What I'm Seeing Now

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The HVAC Register Was Not Blowing Air. What's Up?

The HVAC register was not blowing air.  What's up?

Was the duct blocked?

If air was blowing, where was it going?

In this house this particular room was cold.  Reaching up to the register I could not feel any moving air, but I could feel that the register was hot when I touched it.

So air was at least arriving to the spot.

But where was it going and how would I know?

I would break out Mighty Mo!

And I did!  This is the perfect thing for a thermal camera to analyze.

Looking at the register this is what the thermal camera could see.

There was heat arriving to register and blowing into the cavity above the drywall!  That heat was fanning out in all directions the air flow was allowed to go.

Why?  There was a leak!  An air leak.  And likely because the duct had come loose from the register hood.

The image shows the joists above the register, which can be seen as blurry, blue lines.  That round thing is a ceiling canister light fixture. 

While the register is the warmest thing around it was not very hot by comparison to what it would be had the air been blowing right onto it.  The house had a new heat pump, so the air would be in the 125F area.  That the register was only 86F would indicate that more air was leaking than arriving to the register.

My recommendation:  a thermal camera can analyze many things.  Where HVAC air is going would obviously be one of them!  My thermal camera is the sharpest arrow in my quiver.  With it I can analyze many things, from plumbing to roof to electrical to mechanical to insulation.   A thermal camera is not a point and shoot device!  It requires real training and practice, practice, practice.  The cameras and training are not cheap!  And learning how to analyze the images is a little bit art and a little bit science.  Seven years ago I wrote a post on that point which you can read here.  Enjoy.

 

 

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 16 commentsJay Markanich • March 12 2017 11:42AM

Comments

Good detective work Jay Markanich ...not all inspectors are full of hot air...some actually find where it is trapped !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 1 year ago

I love technology, that camera seems to be a nifty tool for troubleshooting problems.

Posted by Peter Mohylsky, Your Bucket List Broker Along Scenic 30A (BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS REAL ESTATE) over 1 year ago

Thermal imagery is a fantastic tool, Jay Markanich 

Posted by Nathan Gesner, Broker / Property Manager (American West Realty & Management) over 1 year ago

Just had this done on my home last fall and found a couple of issues that needed correcting.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 1 year ago

Good morning Jay. Mighty Mo to the rescue again! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 1 year ago

I have said this before, I think most inspectors in Oklahoma City are so afraid of liability that they think less is more. I think the liability is not doing a proper inspection.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 1 year ago

S&D - when I am full of hot air I let it out of one (or both) of two places.

It's wonderful Peter.  I have over 80 AR posts using that camera.

'Tis Nathan.  Like I said, my sharpest arrow.

William - that is excellent!  And to only find a couple is usual, by my experience.

He loves to come out of his case, Wayne.  Sometimes I think I can hear him calling me.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Joe - I remember that same liability argument when moisture meters first came out 25 years ago.  I disagreed with that thnking then, and do now with thermal imaging.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

@Jay, Gotta to love IR. Can help explain many things.

Posted by Donald Hester, NCW Home Inspections, LLC (NCW Home Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

I agree Don.  I've been using Mighty Mo for 14 years now.  It works well, except to evaluate the lack of nosing, stair tread and riser size, and head clearance on older staircases...

Says he, with a smile and wink.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Well worth the investment.  I'll bet Mighty Mo' has paid for himself many times over.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) over 1 year ago

My payment from him is mostly psychic, Stephen.  But I do get a lot of business because of thermal imaging!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

Interpretation and verification!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) over 1 year ago

With no air blowing,
And feeling heat at the vent,
Mighty Mo sees it all.

That is a haiku just for you, Fred!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

It would seem that having a tool like Might Mo makes a good inspector a great inspector

Posted by Ed Silva, Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally (RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754 ) over 1 year ago

I've been doing thermal imaging for 14 years, Ed.  I think it's the sharpest arrow in my quiver.  Over the years I have found, and written posts, on all kinds of issues.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) over 1 year ago

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