What Are Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are becoming more and more common, especially as the Government is offering more and more incentives to install them in your home.

Heat pumps are becoming more efficient but depending on where you live they may not be what you need yet.

A heat pump works best when the temperature is above 40. Once outdoor temperatures drop to 40 degrees, heat pumps start losing efficiency, and they consume more energy to do their jobs. When temperatures fall to 25 to 30 degrees heat pumps begin to lose their effectiveness and their ability to provide heat efficiently over a gas furnace.

They work best in moderate climates, so if you don’t experience extreme heat and cold in your neck of the woods, then using a heat pump could help you save a little money each month.

A heat pump is a device that uses a small amount of energy to move heat from one location to another. Not too difficult, right? Heat pumps are typically used to pull heat out of the air or ground to heat your house, but they can be reversed to cool the house. In a way, if you know how an air conditioner works, then you already know a lot about how a heat pump works. This is because heat pumps and air conditioners operate in very similar ways.

What a heat pump does is use a small amount of energy to switch that process into reverse, thereby pulling heat out of a relatively low temperature area and pumping it into a higher temperature area. So, heat is transferred from a “heat source,” like the ground or air, into a “heat sink,” like your home.

One of the most common types of heat pumps is the air-source heat pump. These take heat from the air outside your home and pump it inside through refrigerant-filled coils, not too different from what’s on the back of your fridge. The air source variety is basic, and you’ll find two fans, the refrigerator coils, a reversing valve and a compressor inside to make it work.

There are many kinds of heat pumps, but they all operate on the same basic principle: heat transfer. This means that rather than burning fuel to create heat, the device moves heat from one place to another. The key to allowing the air-source heat pump to also cool is the reversing valve. This versatile part changes the flow of the refrigerant so the system can operate in the opposite direction. So instead of pumping heat inside your home, the heat pump releases it, just like your air conditioner does. When the refrigerant is reversed, it absorbs heat on the indoor side of the unit and flows to the outside. It’s here that the heat is released, allowing the refrigerant to cool down again and flow back inside to pick up more heat. This process repeats itself until you’re nice and cool.

Heat pumps are energy efficient for many homes but all depend on the temperatures on the area. Do your research be spending the money and realize what you have was not what you needed.

Dangers of Using Unvented Gas Heaters

Ventless gas heaters sound like a good deal at first:

  • They’re inexpensive.
  • Can be located almost anywhere in a house.
  • Don’t require an expensive vent pipe or much in the way of installation cost.
  • They’re efficient.

These attributes can make them attractive solutions for many homeowners, but make no mistake, they are dangerous. Even with careful maintenance and followed recommendations for safe usage, Unvented gas heaters pose several threats. Here are the three real dangers of using unvented gas heaters.

Fire Risk

  • Improper installation, positioning, and maintenance are the most common reasons why these heaters create housefires. These heaters can still be a fire danger in smaller spaces if placed near combustibles such as furniture, fabrics, and paper.
  • Allowing them to run for too long or running them unsupervised, especially with pets or children, are also dangerous causes for house fires.

Unvented Gas Heaters May Cause Health Issues:

Natural gas and propane heaters significantly impact indoor air quality and, as a result, can become a severe health concern.

  • Ventilation is needed to remove pollutants such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Unvented gas heaters do not have this option, though, which makes them not only dangerous but also falsely boosts their heating efficiency.
  • According to the National Fuel Gas Code, one air change per hour (ACH) would mean that a room that measures 10

Weather Proofing Old Doors

Many of the homes I inspect have beatiful original doors that have character, and many times makes the home with the historical charm, but many of them are also drafty. Unless the door is damaged, insulation and new weatherstripping should reduce drafts and heat transfer through the doorway.

  • Before adding weatherstripping, check the door for loose hinges and other hardware. A loose door lets in drafts in the winter, and it accounts for some heat losses in the winter. Tighten loose screws, including at the doorknob, or replace the hardware, doorknob and lock set if they are damaged.
  • If the door hangs crooked, the jamb has likely skewed as the house settled. Consult a qualified carpenter to straighten the jamb with shims, scribe the door to fit, or replace the door.

Install spray foam Insulation around the door jamb

  • Pry off the left, top and right interior door trim molding with the flat edge of a pry bar.
  • Twist the accompanying straw onto the nozzle of a can of spray foam insulation for doors and windows and shake the can.
  • Place the straw into the space in the wall where you pried off the molding and press the spray nozzle. Apply a line of foam from one end of the opening to the other and repeat across the top and down the other side. Spray foam insulation expands and dries firm. Wait for the first application to expand before deciding whether you need more to fill the cavity. Trim off excess foam in back after it hardens with a drywall saw or a utility knife.
  • Nail the molding back to the door frame.

Add exterior caulk to the exterior

  • Cut the nozzle on a tube of exterior-grade window and door caulk at a slight angle with a utility knife. If there is a seal inside the base of the nozzle, pierce it with a long, thin nail or another slim object.
  • Fit the tube into a caulk gun and depress the trigger several times until caulk fills the nozzle.
  • Place the slanted edge of the nozzle against the top edge of the left or right-side exterior door trim. Depress the trigger to make the caulk flow and pull the caulk gun down the edge of the trim slowly then smooth the caulk with your finger or caulking tool to make it look professional. Repeat the caulk application down the trim on the opposite side of the door, and again across the top. Seal both long edges of each piece of trim molding this way.

Install new weatherstripping

  • Pull the old weatherstripping off the door frame. If there are staples or nails, pry them out with a flat-head screwdriver or nail puller. Weatherstripping fits around the door frame with a rubbery portion touching the door.
  • Measure across the top of the door frame where you removed the weatherstripping.
  • Open a package of weatherstripping with a metal or wood flange and a cushioned, rubbery gasket on a worktable. Measure and mark it to the width of the top of the door frame with a pencil or marker. This type of weatherstripping has a long strip of wood or metal along one long edge, and it has cushioned rubber along the opposite long edge.
  • Slice through the rubbery portion of the weatherstripping at the mark with scissors or a utility knife and continue the cut through the wood or metal with a hacksaw.
  • Close the door and set the weatherstripping in place across the top of the door frame. The rubbery edge should butt against the door. Drive 1 1/2-inch finishing nails through the metal or wood strip with a hammer, spacing nails approximately 8 inches apart. If the strip has pre-drilled nail holes, you might need nails with a small head instead of finishing nails.
  • Measure and cut weatherstripping for the left and right sides of the door frame and fasten them the same way.

Door Sweep

  • Remove the screws in the old door sweep across the lower edge of the interior side of the door, if yours has one, with a Phillips-head or flat-head screwdriver. Door sweeps have a wood or metal strip along one long edge and a rubber fin along the opposite long edge.
  • Measure across the lower edge of the door. If your door had a sweep, measure where it was fastened. If there was no sweep, measure across the lowest part of the interior side of the door, not the bottom edge that faces the threshold.
  • Measure and mark a door sweep to this length and cut it with scissors or a utility knife and a hacksaw as you did with the weatherstripping.
  • Hold the door sweep against the lower portion of the door with the bottom of the rubber fin touching the threshold. Mark the door through the pre-drilled screw or nail holes in the door sweep with a pencil or marker.
  • Drill a shallow hole into the door at each mark with a drill and bit that is the same diameter as the accompanying door sweep screws. Don

Post-Sale Home Inspection

A question that I have been getting lately is should I have a post-sale home inspection if I waived the home inspection or bought the home as-is.


It has become increasingly common in recent years for buyers to move into a home, discover some issue regarding the condition of the home finding conditions the seller either failed to disclose or that they actively concealed.

Offers that waive a home inspection contingency can be more attractive to home sellers since there

As Is Home for Sale and a Home Inspection

I hear from many people that they cannot do a home inspection because the home is being sold AS IS. This does not mean you are not entitled to a home inspection so in the event we find additional DEFECTS not noted in the disclosure that the owner is required to fill out truthfully.

You can walk through the home and get an idea of its general condition.  You may even spot some defects or items in obvious need of repair.  But you will not obtain the same detailed information you will receive if you hire Tri-State Home Inspections LLC.  Tri-State Home Inspections LLC is trained to look for things you are not likely to notice.  Tri-State Home Inspections LLC must follow the state Wisconsin and InterNACHI

CSST Bonding

The CSST type gas line shown has not been bonded properly, that is only ELECTRICAL TAPE to cover the exposed piping.

The gas company and master electrician state that this is correct and does not need to be bonded. I downloaded the directions to do my own research into it again.

Here is what I located in the directions for this brand of piping used.

The TracPipe

Prepare Your Home For Climate Change

Whether you believe in climate change or not there is no denying the weather has been changing in the last few years.  With extreme storms, strong winds, snow, flooding, extreme hot and cold, we are all feeling a change in the air.

It is time to take in account the climate change when planning maintenance and updates to your home. There are some small steps that every homeowner can do to help prepare their home.


When shopping for a new roof, look at roofing materials that will protect your home against a wide variety of disasters. With the average roof lasting around 20 years, and most experts forecasting even more extreme weather to come, it

January is National Radon Action Month.

January is National Radon Action Month.

What is radon? Radon is a naturally occurring gas in rocks, soil, and groundwater that you cannot see, smell, or taste. Radon is a radioactive gas produced when uranium in soil decays; it can be found all over the United States. Radon gas moves up through the ground into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation, becoming trapped inside.

You can