HVAC Inspection Checklist
n order to qualified for a Energy Star qualified home an HVAC inspection checklist needs to take place. Typically, there are four HVAC inspection requirements that need to be met to be considered for the Energy Star Qualified Homes National Program. Products that are qualified as being Energy Star include: major appliances such as: air conditioners, boilers, furnaces (forced air furnace, gas, propane or oil), heat pumps, heat and energy recovery ventilators (H/REV), water heaters. Other items include lighting, windows and doors, electronics and office equipment. So why bother with this Energy Start program? Simply put, this program is a partnership between industry and government that makes it convenient for both businesses and consumers to save money and at the same time purchase environmentally friendly products in the HVAC market. If you’re either a consumer or a business, there are rebates and incentives for selecting Energy Star appliances. Let’s take a look at the HVAC inspection checklist in simple terms to see what it takes to qualify for such a program.
First, there’s a Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist. This inspection checklist looks at the major parts of the house such as quality installed insulation in the ceiling, floor and walls. Typically, these surfaces must meet the 2009 IECC level. Air barriers is another section that needs inspection. This deals with interior and exterior climate zones such as your attic eave. Within the air barrier section, there are three basic areas: walls, floors and ceilings. The forth section is examining the thermal bridging of the house and looks closely at the insulation such as corners, windows and doors and stud placement. The last HVAC inspection checklist is about air sealing. The air sealing checklist takes into account duct, plumbing, piping, electrical wiring and exhaust fans to name a few. Other openings are also checked here such as doors next to the garage, attics and basements.
Second, there’s a HVAC System Quality Installation Checklist. This is actually broken down into the Contractor and Rater checklist. This is most likely the most important HVAC inspection checklist although all criteria needs to be met in order to qualify for the Energy Star program. The first checklist (Contractor) starts off with your mechanical ventilation design and examines if the building does not use an intake duct to the return side of the HVAC system unless the system is designed to operate on a timer to restrict outdoor air intake when not in use. Additionally, the following section is about heating and cooling system design and measures the duct design, conditioned floor area, design airflow, heat loss and gain and the number of people served by the HVAC system. A cooling system section is also examined along with a furnace system design. Other sections include: air flow tests, air balance, system controls and drain pan. The air flow checklist is critical here so keep this in mind as it measures both your heating and cooling systems. The HVAC System Quality Installation checklist for the Rater reviews the above points (the Contractor) and further explores the duct quality installation, duct insulation and duct leakage. The control section along with ventilation air inlets and ventilation sources are examined.
Lastly, there’s the Water Management System Builder checklist. There are four sections here and they are mainly looking at foundation, walls, roof and building materials. Items such as drainage and moisture-resistant installation behind tubs are examined. The main aim of this section is to improve moisture control. Of course, leaky pipes contribute to moisture issues so make sure that all items addressed on the checklist get close attention. Now that you know what HVAC inspection checklist consists of go ahead and give your home or business a good look around and prepare yourself to qualify for an Energy Star program. Take advantage of all the rebates and incentives that the government has put in place and equally important do your part in keeping a greener environment.