To get an idea of what is involved in a Thiele home inspection, we present an overview of how the process normally occurs:
Step 1 – Phone Contact Pre-interview
We collect some basic information, such as the customer’s name, their address, how they found us, and what their basic needs are. That’s it! Mostof the detail work is done at the home.
Step 2 – In-Home Inspection
Where many company estimators will be in and out with an estimate in 20 minutes, a Thiele estimate can take up to two hours, or more.
- First, we sit with the customer to get some initial information, such as how long they have been in the house, and what challenges they may be having (rooms getting too much, or not enough, air flow; upstairs warmer than downstairs). We then take our estimation process a little deeper than most companies.
- We perform a system “load analysis” test to accurately determine the level of heat loss / heat gain your home sustains and a ductwork air flow analysis and load calculation to determine the correct system size. This is an important step, as a heating system that is too large is as much of a problem as one that is too small.
- An undersized system will not thoroughly heat the entire home
- An oversized heating unit would heat too quickly
- Usually the thermostat is in the center of the house, where it would heat faster than the outskirts of the home.
- The system would not operate long enough to heat the rooms farthest from the source.
- By sizing the home properly your system will have a better run-time, or duty cycle, in the furnace, to more evenly heat the house
- Proper sizing allows a system to operate at peak efficiency to help control expenses.
- In the summertime, an AC system that is too large may cool too quickly to
properly remove humidity
- Many heating companies just don’t take the time to do a proper heat loss / heat gain analysis.
- They will simply ask the customer if their current system performed well.
- If so, they will just base their recommendation on the size of the existing unit.
- This can be a dangerous practice, as a system that may appear to performing well, may actually be oversized.
- Many homeowners believe, incorrectly, that the less time a furnace runs, the better. This
is actually the opposite of the truth. The longer we can get a heating system to run:
- The more efficiently it performs
- The less it will consume in fuel, and
- The more comfortable it will make the house.
- As part of the sizing analysis, we typically:
- Measure each room of the house to determine total square footage
- Determine wall depth, whether they are 4-inch, 6-inch, etc.
- Determine if external wall are insulated, the type of insulation used and its insulating factor
- Inspect the attic and its insulation characteristics.
- Calculations are based on a number of factors, including:
- Total square footage
- Load analysis
- Orientation of the house to the Sun
- Amount of external glass (windows, doors) and the directions they face
- Infiltration factors - how tightly the house is sealed from the external elements. Sometimes, especially with newer houses, they are sealed too tightly and we would need to bring in fresh air and/or combustion air
- Safety – we make note of any unsafe practices that previous installations may have caused, for example, a vent pipe pointing downward to a chimney rather than upward, which is a violation of safety codes.
We will also look at things that do not necessarily pertain to the job we came to do, to ensure that the system you currently have was installed in a safe manner. New systems will be installed to pertaining mechanical and national safety codes applicable.
After the inspection is completed, we will make our recommendations as to type, size and brand system that best fits your needs. For details, read Home Inspection: Recommendations
For an in-depth look at the interior and exterior areas our inspectors cover, read Home Inspection Tour.