January is Radon Awareness Month

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The danger of radon gas in our homes

Radon, a naturally-occurring radioactive gas that causes cancer, can build up to unsafe levels in any home at any time of year. With many Americans spending more time inside their homes during January, however, there is no better time to make sure our homes are radon-free.  That is why EPA starts every new year encouraging Americans to get their homes tested for radon.  (re-post courtesy of the National Association of Realtors, https://www.nar.realtor/washington-report/january-is-radon-awareness-month).

“If a high radon level is found, the good news is that this serious environmental risk can be reduced by using simple, proven techniques comparable to the cost of other minor home repair or improvement projects,” said Bill Wehrum, Assistant Administrator of EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation.

Millions of homes in the United States have elevated levels of radon. Because radon gas is invisible and odorless, the only way to know if a house, school or other building has a radon problem is to get the building tested.

Although testing for radon is easy and inexpensive, only one in five homeowners has tested their homes for radon. EPA and states are encouraging Americans to test their homes for radon and to fix elevated levels during January as a common-sense step to prevent lung cancer.

Radon gas in the home is more common than most people think, and it can enter a home through many different openings. We’ll check your:

  • Floor Drains
  • Sump pump openings
  • Pores in the walls and concrete
  • Well water
  • Wall and floor joints in basements

Don’t delay in testing your home during National Radon Action Month. A simple and low-cost radon test can help save a life in your family.

For radon or a complete home inspection, don't hesitate to contact Home Detective today.

Home Detective is certified by over 4 leading trade organizations as a home inspection expert, with rigorous knowledge and experience requirements that a jack of all trades can’t possibly offer, such as the Midwest Association of Home Inspectors (MAHI)American Home Inspection Training (AHIT)American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

These certifications along with years of experience will ensure you have peace of mind after you purchase your home.  In addition to our credentials, Home Detective offers a Free 90 Day Warranty for all the home inspections we do with the option for an 18 month extended warranty.

To schedule your home inspection today or for more information, contact Reed at (763) 434-3155.  Home Inspector Rogers | Pre-listing Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Brainerd | Home Inspection Brainerd | Certified Home Inspector Rogers | Certified Home Inspector Brainerd | Buyers Home Inspection Rogers | Buyers Home Inspection Brainerd | Radon Inspection Rogers | Radon Inspection Brainerd | Radon Inspection St. Michael

 

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Energy Efficient Way to Better Indoor Air Quality

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Good Air Quality Reduces Allergies

According to the EPA, indoor air quality inside a home is typically 5 times worse than outdoor air quality. New technologies have been developed for indoor air exchangers (sometimes called heat recovery ventilators or energy recovery ventilators), which can give you all the benefits of having open windows, but without losing all of the energy.

We’ve all heard about the problems of air pollution in the environment, but most people are shocked to find out that the air quality in their own homes is actually a much greater problem. There are a number of reasons why the air quality in your home is so much worse than outside air:

  • VOC (volatile organic chemicals) being released from carpets and furniture.
  • fumes from household cleaners and paints.
  • mold from damp bathrooms and basements.
  • naturally occurring radon gas which seeps up through the foundation floors.
  • fumes from cooking and smoking.
  • pet dander.

To improve the quality of air in your home, you can open your windows. But of course, in the wintertime, you will not want to do this. And in the summertime, you will not want to open your windows when you are running your air conditioner.

This is where an indoor air exchanger can be so helpful. By bringing in fresh outdoor air while capturing up to 80%

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Air Exchanger

of the potential heat loss, these units can significantly improve your indoor air quality in an energy efficient manner. And models which are energy recovery ventilators can actually transfer the humidity between the air streams, keeping the humidity in your house when you need it in the winter, and keeping humidity out in the summertime when you don’t want it.

You can see examples of various models of indoor air exchangers online on Amazon.com: indoor air exchangers.

As you will see, the prices for the units can range from about $350 to $1,400, depending on the style, capacity, features, etc. And then you will need to add the costs of the installation. Further, in addition to the initial cost of installing the unit, there are also the operating costs for electricity and routine maintenance. Electricity costs will vary according to the size of the unit you get and your local electric rates. For some models, the energy use can be as low as about 60 watts (about the same as an average light bulb), but of course, you can be saving 900 watts of heat that would have been lost through an open window.

Some models of air exchangers can be mounted in a window or wall opening, much like a room air conditioner is installed. These are designed to handle the ventilation for an individual room, such as a kitchen, living room, work studio, etc. Larger units are designed for the whole house and provide fresh air to all the rooms of your home. These larger units are easier to install if you have central heating or air conditioning ductwork to which the units can be connected.

Your choice of air exchanger will depend on factors such as:

  • the volume of air exchange you need for your home.
  • the configuration of your home’s ductwork.
  • the humidity of the region of the country where you live.
  • how tight the construction is of your home.

HOW THEY WORK

As shown in the diagram here, the way an indoor air exchanger works is that the air ducts for the intake air are intertwined with the air duct for the outflow air in the mixing chamber. As a result, the air flows do not mix, but the heat (or cooling in the summer) from the two air flows are exchanged. As a result, fresh air from the outside can come in without losing all of the heat (or cooling) from the inside air, thereby saving up to 80% of the energy.

The key elements of a typical air exchanger include:

Air Ports

: From one port, fresh air is drawn from the outside, and from the other port, indoor air is ducted and expelled out.

Exchanger:

The exchanger is a chamber where the separate air channels mix while separated from each other by highly conductive metal, which allows efficient heat transfer between the two air streams.

Filter:

A material made of foam, metal, etc. which removes dust and dirt particles from the outside air intake.

Damper:

A flat blade inside the air exchanger, which controls the amount of airflow.

Ductwork:

Channels in your house where the air flows through.

Drain pan:

A reservoir here water condensation is collected.

Condensate pump:

If the air exchanger is located in a basement below grade, then it will need a pump to eject the water condensate.

WHAT CAN TYPICALLY GO WRONG:

Most of the problems with an air exchanger can be related to humidity. If you do not have the right size or type of unit for your particular home and weather environment, you can find problems such as:

  • The air exchanger will not turn on often enough, because it is limited by the humidity of the outside air.
  • The unit is undersized for the volume of air in your home.

Other typical problems are poor unit efficiency and motor failure, which can be a result of not doing the proper routine maintenance.

ROUTINE MAINTENANCE:

Routine maintenance for an air exchanger will, of course, depend on the specific model that you have. But typical maintenance tasks for an air exchanger will include washing or replacing the filters on a regular basis, cleaning the exchanger chamber, and ensuring that the vents are clear and operating properly.

SUMMARY

If you are buying or selling a home, Home Detective can help you determine the air quality for peace of mind.  If you need a solution, indoor air exchangers are a great innovation for improving the quality of air in your home for you and your family, on an energy efficient basis. However, you will want to carefully choose which model is appropriate for your particular home situation, and if you already have one, you will want to do the proper routine maintenance for it.

Home Detective is certified by over 4 leading trade organizations as a home inspection expert, with rigorous knowledge and experience requirements that a jack of all trades can’t possibly offer, such as the Midwest Association of Home Inspectors (MAHI)American Home Inspection Training (AHIT)American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

These certifications along with years of experience will ensure you have peace of mind after you purchase your home.  In addition to our credentials, Home Detective offers a Free 90 Day Warranty for all the home inspections we do with the option for an 18 month extended warranty.

To schedule your home inspection today or for more information, contact Reed at (763) 434-3155. Home Inspector Rogers | Pre-listing Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Brainerd | Home Inspection Brainerd | Certified Home Inspector Rogers | Certified Home Inspector Brainerd | Buyers Home Inspection Rogers | Buyers Home Inspection Brainerd

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Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement: Where to Place CO Alarms in Your Home

Home Inspector Rogers, Pre-listing Home Inspection Rogers, Home Inspection Rogers, Home Inspection for Sellers Rogers, Home Inspection for Sellers BrainerdCarbon monoxide alarms help save lives every day.  Learn what they do, how to install them, and where you should place CO detectors. (This is a re-post courtesy of https://www.safety.com/carbon-monoxide-detector-placement).

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” because it is odorless, tasteless and colorless.  It’s also toxic since the gas can prevent your body from properly transporting oxygen. If inhaled in high concentrations, carbon monoxide poisoning can happen quickly; it can also occur slowly if toxic gas levels build up slowly over time.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

People who have been exposed to carbon monoxide experience a range of symptoms that may include headaches,

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Carbon Monoxide is a "silent killer" because it is odorless.

confusion, drowsiness, dizziness, burning eyes and loss of consciousness. An acute case can result in brain damage and death. Note that children, seniors and people who have pre-existing respiratory or heart conditions are often more sensitive to the effects of carbon monoxide.

What are possible sources of carbon monoxide in my home?

Carbon monoxide is a natural by-product of many home appliances. If you use charcoal, gasoline, kerosene, wood, propane, natural gas or heating oil to create energy or heat – hot water heaters, grills, furnaces, fireplaces, stoves, room heaters, etc. – then there is potential for carbon monoxide in your home. It’s important to have these products installed by a professional, since proper installation, ventilation, and maintenance will reroute any carbon monoxide emissions out of your home to keep your family safe.

What are carbon monoxide alarms?

Carbon monoxide detectors, also known as CO alarms, function similarly to smoke alarms. If carbon monoxide levels are present in your home, the detector will emit a sharp beeping sound to alert you to the danger. Like smoke alarms, it is important to change your CO detector batteries regularly; I like to schedule new batteries for Daylight Savings time change since they make it easy to remember this twice-yearly swap.

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It is preferable to install a Carbon Monoxide Detector at knee level

How do I install a carbon monoxide alarm?

Heat and smoke rise, which is why we place smoke alarms high on the wall or ceiling. Carbon monoxide, however, mixes with the air. For this reason, it is preferable to install CO alarms at knee level – the approximate height of a sleeping person’s nose and mouth.

If you have young children or pets that could tamper (play) with your detectors, you can move them up to chest height. Another option is to place them in a hard-to-reach area, where even curious hands and overzealous tails would have a hard time reaching. Bear in mind that a CO detector should never be blocked by furniture, curtains or other objects, as restricted airflow can affect its function.

Where should I place carbon monoxide detectors in my home?

Since we are most vulnerable to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning while we sleep, it is important to place

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Suggested Locations

alarms near your family’s bedrooms. If you only have one CO alarm, place it as close to everyone’s sleeping area as possible.

Ideally, you should have carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout your home, as you do smoke alarms. You should place a CO detector in each major area of your home: in the kitchen, in your living/dining room, in your bedrooms, and the office. If you have children or elderly family members living with you, provide extra protection near their rooms. If you live in a multi-story home, be sure to place at least one carbon monoxide detector on each level.

If your furnace is located in the basement, be sure to place a CO detector there, as well. Likewise, if you have a gas clothes dryer, put an alarm in the laundry room. Place one in the garage, if you park your cars there. Wherever you have a solid fuel-fired appliance – anything that could produce carbon monoxide – you should also have a CO alarm.

For more information on the TOP 5 Highest Rated Carbon Monoxide Detectors, visit https://www.safety.com/carbon-monoxide-detector-placement.

In addition to checking carbon monoxide detectors, Home Detective will also inspect fire detectors to ensure they are in proper working order for peace of mind.

Home Detective is certified by over 4 leading trade organizations as a home inspection expert, with rigorous knowledge and experience requirements that a jack of all trades can’t possibly offer, such as the Midwest Association of Home Inspectors (MAHI)American Home Inspection Training (AHIT)American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

These certifications along with years of experience will ensure you have peace of mind after you purchase your home.  In addition to our credentials, Home Detective offers a Free 90 Day Warranty for all the home inspections we do with the option for an 18 month extended warranty.

To schedule your home inspection today or for more information, contact Reed at (763) 434-3155.  Home Inspector Rogers | Pre-listing Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Brainerd | Home Inspection Brainerd | Certified Home Inspector Rogers | Certified Home Inspector Brainerd | Buyers Home Inspection Rogers | Buyers Home Inspection Brainerd

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Get a Home Inspection: Redfin Checklist #18

  1. Get a Home Inspection

home inspector rogers, pre listing home inspection rogers, home inspection rogers, home inspection for sellers rogers, home inspection for sellers Brainerd, home inspection BrainerdCongratulations are in order! The sellers have accepted your offer.  Now you want to get the home inspected to make sure there are no underlying issues that could cost you money down the road, such as a bad roof or foundation.  Usually, a home inspection is a contingency built into the initial offer, and your real estate agent can help you set this up. However, it is recommended to hire an inspector that is certified by a national organization (such as ASHI or Inter-NACHI). Though you can waive this contingency if you’re trying to make your offer more competitive in a hot market. Just be aware that if you do waive a home inspection contingency, you may be taking on considerable risk.

There are several types of home inspections, but in general, a typical home inspection involves a certified inspector certified home inspector rogers, certified home inspector brainerd, buyers home inspection rogers, buyers home inspection brainerdthat will go in, around, under, and top of your house looking for anything that could be of concern, such as structural or mechanical issues. The inspector would also look for safety issues related to the property. Though they will go into crawl spaces and attics as part of their inspection, they will not open walls. They will inspect the plumbing and electrical systems and should point out any defect in the property that could cost money down the road for the homeowner.

Then they will put their findings into a nice written report for you with pictures, which then basically becomes a miniature instruction manual for your house. No house is perfect, but the report will give you a great snapshot of the property at the time of the inspection. If there are fixes that need to be addressed, this report will certainly let you know.

You should also know that the sellers are not required to make any repairs to the property.  However, you can request them through your real estate agent, which will let you know what repairs are reasonable or not.

This article is a re-post courtesy of https://www.redfin.com.

Home Detective is certified by over 4 leading trade organizations as a home inspection expert, with rigorous knowledge and experience requirements that a jack of all trades can’t possibly offer, such as the Midwest Association of Home Inspectors (MAHI)American Home Inspection Training (AHIT)American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

These certifications along with years of experience will ensure you have peace of mind after you purchase your home.  In addition to our credentials, Home Detective offers a Free 90 Day Warranty for all the home inspections we do with the option for an 18 month extended warranty.

To schedule your home inspection today or for more information, contact Reed at (763) 434-3155. 

 

Reed M. Herman

Certified Home Inspector

Home Detective of Minnesota

Homedetectivemn.com

763-434-3155

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Steer Clear of a DIY Home Inspection

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Not everyone has the same "limitations" Clark has in the popular Christmas movie, Christmas Vacation.  But everyone has a Cousin Eddie like the movie.....well-meaning, a jack of all trades, a relative or close friend that is as excited as you are to be buying a home and they offer to do your home inspection.  Home Detective doesn’t mind if they come with, but for peace of mind, it is better to hire a professional to conduct your home inspection.

Home Detective is certified by over 4 leading trade organizations as a home inspection expert, with rigorous knowledge and experience requirements that a jack of all trades can’t possibly offer, such as the Midwest Association of Home Inspectors (MAHI)American Home Inspection Training (AHIT)American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).

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Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation

These certifications along with years of experience will ensure you have peace of mind after you purchase your home.  In addition to our credentials, Home Detective offers a Free 90 Day Warranty for all the home inspections we do with the option for an 18 month extended warranty.

To schedule your home inspection today or for more information, contact Reed at (763) 434-3155.  Home Inspection Rogers | Certified Home Inspector Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Rogers | Pre-listing Home Inspection Rogers | Buyers Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection Warranty Rogers | Home Inspector Rogers  

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Appliances Included: Free 90 Day Home Inspection Warranty

No matter how thorough the inspection, issues come up after the sale from time to time with previously owned homes.  It’s not the inspector's fault, nor the agents or new homeowners.  That’s why Home Detective offers a FREE 90 Warranty with any home inspection we do.  Some buyers and agents have used it over the years, ALL with positive reviews.  Every party to the transaction leaves it with peace of mind.

 

For appliances, all claims must be received within 90 days of the inspection or within 22 days of closing, whichever comes later.*  For added peace of mind, you can extend it for 18 months.  Seller’s selling old homes, buyers buying old homes love this option.  It often makes deals happen that seemed lost.

To schedule a home inspection, contact Reed today online or call (763) 434-3155.  Home Detective is certified by over 4 leading trade organizations as a home inspection expert, such as the Midwest Association of Home Inspectors (MAHI)American Home Inspection Training (AHIT)American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI).  Home Inspector Rogers | Pre-listing Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Rogers | Home Inspection for Sellers Brainerd | Home Inspection Brainerd | Certified Home Inspector Rogers | Certified Home Inspector Brainerd | Buyers Home Inspection Rogers | Buyers Home Inspection Brainerd | Radon Inspection Rogers | Radon Inspection Brainerd | Radon Inspection St. Michael

 

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