New High Efficiency Furnace, New Moisture Problem

-  When Nelly replaced his natural draft furnace with a high efficiency furnace, he stopped wasting all that warm, moist air.  In reality, the high efficiency furnace didn’t ‘create’ the moisture problem; it just replaced a less efficient furnace that was helping to prevent a problem. High efficiency furnaces save energy by taking combustion air directly from the exterior, rather than wasting the heated air in your home for combustion. ..More

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Where To Look For Gas Leaks

-  Here in Minnesota, soft copper gas tubing is allowed just about anywhere, but it takes a little more skill to properly install soft copper than other types of gas piping.  For the record, that nut pictured below isn’t the right type of nut for a gas line… but it’s what I had sitting in my parts drawer as I was writing this blog.  For a flare fitting, copper tubing gets flared out at the end and connected with a flare nut.  If this connection gets bent or isn’t tight enough, it will leak. Flare fittings are the last common offender. ..More

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Boilers Vs. Furnaces

- If boilers are so great, why aren’t they the standard?  No one wants to spend the money.   Boilers cost much more than furnaces and they don’t provide a way of cooling a home.   In older homes without ductwork installed for a furnace, it’s an expensive project to add central air. .   To cool a home with hydronic radiant heat, a completely separate forced air system needs to be installed, which dramatically adds to the installation costs ..More

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Septic Systems and How They Work

- Home inspectors who work in rural areas often inspect houses that aren’t connected to municipal sewer lines; rather, the houses use septic systems. ..More

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Joist Hanger Installation Defects

- As you can see, this hanger requires 6-10d nails + 4-10d nails.  The big defect that I often find is that 10d x 1 1/2″ nails are used in place of 10d nails.  So what’s the difference between the two?  Quite a bit.  The photo below shows the two next to each other. .  If you look down on the far right column of the above chart, you’ll notice only a few hangers will allow a 10d x 1 1/2 nail ..More

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