Dial Down When Not Around

Many consumers have been slow to purchase a programmable thermostat. A recent survey showed that only 37 percent of homes use them.

Programmable thermostats may leave you cold (or warm), depending on the season. Some homeowners cannot face another technology learning curve, so its good to know that even manual thermostats can save energy.This can be done by simply dialing down( lower the temperature 5 to 8 degrees in the winter when the home is unoccupied). Similarly, the dial can be adjusted up 5 to 8 degrees in the summer as well.

But for the willing…and the brave…programmable thermostats offer additional energy savings and the chance to show this new technology who, exactly, is boss.

A programmable thermostat will adjust the indoor temperature according to pre-determined settings that take effect at different times of the day. They offer several advantages, including saving about ten percent on average per year from energy bills by automatically reducing indoor heating and cooling.

Most programmable thermostats come with pre-programmed settings, as well as the ability for homeowners to create their own settings. Wi-Fi connectivity  allows for remote control of the thermostat while smart thermostats will connect to a smart home platform. Other features may include touch pad screen programming, voice or phone programming, hold/vacation features, and even connectivity with mobile apps such as IFTTT( if this then that). IFTTT is an acronym for a technology that can actually adapt to changing conditions.

For example, homeowners can teach their thermostats to turn on away-mode when the front door is locked in the morning, or even turning on LED lights when the home is unoccupied.

To choose the correct programmable thermostat based on a homeowner’s needs, the first step is to evaluate schedules and routines. A seven-day model will provide the most flexibility and allow different programs to run on different days. A five-plus-two-day provides a five-day function with another for weekends. A five-one-one keeps temperatures the same during the week, and allows for variations on Saturday and Sunday.

Most units have an option to set different temperatures for different times of the day. For example, the heater can heat a room to 70 degrees at 4:00 PM then turn it down to 65 degrees at 10:00 PM. Many units allow changes up to four times per day for weekdays and two settings for the weekend.

While thermostats have serious work to do, they also have their lighter side. The latest thermostat designs have thinned down they are less noticeable, while others are made of metal for a more distinguished look. Other covers can be ordered with patterned or colored skins.


Why Follow the Inspector’s Recommendations?

Because your health and safety may depend on it.

Your home inspector’s number one priority during a home inspection is identify problems with the home that will affect your family’s health and safety.  This is why the home inspector’s of John Robinson’s Inspection Group strongly recommend that you read the entire home inspection report.  In it you will find further evaluation and/or repair recommendations that can have a direct effect on your family’s health and safety.

For example; If the inspector identifies that the color of the furnace or water heater flame is incorrect, this can be indicative of a problem with the furnace or water heater like a cracked heat exchanger or damaged burner.  A cracked heat exchanger is not always visible during a home inspection.  So, the inspector will recommend that the furnace be further evaluated by a licensed HVAC contractor (or plumber) to determine the exact cause and repair as needed (which may require replacing the furnace or (water heater).

Without reading the entire inspection report and following the inspector’s recommendations, it will be impossible for you to know the true condition of the home that you are purchasing.  We love Realtors and their referrals.  However, do not rely solely on your Realtor to tell you what issues discovered by the inspector are or are not important.  If you have questions or need further clarification on comments made in the inspection report call your John Robinson’s Inspection Group home inspector immediately.  We will be more than happy to help you.

San Diego Home Inspection Incorrect Flame at a water heater

San Diego Home Inspection Incorrect Flame at a water heater

Safety Hazard Discovered During A Home Inspection In San Diego

A safety hazard was discovered during a recent home inspection here in San Diego by an inspector from John Robinson’s Inspection Group. Upon entering the attic space of this North Park area home, the inspector observed that the gas furnace flue pipe was not properly installed.  A separation was noted about halfway between the top of the furnace and the roof sheathing.  This is a serious health and safety hazard.  Every time this gas furnace is turned on, the byproducts of combustion including Carbon Monoxide are allowed to spill or leak right back into the home.  This condition can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Separated gas furnace flue pipe is a Carbon Monoxide hazard

A separated gas furnace flue pipe found in the attic of this home during a home inspection.  This is a Carbon Monoxide hazard that should be immediately corrected


Carbon monoxide is known as the “Silent Killer”.  It can prevent the body from receiving oxygen.  Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can be flu-like: to include nausea, headaches, hard time breathing, weakness, trouble falling asleep, and fatigue.  In large quantities, carbon monoxide can cause fainting, brain damage, or death.

To repair this condition is as simple as hiring  a qualified HVAC contractor to properly reconnect this pipe back together.  This home also lacked carbon monoxide detectors.  The installation of carbon monoxide detectors  in accordance with the National Fire Protection Association installation recommendations will greatly improve the level of safety in this home.  Here’s a link to their website for more information: http://goo.gl/ptA8eP

The inspectors here at John Robinson’s Inspection Group are always looking for health and safety hazards during each and every home inspection we perform.  Our goal is to ensure that the home you are considering buying, selling, or renting is safe for those who are currently or going to live in it.  If you are concerned about safety hazards in your home do not hesitate to contact our office to set up an appointment….Someones life could depend on it.