What I'm Seeing Now

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Three Heat Exchangers In The Attic

While it would be unusual to have three heat exchangers in the attic if they were furnaces, these three were not.

Instead of furnaces, these heat exchangers were all skylights.

This house has been vacant for some time.

I noticed that when the heat was on it did not really heat comfortably, and it has been cold here lately.

There were three large skylights spaced throughout the upper level - in the living room and each of two rear bedrooms.

While they added light, I wondered about them.

Going into the attic space it was obvious that they were all homemade.

Nails were bent, the framing was erratic and not one was insulated!

Not one.

These aren't skylights, they are heat exchangers!

Remember, HEAT -------> COLD.

So, in the winter, heat in this house is moving toward and whooshing out through each of these skylights.

And in summer, each of those rooms will cook as they heat up and introduce all that radiant heat into the house!

These are not new skylights!  You would think someone noticed this effect.

But then, we don't know.  Maybe they just poured money into heating and cooling the house!

My recommendation:  home improvements sometimes don't improve the house.  Be sure you know what you are doing, or hire someone who knows what THEY are doing, when you have improvements done!

 

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 18 commentsJay Markanich • January 23 2013 03:49AM

Comments

Morning Jay looks like another fine job by Uncle Bob.  I tell ya the man needs to be stopped but he seems to be one step ahead of anyone that is looking for him.  :~)

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) almost 6 years ago

It would hhave been nice if these skylights did the opposite and cooled the house in summer.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 6 years ago

I can see it's his work James when I see his signature all over stuff!

Gita - woulda, coulda, shoulda!  But alas, physics works every time!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Good morning Jay,

But think of the view on a starlit night with a full moon and a bottle of whatever to do it again in the morning.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) almost 6 years ago

Wouldn't that make them skydarks at night Raymond?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Hi Jay,

I have seen this too many times to say. Once there was a builder there at the inspection and I told him of the chute not being insulated. He then told me it did'nt needed to be insulated, it was sealed through the wall by drywall mud and paint.

God is my witness that was the answer. All I could think of is "OYE".

Have a good day in Bristow my friend.

Best, Clint McKie 

Posted by Clint Mckie, Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586 (Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections) almost 6 years ago

Ask the dope the proven R-value of drywall and paint Clint, and watch his eyes glaze over.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

I like the bent over nails... lol, if you don't make it all the way in just start another one! I guess that was done before the popularity of nail guns. This guy wasn't too good with anything I see! Saw, square, hammer, level, brains...

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) almost 6 years ago

You cannot ignore science Hot to Cold, shame it would have been easy to insulate.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) almost 6 years ago

DIY, Do It Yourself is one thing, but if combined with DKHW (Don't Know How or What), then watch out.

I've had nervous home owners watching me inspect. I know they've done the maintenance, repairs and some installation work. 

But I'll have no complaints and nothing to say if they've learned to do it right.

Posted by Robert Butler, Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection (Aspect Inspection) almost 6 years ago

Maybe they were go9ing the the conditioned attic space. THat si the new green energy way to build. (Well, it isn't that new, but...)  ;-)

Posted by Than Maynard, Broker - Licensed to List & Sell - 405-990-8862 (Coldwell Banker Heart of Oklahoma) almost 6 years ago

Why do people do this to their homes?  Good education, thank you.

Posted by Ruth Lerner (William Raveis Real Estate) almost 6 years ago

Jay -- and with the additional support beams, this must have made it so much fun to get around to check things in the attic, like that turned back insulation on one side of the chute.

Posted by Steven Cook (No Longer Processing Mortgages.) almost 6 years ago

They hold better, right Fred?  More surface area to hold on to.

David - apparently it was never thought about!  Don't know why.

Robert - these jobs were worse than DIY, as you say.  It really is sad, and such a waste of energy.

Heating everywhere has to be very efficient Than!  Spreading the wealth...

Ruth - because they don't know better!  It's always best to consult an expert before people do things.

It made things much more difficult Steven, but I am used to that!

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

See the same thing on a regular basis. If you add those all up they will be a pretty good size uninsulated wall.

Posted by Rob Ernst, Reno, NV-775-410-4286 Inspector & Energy Auditor (Certified Structure Inspector) almost 6 years ago

Agreed Rob.  The aggregate sq footage could be about the size of an uninsulated ceiling in a bedroom!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

Found the same thing last week. One of the skylights was in the bathroom. 

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) almost 6 years ago

That's the best attic heater during showers Jim.  Smart place for the heat exchanger, I guess...

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) almost 6 years ago

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