Standards change for furnace manufacture. More recent trends are toward standards for efficiency and energy use. Smart technology is also changing some building codes. If your furnace is more than 15 or 20 years old, it might no longer be up to modern standards, and replacing it will allow you to install a more efficient one.
Most real estate transactions require a building inspection, and the HVAC system will be a part of the inspection process. Any work on your HVAC system should be completed by a qualified professional who is aware of local building codes, and you should retain your records in case they are needed in the future. Even if you have had all the repairs completed by a qualified professional, you have no way of knowing if the former resident was as diligent.
How to Know If Your HVAC Is Out of Code
If you are thinking of selling or refinancing your home, it is a good idea to call a professional to have your system inspected and serviced. That way, you can take care of any issues before they become a problem with financing. Also, some insurance companies may charge you a higher rate or require you to fix any issues. The best reason to have your system inspected is for safety. Components, such as the heat exchanger, can crack and cause the potential for dangerous carbon monoxide to leak into your home.
Air Express, LLC provides expert heating and cooling installation, repair, and maintenance in Temple Terrace, FL. We will be happy to inspect and service your HVAC system to make sure that it meets current local building codes. We provide indoor air quality services and can install mini-splits and zone system solutions. Our technicians can service both residential and commercial systems. Call us if you would like us to perform an inspection to make sure your furnace is up to code.