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  1. #1
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    Default Heating requirements

    During an inspection today I noticed in a recently finished basement the large family did not have any HVAC registers. The only heat source was a gas fireplace. IRC states heating facilities must be capable of maintaining a temp of 68 F three feet above the floor. Any thoughts on this set up?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
    Jerry Peck is online now Member
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    Default Re: Heating requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by mathew stouffer View Post
    The only heat source was a gas fireplace. IRC states heating facilities must be capable of maintaining a temp of 68 F three feet above the floor.

    Matthew,

    Many gas fireplaces are not 'heat sources'. Many are 'decorative appliances' only.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Heating requirements

    I supose if you kept a fire going, or ready to go as soon as you turned up the thermostat it would be OK? However, what happens if you run out of wood or coal for fuel? I'm sure the next knock on your door would be from the local AHJ.

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  4. #4
    Jerry Peck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Heating requirements

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    However, what happens if you run out of wood or coal for fuel?

    WC Jerry,

    Wouldn't that also apply to heating systems based on fuel oil and propane? Run out of fuel and you are deep cold do-do.

    Also, not sure that there is a requirement that the heating system be thermostat controlled, only that the heating unit/system (whatever that may be) has the ability to maintain *at least* that temperature at the specified winter design degree day temperature.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
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    Talking Re: Heating requirements

    Jeeze EC Jerry, have you not never seen a wood burning fireplace with a thermostat to control it's out-source of heat? So common in California we did away with FAUs many years ago. The main problem is we don't know what to do with all that lousy smoke?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  6. #6
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    Chicago IL
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    Default Re: Heating requirements

    You can't really consider a fireplace a 'heat source' for living purposes. Supplemental to get romantic or maybe to take the chill off in the fall or spring, that's about it.
    I've come across these situations before. I've found that it is very important to explain this properly to the client. If you fail to do so, your client might be calling their attorney next December.
    I looked at a house last year that had a new heating system installed but not properly. The system couldn't bring the house up to temperature. The client ended up getting somewhere around an $8000.00 credit to have the system redone.
    I don't know Utah prices but around here... a typical basment 90+ install will run around $4500-6000. plus another $2000 for AC depending on variables. Beyond that they can expect to put out another $2000-5000 in related costs, drywall, trims, soffits, demo work, etc.
    I'd suggest reporting it as you feel comfortable. You could also recommend your client have an hvac guy come in for a ballpark bid.
    Another possibility is if the existing unit is large enough to handle the extra square footage the client may just need to add ductwork.

    www.aic-chicago.com
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