Category Archives: windstorm mitigation inspection

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Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter

Homeowner Maintenance: Changing the HVAC Filter

Part of responsible homeownership includes, of course, regular home maintenance. And there are some tasks that, if deferred, can lead to a home system that’s inefficient and overworked, which can result in problems and expenses. One such task is changing the filter of the home’s HVAC system. It’s simple and inexpensive, and taking care of it at least every three months can mean the difference between optimum comfort and avoidable repairs.

What Can Go Wrong

Most homes have some sort of furnace or heat pump, and manA-C System Home Inspectiony of those homes (especially newer ones) have combined heating, ventilation and air-conditioning or HVAC systems. Each type uses some type of air filter or screen to prevent larger airborne particles (up to 40 microns) from entering the system and clogging sensitive machinery. A system that has a dirty filter can suffer from pressure drop, which can lead to reduced air flow, or “blow-out,” resulting in no air infiltration at all. Any of these conditions can cause the system to work harder to keep the home warm or cool (depending on the season and the setting). And any mechanical component that has to work harder to run efficiently puts undue stress on the whole system, which can lead to premature failure, resulting in repair or replacement.

Also, a dirty filter that’s exposed to condensation can become damp, which can lead to mold growth that can be spread throughout the home by the HVAC system. This can lead to serious health consequences, not to mention a compromised unit that will likely require servicing and may require replacement, depending on the severity of the moisture problem.

Types of Filters

Most HVAC and furnace filters are disposable, made of biodegradable paper or similar media, and shaped in cells, screens or fins designed to trap as much airborne debris as possible. Filters can typically be purchased in economical multi-packs, and there are many types that will fit different models of furnace/HVAC units. It’s important to use the appropriate filter for your unit; using the wrong filter that doesn’t fit the unit properly can create the same types of problems as having a dirty filter. Your HVAC installer can show you where the filter goes and how to remove the old one and install a new one. Your unit may also have an affixed label with directions for easy filter replacement.

How Often?

Your HVAC or furnace technician should service your unit once a year. Because a furnace/HVAC unit contains moving parts, it’s important that belts are not cracked and dry, ventilation ductwork is not gapped, cracked or rusted, and components, such as coils and fans, are clog-free and adequately lubricated for unimpeded operation. This sort of evaluation is best left to the professional, unless the homeowner has had the appropriate training.
The filter of the unit, especially if it’s an HVAC unit that will tend to get nearly year-round use, should be changed by the homeowner at least every three months, but possibly more often.
Check your filter’s condition and change it once a month if:
You run your unit six months a year to year-round.
You have pets. Pet dander can become airborne and circulate through the home’s ventilation system just as typical household dust does.
You have a large family. More activity means more household dust, dirt and debris.
You smoke indoors.
You or someone in your household suffers from allergies or a respiratory condition.
You live in a particularly windy area or experience high winds for extended periods, especially if there are no nearby shrubs or trees to provide a natural windbreak.
You live in an area prone to or having recently experienced any wildfires. Airborne ash outdoors will eventually find its way indoors.
You have a fireplace that you occasionally use.
You live on a working farm or ranch. Dust and dirt that gets kicked up by outdoor work activity and/or large animals can be pulled into the home’s ventilation system, especially through open windows.
You have a large garden. Depending on its size and how often you work it, tilling soil, planting, pulling weeds, using herbicides and pesticides, and even watering mean that dirt, chemicals and condensation can be pulled into your home’s ventilation system.
There is construction taking place around or near the home. You may be installing a new roof or a pool, or perhaps a neighbor is building a home or addition. Even if the activity is only temporary, dust and debris from worksites adjacent to or near the home can be sucked into the home’s ventilation system, and this increased activity can tax your HVAC system.

Change the filter immediately if:

The filter is damaged. Whether it happened inside the packaging or while being installed, a damaged filter that has bent fins, collapsed cells or holes will not work as well as an undamaged filter, especially if it allows system air to bypass the filter at any point.
The filter is damp. A filter affected by moisture intrusion, system condensation, or even high indoor humidity can quickly become moldy and spread airborne mold spores throughout the home via the ventilation system.
There is evidence of microbial growth or mold on the filter. Mold spores already infiltrating the home via the HVAC system are not only bad for the unit itself, but they can pose a health hazard for the family, ranging from an irritated respiratory system to a serious allergic reaction. The musty smell produced by a moldy HVAC filter is also unpleasant and may take a while to completely eradicate from inside the home. If you discover that you have moldy air filter, it’s important to have the cause investigated further. An InterNACHI certified Cris Home inspector can help determine the problem so that it doesn’t recur.

Tips on Changing the Filter

Turn off the unit before replacing the filter.
Use the right filter for your unit and make sure it’s not damaged out of the package.
Follow the directions for your unit to make sure you’re installing the filter properly. For example, many filters use different colors for the front and back (or upstream and downstream flow) so that they’re not installed backwards.
Make sure there aren’t any gaps around the filter frame. If this is the case, you may have the wrong size filter, or the filter itself may be defective or damaged.
Use a rag to clean up any residual dust before and after you replace the filter.
Securely replace any levers, gaskets and/or seals.
Turn the unit on and observe it while it’s operating to make sure the filter stays in place.
Note the date of filter replacement in a convenient location for the next time you inspect it. A filter that becomes dirty enough to change within a short period of time may indicate a problem with the unit or ventilation system, so monitoring how often the filter requires changing is important information for your technician to have.

Call a technician for servicing if:

Your unit fails to turn back on.
The fan is slow or makes excessive noise, or the fins are bent.
The coils are excessively dusty or clogged.
You notice moisture intrusion from an unknown source anywhere in the system.
Homeowners who take care of the easy task of changing their HVAC filter can help prevent system downtime and avoidable expenses, as well as keep their families living and breathing comfortably. Cris home inspections Cris Home inspector can provide more useful tips and reminders during your annual home maintenance inspection.


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Wind Mitigation Inspection Can Reduce Your Home Insurance Policy

Lower Your Homeowners Insurance Cost with Wind Mitigation Inspection

Insurance Company’s offer discounts on your homeowner policy premiums for building construction techniques and features that provide greater protection for your home or business.

Windstorm Mitigation discounts are offered for features that protect your home or business from wind damage caused by major storms.

These discounts apply only to the wind portion of your policy premium. They are not offered for mobile homes.

Wind Mitigation Inspection

Wind Pressure

  Opening protection devices:

Rated shutters to protect all windows and doors from wind-borne debris

Special impact-resistant windows and doors with proper paperwork (Notice of Acceptance)
 
Roof shape

Roof Types Diagram

Roof Types Diagram

 

Hip roof (sloped on all four sides like a pyramid)

Flat Roof

Other (not Hip or Flat)

 

Roof Covering – 2001 Florida Building Code (FBC)

Roof Covering

Roof Covering

Broward County – Roof must be newer than 9/1/94
Palm Beach County – Roof must be newer than 3/1/02

  Roof-deck attachment

Clips (minimum of 3 nails)
Single Wraps Straps (single strap that wraps over the top of the truss/rafter & is secured with a min. of 2 nails on the front and 1 on the back.)

Ask your Insurance agent for more information.

Other Home Insurance Discounts

Certain types of policies also may qualify for additional discounts:

  • Fire alarm systems – Centrally monitored systems, with and without sprinklers, may be eligible for discounts.
  • Burglar alarm systems – Systems must be monitored to be eligible for premium discounts.
  • Sprinkler systems – Documentation is required before any discounts are applied, and the cost of any required certification of discount eligible features is the homeowner’s responsibility.

Ask your Insurance agent whether your policy may qualify and To schedule your home inspection contact Cris Home Inspections at (561) 393-9977

To download copy of Wind Mitigation inspection page in printable format click here


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Lower Home Insurance Premium by Installing Hurricane Shutters

How to Lower Home Insurance Premium

Insurance companies offer discounts to homeowners for home improvements, these includes Installing Hurricane Shutters. If you live in a hurricane prone zone, you may qualify for a discounts by wind mitigation improvements, including installing wind resistant shutters that can save you up to 30% percent on your Home Insurance Premium. Adding Hurricane Shutters can minimize your damage risk and save you money.

After Hurricane Shutters installed call Cris Home Inspections Agency and schedule a Wind Mitigation Inspection. A complete Windstorm Mitigation Inspection is fully-recognized by Insurance Companies, is best attained through a dedicated Home Inspection business.

A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection can help look for construction features that will reduce losses in hurricanes, such as concrete block construction, shutter and opening protection, roof to wall attachments gable end bracing, hip roofs and hurricane clips. Windstorm Mitigation Inspector look into the advantages of how it can help you save money. Homeowners also gain expert knowledge on how they can physically improve their homes to withstand the forces of nature. In case a storm actually does materialize with the potential to damage their property, homeowners can save money if their properties have structures that can withstand those storms and avoid damage, which ultimately affects the calculated Insurance premiums.


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Windstorm Mitigation Inspection can save you money.

Windstorm Inspections
Windstorm Inspection

 Living in sunny South Florida our homes are located in a storm-prone area, and because of that Homeowners Insurance becomes a little bit more of a complex issue.

The Complexity relates to storm threats inflating your Home Insurance premiums, because storms are such a big Insurance and financial risk.

All is not lost however.

You definitely don’t have to subject yourself to higher premiums even if we are located in an area that is vulnerable to damaging windstorms and hurricanes. 

A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection, will help to determine what credits you receive on your Homeowners Insurance premium. 

What is a Palm Beach Windstorm Mitigation Inspection?

A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection is an official protocol through which Inspectors assess your home. This is carried out with a visual Inspection to determine how appropriate your home’s building structure is in withstanding the effects of strong winds such as hurricanes, tornadoes or windstorms.

Money Saved through Windstorm Mitigation Goes Beyond Homeowners Insurance While the money-saving implications of a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection are primarily linked to the savings on the policy premiums. Homeowners also gain expert knowledge on how they can physically improve their homes to withstand the forces of nature. In case a storm actually does materialize with the potential to damage their property, homeowners can save money if their properties have structures that can withstand those storms and avoid damage.

Call us today to schedule your next Inspection – Phone #561-393-9977 


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Why get a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection on your home?

Windstorm Mitigation Inspection is the only inspection that is almost always going to result in some level of insurance discount on your insurance policy premium. A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection is for homeowners that are trying to reduce their Home Insurance rates up to 50% off the original policy premium

If your home has undergone a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection you are potentially eligible for insurance discounts or credits from insurance companies.Insurance companies increase their odds of insuring more secure, less damage-susceptible properties in targeted areas.

If you have not had a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection on your home, chances are you are paying too much for your windstorm insurance! Having your Windstorm Mitigation Inspection today on your home could translate to savings and give you a peace of mind.

In Palm Beach County if your home was built on or after January 1st, 2012 you are eligible for minimum FBC 2001 credit.
In Broward/Miami-Dade if your home was built after 1996, you are eligible for an opening protection class C credit. If your home was built after 2002 or later you are eligible for opening protection class A credit.

Here are something’s that the Inspector will look at during a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection of your home.

Age of the home
Roof Covering – When was the roof installed and does it meet South Florida building codes.
Windstorm Mitigation Inspection Roof Covering

 

 

 

 

Roof Deck Attachment – What type of roof decking is used and how it is attached to the underlying structure.
P1260130Windstorm Mitigation Inspections

 

 

 

 

Roof to Wall Attachment – How the rafters/trusses are attached to the wall top plate.
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Roof Geometry – What type of roof your home has (example: Hip, Flat or other.)

Opening Protection for Doors & Windows – Shutters or impact resistant coverings or products.

 Call us today to schedule your next Inspection… Phone #561-393-9977


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Cris Home Inspections – About us.

Welcome to Cris Home Inspections!

Cris Home Inspections is the most trusted and reliable name in the field of Complete Residential Inspections Services in South Florida. We have been serving thousands of clients since 2000. Our Inspectors are highly qualified, as well as Internachi certified, licensed, bonded and Insured with over 10 years’ of experience and skill to cater to your all your Home Inspection needs.

We serve clients in Martin County, Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami/Dade County.

Why Choose Cris Home Inspections?

Cris Home Inspections is a name that offers client’s a number of advantages. Our company is solely dedicated to the task of conducting Complete Residential & Commerical Inspections Services.

At Cris Home Inspections we strive to be a company that really specializes in Residential/Commerical Inspections.

  • Complete Residential Inspection Services – Our Inspection Services include 4 Point Inspections, Windstorm Mitigation Inspections, Citizens Roof Certificate Inspections, Commercial Property Inspections and Home Inspections. Recognizing all the needs for repairs so that buyers and sellers can both benefit from them accordingly.
  • Certified and Experienced Professionals – All our Inspectors are Internachi certified and have over 10 years’ experience. We are proud to say that our Inspectors are also dedicated and serious about their work.
  • Reliable and trustworthy – For years we have provided our services to thousands of clients who have not only found our work reliable but, also rely on the name of Cris Home Inspections. We maintain that level of reliability and trustworthiness for all our clients, knowing that their trust comes first.
  • Our focus remains on maintaining professionalism. We know that, in order to stay a successful and reliable name, we need to be professional in all aspects, so that our clients can be content knowing that the Inspection was handled professionally throughout the entire process.

What Is Internachi?

Internachi Home Inspectors consist of experienced and skilled professional Inspectors who are licensed by the renowned organization of International Institute of Certified Home Inspectors.

This is a large non-profit organization of Commercial and Residential professional Inspectors. Using our certified Inspectors lets you take a sigh of relief and gives every client a sense of

contentment and peace of mind. Here at Cris Insurance Inspections you can rest assured that we are dedicated, reliable and will offer accurate services. 

 Call us today #561-393-9977 & #954-523-4040 to set up your next Inspection with our Internachi certified Inspectors. 

Have me call you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$10,000 Honor Guarantee, Backed by InterNACHI


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How a Broward Windstorm Mitigation Inspection can save you money…

Windstorm Mitigation saves you money

Windstorm Mitigation saves you money

 

 

 

How a Broward Windstorm Mitigation Inspection Can Save You Money

 

Living in sunny South Florida our homes are located in a storm-prone area, and because of that Homeowners Insurance becomes a little bit more of a complex issue.

The Complexity relates to storm threats inflating your Home Insurance premiums, because storms are such a big Insurance and financial risk. All is not lost however.

You definitely don’t have to subject yourself to higher premiums even if you’re home is located in an area that is vulnerable to damaging windstorms and hurricanes.

A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection, will help to determine what credits you receive on your Homeowners Insurance premium.

 

What is a Broward Windstorm Mitigation Inspection?

 

A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection is an official protocol through which Inspectors assess your home. This is carried out with a visual Inspection to determine how

appropriate your home’s building structure is in withstanding the effects of strong winds such as hurricanes, tornados or windstorms. During the Inspection, the four

major components  in your home are zoned-in on and we focus on a selection of established construction features which have the ability to limit losses during

wind storms or hurricanes.  

A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection could be commissioned by an Insurance Company, or it can be initiated by the homeowner.

A homeowner should get the Windstorm Mitigation Inspection because this would be a step to reduce the Policy Premiums and give you peace of mind

knowing that your home is safe. Since Insurers themselves are justifiably notorious for offering increased premiums to homeowners in hurricane

high-risk areas, it becomes imperative for homeowners to take this initiative.

 

A complete Windstorm Mitigation Inspection, which is certified and fully-recognized by Insurance Companies, is best attained through a dedicated Home Inspection

business such as Cris Insurance Inspections..We specialize in Residential Inspections such as:

 

  •  4 Point Inspection
  • Citizens Roof Certification Inspection
  • Home Inspection
  • Windstorm Mitigation Inspection

 

Money saved through a Windstorm Mitigation goes beyond Homeowners Insurance,  Homeowners also gain expert knowledge on how they can physically improve their homes

to withstand the forces of nature. In case a storm actually does materialize with the potential to damage their property, homeowners can save money if their properties have structures that can

withstand those storms and avoid damage.

 

Any subsequent upgrade, contract job adjustment, reconstruction or improvement not only better equips the building to deal with possible wind damage, but can also be

worked into one’s Home Insurance premiums quote. At the end of the day, insurers assess the amount of risk tied to their contractual arrangement with homeowners.

A Windstorm Mitigation Inspection plays a major role in reducing that risk, which ultimately affects the calculated Insurance premiums.

 

                                                  Call us today to schedule your Inspection phone #561-393-9977 

 

Save money.

Save money.

Get a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection

Get a Windstorm Mitigation Inspection

Call us today.

Call us today.

 

 

 

How a Broward Windstorm Mitigation Inspection Can Save You Money.


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Recommended Links

Eaton Insurance
Phone (561) 966-1848
www.eatoninsurance.net

Furman Insurance
Phone (954) 943-5050
www.furmaninsurance.com

Real Estate Agent
Mark Baker
Phone 561-336-6333
www.buyingpalmbeachhomes.com