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Thread: NCI Classes

  1. #1
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    NCI Classes

    Hi All,

    I'm a home inspector....please don't groan!....and I'm thinking of taking National Comfort Institute's Day 1 class on Air Diagnostics and Balancing. I want to be able to make more specific recommendations in my home inspection reports regarding ducts, air handlers, etc. Has anyone attended? Any opinions on NCI? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by InspectorDan View Post
    Hi All,

    I'm a home inspector....please don't groan!....and I'm thinking of taking National Comfort Institute's Day 1 class on Air Diagnostics and Balancing. I want to be able to make more specific recommendations in my home inspection reports regarding ducts, air handlers, etc. Has anyone attended? Any opinions on NCI? Thanks!
    I think that if you don't know anything about HVAC that a 1 day course won't teach you a damn thing. Do your visual inspection. That is enough. And what the hell is air diagnostics???

    We spend countless hours and money in classroom settings. We dedicate our lives to our work.

    If you don't have the specific drawings for a house, then you don't know what cfm your looking for. Which means you looking for one thing and the design is totally different. And the moment you start recommending air balancing etc.etc.....your gonna cause complete duct changeouts. Something sellers are not going to do. And so therefore, the home doesn't sell. At least not until they find a buyer that doesn't use you for a home inspection.

    Your job as a home inspector is important but don't get carried away. Do what you usually do. You start going off that far and you will loose a lot of business.


    And finally, your kind makes all of us groan, gripe, and complain. Because I have yet to meet 1 home inspector that knew anything about HVAC. Your kind has done nothing but create problems and usually embarass themselves. But thats a whole new topic that we don't need to venture into.
    I fully support the military and the War on Terrorism.


    If you don't know, then don't do. If you don't know and still do, then be prepared to pay someone else a lot to undo what you did and then do it right.

    If you do know, then do. But do it right. Otherwise, you may not be doing it long.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by iraqveteran View Post
    I think that if you don't know anything about HVAC that a 1 day course won't teach you a damn thing. Do your visual inspection. That is enough. And what the hell is air diagnostics???

    We spend countless hours and money in classroom settings. We dedicate our lives to our work.

    Your job as a home inspector is important but don't get carried away. Do what you usually do.

    And finally, your kind makes all of us groan, gripe, and complain. Because I have yet to meet 1 home inspector that knew anything about HVAC.
    Now you have because I am a home inspector also. And a darn good A/C tech!

    As an inspector just follow ASHI guidelines an inspector is not to determine why the A/C is not working correctly just the observational facts like "The homes A/C is a 10 year old Trane split system. The Air Handler is located in the garage and does not have a condensate drain hooked up. The airflow appears not to be adaquate. The temperature from the supply vent was 65* F and The temperature at the return vent was 80* F. Recommend that the HVAC system be checked by a qualified service technician. Thats it!! any more and you may start being liable to pay for the new duct install that was not needed!!!
    "Do not let what you can't do interfere with what you can do"

    "Do what you can do the best that it can be done and no one will ever know what you can't do"

  4. #4
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    Home inspections are a pretty broad brush that have to cover a wide range of house components and systems. I agree with skorepeo stick to an existing inspection protocol. I have first hand knowledge where a home inspection company bought a new air conditioning system for a home owner. I don't remember the particulars had something to do with the wording of the report.

    I do admire your interest in learning but I will say this I've seen more than one experienced tech come out of an NCI class in a tail spin.

  5. #5
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    I’ve meet a bunch of bad home inspectors over the years that were as bad as the hack HVAC guys I’ve run into. Just like on these message boards, the one with the biggest mouths were usually the most lacking in knowledge.

    I had about 100 home inspectors in a class I did in Philly last fall that I’d say 90% of them could recite the IRC chapter and verse from memory; and this crowd wasn’t the upper crust of their field. I’ve yet to see a similar group of HVAC guys as fluent in the IMC / UMC.

    I haven’t taken the day 1 course from NCI, but have seen the information that is covered. Its airflow 101 and I’d recommend it to someone who is interested in HVAC, even from a home inspectors point of view.

    My biggest beef with home inspections is when they take a ∆T’s (dry bulb) on systems and recommend that a HVAC co. be called in to check the system. Dry bulb ∆ is meaningless, yet you’ll get the HVAC “pro” who will use the same worthless measurement to determine if the system is working properly. The only thing that burns my ass more is a flame about 4 foot high…….

    I’d say take the course, if nothing else they will teach you that things that “look bad” might not be and things that “look good” may not be. They cover good fundamentals in day 1.
    Ed J

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by InspectorDan View Post
    Hi All,

    I'm a home inspector....please don't groan!....and I'm thinking of taking National Comfort Institute's Day 1 class on Air Diagnostics and Balancing. I want to be able to make more specific recommendations in my home inspection reports regarding ducts, air handlers, etc. Has anyone attended? Any opinions on NCI? Thanks!

    I don't think education ever hurt anyone, I think the air balancing class would give you a better eye when looking at ductwork in attics. GO FOR IT!

  7. #7
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    Jan 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    As an HVAC contractor, home energy rater, IR thermographer, and home inspector I would encourage you to take the course. The classes are very informative. I have taken all of the NCI classes and they were worth every penny. As a home inspector you should take the carbon monoxide course, you will never look at venting systems the same way again. It is true that you should stick to the SOP as far as the reporting goes but it never hurts to understand what you are actually looking at. If you are up for some travel Kansas Building Science Institute has some very good courses too. Never stop learning!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by skorepeo View Post
    Now you have because I am a home inspector also. And a darn good A/C tech!

    As an inspector just follow ASHI guidelines an inspector is not to determine why the A/C is not working correctly just the observational facts like "The homes A/C is a 10 year old Trane split system. The Air Handler is located in the garage and does not have a condensate drain hooked up. The airflow appears not to be adaquate. The temperature from the supply vent was 65* F and The temperature at the return vent was 80* F. Recommend that the HVAC system be checked by a qualified service technician. Thats it!! any more and you may start being liable to pay for the new duct install that was not needed!!!

    Ok so I know one decent home inspector now. Do I have any more takers???
    I fully support the military and the War on Terrorism.


    If you don't know, then don't do. If you don't know and still do, then be prepared to pay someone else a lot to undo what you did and then do it right.

    If you do know, then do. But do it right. Otherwise, you may not be doing it long.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Janowiak View Post

    My biggest beef with home inspections is when they take a ∆T’s (dry bulb) on systems and recommend that a HVAC co. be called in to check the system. Dry bulb ∆ is meaningless, yet you’ll get the HVAC “pro” who will use the same worthless measurement to determine if the system is working properly. The only thing that burns my ass more is a flame about 4 foot high…….
    And this misconception is getting spread faster and faster. I actually had a guy try to tell me the HVAC system was not working like it should....low and behold he whips out the IR thermometer and takes inlet temps and outlet temps and says look it's only 15 degrees.

    I whip my Testo out and said look your latent load is extremely high right now. Someone just got out of the shower it's 70% relative humidity today and you got 3 pots on the stove with water boiling in them. Your lucky to have a 15 degree drop. The condensate line is easy to see in the utility closet. I show him the massive amount of water pouring from the line and he just gave me this

    I told him after several hours when they stop cooking steam from shower clears see what happen to your IR temps. I hadn't gone back yet or had a chance to see what he said. But he didn't call back. I wasn't getting into latent heat with him.

    And I still have to hash this out with someone else who wrote up a pre hiring quiz and the examples were 15 20 25 or 30 degree are good inlet outlet temps. I was looking it over and asked where the 5th choice or E was? He gave me the ....Don't write test questions you can't truthfully back the answer up to it.

  10. #10
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    May 2001
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    ok look our trade is one of the MOST diverse of all of the trade we need to know air flow, refrigerent flow, electrical, pipeing, as well as customer sevice and oh yeah duct layout and design not to mentinon how to understand atmosphereic conditions and effects on the system as a whole, oh and yes we need to know codes and basic refigeration principles ie. what happens to r-22 under certain conditions, now theres 410a, oh and yes ever yr new tecnolligies, so when any home inspector can do all that i will give them all the props they deserve till then dont mess with our field just get your readings and do what ever yoru lil book says we "the experts" will do the rest.
    Its not what you know its what you can prove.

  11. #11
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    Take the class ,it will enlightin you ,and you'll want to take the three day class.

  12. #12
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    Chicago IL
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    Much Obliged

    Thanks so much to each and every one who responded.

    I think HVAC folks and Home Inspectors should have a common focus....helping people be happy and healthy in their homes.

    I could fill a lot of bandwidth on the board with stories of terrible HVAC installs and 'repairs' but that wouldn't really prove anything.

    I just want to learn a little bit of what you guys/gals know, not to show I'm smarter than the average bear but just to try and get the most usable info I can from my short time at the inspection scene.

    Thanks again!

  13. #13
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    Apr 2007
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    Knowledge is power.

    Can't correctly diagnose anything without understanding how it works. That goes for plumbing, electrical, HVAC, carpentry, roofing....ect....

    Correct diagnosis and detailed information is what will cut down on the bashing of HI's IMO. They should be able to record WB temps ent./exiting if they are going to write on the HI report the ent./exiting temps of the system. They should also understand the latent heat and how it effects db's.


    With that NCI is apparently one of the best take all the courses you can.

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