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Heater Smells

Does Your Heater Smell Like Something is Burning?

As we approach the winter months, we turn on our furnace or heater for our homes for the first time in months. Oftentimes, there is a burning smell associated with turning on the heater for the first couple of times. You might wonder why this happens and if this is normal.

Heater Smells

The answer is yes, this is common every year and it is normal. However, it is preventable and a sign your HVAC system needs a service. Let’s take a look.

Zinc Inspections offers a variety of home inspections in Vancouver for both residential and commercial properties to detect these sorts of hidden problems.

A HIABC licensed home inspector can tell you if your washer and dryer components are up to code and venting systems are in good working order.

Heater Smells

Dirty Air Handler Filter

Why Your Heater Smells Like It’s Burning

Throughout the summer months, you might have your A/C system cranked up. During this time, a lot of dust gets blown through the HVAC system and collects on your filter.

However, dust may collect past your filter if your filter is not properly maintained. Your filter should be the right size, of good quality, and replaced frequently. If not, this can lead to dust collection on your evaporator coils.

By the time winter hits, if dust collects on your evaporator coils, dust can burn off once you turn on your heater for the first time. This is quite common, however, it’s a sign your HVAC system was not properly maintained.

Dust on Evaporator Coils

Effects of Dust Collection

While dust collection on evaporator coils may not seem like such a bad thing if it is burned off every year, it can actually have a lot of effects on your HVAC system overall.

For example, a thin layer of dust on your blower fan, which can be caused by dust getting through the evaporator coils, can significantly reduce the efficiency of your HVAC system. It could even cause your unit to freeze up.

Moreover, dust can contain mold and other harmful contaminants that should have been removed from the air.

Overall, improper HVAC maintenance can lead to many issues and reduce the life of your HVAC system.

home inspections in Vancouver

HVAC Maintenance

We recommend servicing your HVAC system twice a year, once before summer, and once before winter. During this time, your technician will ensure your evaporator coils are clean so when you do turn on your heat, there is no smell.

Also, we recommend replacing your filter every 30-90 days depending on the activity level in your home. If you have pets and children, consider replacing your filter more often.

Lastly, we recommend pouring vinegar down your condensation line every 30-90 days, again depending on the activity level in your home.

Final Thoughts

If your heater smells like it is burning, the most likely cause is the dust is being burned off. While it is not an immediate concern and is quite common, it is preventable and it is a sign your system has not been properly maintained.

 

Home Inspection in Vancouver has gained popularity because it is a relatively simple process compared to purchasing a home. A home inspection by a qualified home inspection specialist is when an experienced home inspector conducts a visual inspection of the outside, interior, foundation, flooring, lighting, walls, ventilation, and heating system of the house and prepares a written report for the customer. The highest qualified home inspectors in Vancouver are licensed through the HIABC.

Zinc Inspections is owned and operated by Ali Javaheri, a licensed member of The Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) with more than 15 years of experience in BC’s housing industry.

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

Auto-Shutoff Hose

How to Choose Washing Machine Hoses for Your Washer

Most homeowners don’t think about their washing machine hoses after they are first installed. Unfortunately, these inconspicuous and inexpensive plumbing components flood a lot of houses. Although it’s easy to grab the first set of washing machine hoses you see, it’s a good idea to review all of the choices. Selecting a good set of washing machine hoses is particularly important when a laundry room is located on the main level of the house.

Regardless of which set of washing machine hoses you choose, you should replace them about every three to five years. It’s also a good idea to check the hoses for damage or leaks about once a year as part of your regular plumbing maintenance.

Zinc Inspections offers a variety of home inspections in Vancouver for both residential and commercial properties to detect these sorts of hidden problems.

A HIABC licensed home inspector can tell you if your washer and dryer components are up to code and venting systems are in good working order.

1. Reinforced Rubber

Many people are familiar with the standard washing machine hose made of reinforced rubber. They are relatively inexpensive to buy and easy to find. The reinforcement comes in the form of a braided rayon or polyester mesh that makes the rubber stronger and less likely to burst.

Reinforced Rubber

If your washing machine is inside the house, these hoses are not recommended because they are the most likely to burst. Note that there are non-reinforced hoses available, so check that the label specifically says they are reinforced.

A standard washing machine hose made of reinforced rubber is a good basic choice when the washing machine is located outside the house.

2. Steel Braided

A stainless steel braided hose is the minimum recommended for indoor use. They are middle-of-the-road when it comes to price, but the added safety is worth the extra money. The braided stainless steel encases a rubber hose and provides a burst-resistant measure. These washing machine hoses have a lower failure rate than rubber hoses when properly installed.

washing machine

Note that in tight spaces when the hose may become bent or kinked, the braided stainless steel can dig into the rubber hose. Thus it’s best to look for a hose that has an elbow at the end to prevent this problem. A stainless steel braided hose is better than the basic rubber hose and meets a minimum standard when the washing machine is located inside the house.

3. Auto-Shutoff Hose

For a few more dollars you can have additional peace of mind using auto-shutoff hoses. These are also stainless steel-braided hoses that can be used indoors. These hoses have a shut-off mechanism at one end as an added safety feature. If the hose bursts, the connector can sense the water pressure change and it stops the flow of water.

Auto-Shutoff Hose

This auto-shutoff device can mean the difference between a little water on the laundry room floor and extensive flood damage. There are a few variations in appearance and warranty based on the brand.  Auto-shutoff hoses provide the best safety features for added peace of mind.

4. Washing Machine Hose Tips

Proper installation is the first step in avoiding hose failure and flooding. Follow these tips for installation and maintenance to help prevent costly flood damage.

Tips

  • Buy proper length hoses when installing a washing machine or replacing old hoses. Select a length to fit the space rather than trying to force a proper fit.
  • Allow enough space between the wall and the machine to avoid kinks in the hoses. Aim for 3 to 4 inches but adjust as needed to avoid sharp bends in the hoses.
  • Inspect washing machine hoses regularly. At a minimum, check the hoses once or twice a year. Keep an eye out for kinks, damage, rust, or snags in the braided stainless steel along with signs of a leak.
  • Consider purchasing a true washing machine leak detection system. They are easy to find at hardware stores and go by several trade names, including Flood Master or Intelliflow.
  • Shut off water supply valves when not in use and when you will be away from home such on vacation. The constant water pressure on the washing machine hoses can contribute to hose failure.
  • Replace washing machine hoses regularly. Read the manufacturer’s recommendations and install new hoses as suggested.

Home Inspection in Vancouver has gained popularity because it is a relatively simple process compared to purchasing a home. A home inspection by a qualified home inspection specialist is when an experienced home inspector conducts a visual inspection of the outside, interior, foundation, flooring, lighting, walls, ventilation, and heating system of the house and prepares a written report for the customer. The highest qualified home inspectors in Vancouver are licensed through the HIABC.

Zinc Inspections is owned and operated by Ali Javaheri who is a licensed member of The Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) with more than 15 years of experience in BC’s housing industry.

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

 

 

Mold

Everything you need to know about Mold

No one wants to buy a house with a mold problem. Unfortunately, these sneaky little spores aren’t always easy to detect. If you’re house hunting, make sure that you get your house professionally inspected prior to the purchase, your home inspector may see obvious signs of mold or water damage. Zinc Inspections offers a variety of home inspections in Vancouver for both residential and commercial properties to detect these sorts of hidden problems.

mold

Home Inspector Vancouver Bc

Facts about Mold:

  1. Mold is technically a fungus.

There are some 100,000 known species of mold. They come in a range of colors they can be found in the air and on many surfaces. Many popular kinds of cheese are made with mold. Penicillin was discovered from mold in 1958 and eventually antibiotics.

  1. Not all molds are harmful, we all live with some small amount of mold spores around us.
  1. However, some molds have been linked to respiratory illnesses including asthma, and people with allergies are more sensitive to mold, and eventually, prolonged exposure to the great volume of harmful mold could cause Heath issues.
  1. All it needs to grow is the smallest amount of moisture and some nutrient. It is impossible to remove all molds from your home but it can be controlled by removing excess humidity and moisture, and good ventilation.
  1. All visible mold should be cleaned with bleach-based detergent. For people with severe allergies an air quality test is recommended to make sure there are no harmful particles in your living space. The key to more control is the removal of any existing visible particles and control of your home humidity by having good ventilation.
mold

Home Insception Vancouver

Home Inspection in Vancouver has gained popularity because it is a relatively simple process compared to purchasing a home. A home inspection by a qualified home inspection specialist is when an experienced home inspector conducts a visual inspection of the outside, interior, foundation, flooring, lighting, walls, ventilation, and heating system of the house and prepares a written report for the customer. The highest qualified home inspectors in Vancouver are licensed through the HIABC.

Zinc Inspections is owned and operated by Ali Javaheri who is a licensed member of The Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) with more than 15 years of experience in BC’s housing industry.

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

CO and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Can Save Your Life

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, invisible gas that is produced by burning fuels such as: propane, natural gas, oil, wood, charcoal, alcohol, kerosene, or gasoline — all of which are commonly used in your home, RV, boat, or business.

Exposure to carbon monoxide can be deadly. Carbon monoxide interferes with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, which can lead to serious illness, severe side effects, or death.

Zinc Inspections offers a variety of home inspections in Vancouver for both residential and commercial properties to detect these sorts of hidden problems.

A lHIABC licensed home inspector can tell you if your gas appliances and venting systems are in good working order.

Potential Sources of Carbon Monoxide

Any fuel-burning appliances which are malfunctioning or improperly installed can be a source of CO, such as:

  • furnaces;
  • stoves and ovens;
  • water heaters;
  • dryers;
  • room and space heaters;
  • fireplaces and wood stoves;
  • charcoal grills;
  • automobiles;
  • clogged chimneys or flues;
  • space heaters;
  • power tools that run on fuel;
  • gas and charcoal grills;
  • certain types of swimming pool heaters; and
  • boat engines.

How can I prevent CO poisoning?

Smoke alarms detect particles in the air. The most commonly do this using two types of detection technologies.

The first commonly used technology is called photoelectric. This technology works by detecting light that is bouncing off particles from a light beam inside the sensing chamber, as soon as there are particles present and the amount of light registered by the light detector reaches a certain threshold level, the alarm sounds.

The other types are ionization detectors. These use a small bit of safely shielded radioactive material that electrically charges, or ionizes, the air molecules between two metal plates. This results in a small electric current flowing from one plate to the other in the air. When particles enter the chamber, they attract the ions and carry them away, reducing the current. When the amount of particles entering the chamber is enough to reduce that current below a certain point, the device will register those particles as smoke and the alarm will sound.

Carbon monoxide detectors are the fastest way to prevent CO poisoning. You can install a carbon monoxide alarm (or multiple detectors) in your home. They work much like your fire or smoke alarm by sounding a siren when they detect carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide or Combination smoke and CO detector should be installed in any home with gas-burning appliances (Range, Cooktop, Furnace, …). Verify all smoke and CO detectors are newer than 10 years old (the lifespan of these detectors is 10 years) and on each floor and in the suites.

Home Inspection in Vancouver has gained popularity because it is a relatively simple process compared to purchasing a home. A home inspection by a qualified home inspection specialist is when an experienced home inspector conducts a visual inspection of the outside, interior, foundation, flooring, lighting, walls, ventilation, and heating system of the house and prepares a written report for the customer. The highest qualified home inspectors in Vancouver are licensed through the HIABC.

Zinc Inspections is owned and operated by Ali Javaheri who is a licensed member of The Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) with more than 15 years of experience in BC’s housing industry.

Contact Us at Zinc Inspections if you have any questions or concerns about your property:

778-835-5381

info@zincinspections.com

What are GFCI Outlets and What Are Their Benefits?

We’ve all seen those outlets with the little “test” and “reset” buttons on the face of the outlet.  These are called “GFCI” outlets.  The “GFCI” stands for Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.   But what does that mean? And why are these types of outlets necessary?

1. They prevent electrical shock.

GFCI outlets have sensors inside of them that monitor the flow of electricity. If even a minuscule amount of electrical current travels along an unintended path, most three-prong outlets will redirect it into the ground. However, if that current is conducted through a human being during a “ground fault,” it can have deadly consequences. GFCI outlets cut off electrical power to their receptacle completely as soon as they detect discrepancies in the current. This keeps us from receiving painful shocks from power surges, faulty technology, or contact with water.

There are various factors that can determine the outcome or severity of a shock.   These factors are:

  1. The strength of the voltage
  2. Your resistance as the conductor (wet skin is much less resistant than dry)
  3. The path that the electricity takes through your body (through the heart is a bad path)
  4. The duration of the electric shock.  If the amperage running through your body is high enough, your muscles can lose function or spasm, causing your body to freeze in place.  You may not be able to release your grasp on the item that is causing the shock.

It’s impossible to predict exactly how mild or severe an electrical shock will be, as these factors can come in a variety of combinations.  Contact with water is a key ingredient that should always be avoided, as it can cause you and your surroundings to become much more conductive.

But we can all agree that it’s best to try to avoid shock hazards entirely.

2. They prevent electrical fires.

As the wiring in a home ages, its insulation can slowly deteriorate. If loose or exposed wiring experiences a prolonged surge in the electrical current, it can spark a fire inside the walls of your home. A GFCI outlet stops any electrical current “leakage” in its tracks before it has the chance to spark an electrical fire. If you live in an older home that could be prone to electrical oddities, GFCI outlets are a major asset for fire prevention and protection.

3. They bring your outlets up to modern electrical codes.

Because GFCI outlets are such an advantageous safety sensor, they are required by the National Electrical Code in all new kitchens, bathrooms, garages, basements, laundry rooms, outdoor spaces, and more. Older homes built before this requirement was standard often do not have GFCI outlets installed next to sources of water. Upgrading existing homes that don’t meet modern electrical code standards is not required by law, but it is much safer for your property and your family. It is also significantly important if you ever decide to rent or sell your property. Any safety inspector will immediately notice if there is an old-fashioned outlet receptacle near a water source posing a potential hazard. Upgrading to GFCI ensures current and future residents of your property will stay safer from electrical dangers.

 Inspecting GFCI Outlets

During a home inspection by a HIABC home inspector, there is almost inevitably a conversation about GFCI outlets.   Zinc Home Inspectors will note the presence or absence of GFCI outlets in the required locations.  We will alert you to these locations so that you know where they are in case they were to trip. And we will test them when possible to verify that they are working properly.

Home Inspection Vancouver, House Inspector Vancouver, Home Inspection Surrey, Home Inspector Near Me, Home Inspector Vancouver BC

There are many cases where we find that the GFCIs are not working properly, and would not provide any form of shock protection.  GFCI components can wear out over time.

Or they can be wired incorrectly in a manner in which the outlet works, but does not trip and shut off the power. These are safety hazards that our inspectors will seek to bring to your attention.

On older homes, GFCIs may not be present, as they may not have been required by code at the time that the house was built.  If they aren’t present in your home, you ought to consider installing them.

GFCI outlets are relatively inexpensive, and a standard outlet can easily be swapped with a GFCI with minimal difficulty.  One GFCI outlet on the circuit can protect multiple outlets down-line, so you can often install just one on each required circuit, and the other outlets down-line on this circuit will be protected.

There are also circuit breakers with a GFCI and test button built-in at the breaker, which can be used to provide this same protection for the entire circuit.

Zinc Inspections offers a variety of home inspections in Vancouver for both residential and commercial properties to detect these sorts of hidden problems. The HIABC Inspectors at Zinc Home Inspections of Greater Vancouver take safety concerns seriously – you should too.  Review where GFCI outlets need to be installed in your home and work with an electrician or qualified person to help update those outlets – your life may depend on it!

Zinc Inspections is owned and operated by Ali Javaheri, a licensed member of The Home Inspectors Association BC (HIABC) with more than 15 years of experience in BC’s housing industry.

For more information on what is included in our home inspection package, visit us at www.zincinspections.com.