Howdy folks and welcome to Building Codes with Brian.  Most folks do not give a lot of thought to building codes or their importance, but if you think about where we live, work, play and shop, the one thing they all have in common, they are all buildings.

Building codes go way back to Babylonian Empire, the first being the building code of Hammurabi. 

A translation of a section of the Hammurabi Code states, “If a builder has built a house for a man and his work is not strong, and if the house has built falls in and kills the householder, that builder shall be slain.”  

Building codes have been developing ever since, mostly without the death to builder part.  Properly written code will contain provisions requiring that buildings and structures be designed, erected, utilized and maintained in a manner that reduces the risk to life and provides a safe exit from the building.  

Building codes provide regulations for the design, construction, use, occupancy and maintenance of buildings and their different components. Yea, yea you say, but what has to do with me? 

Let’s look at a very real application of the important of building codes.  Every morning sitting in bed watching the morning news with the Mrs. we see commercial, after commercial for furnace and air conditioning replacement and repair.  Or, the sinking foundation ads, or the window replacement ads.  Who ensures that their work is done to code and is safe for you and yours?

Did you know a permit is required for the replacement of furnace and or air conditioning unit?  When a permit is obtained, a certified building inspector will ensure that the installation is done to code and is safe.  

Furnaces have gas lines and electrical connections that are required to be installed correctly for proper operation.  An undersized gas line will adversely affect the operation of the unit.  Duct connections not installed property will leak and you will be heating and cooling the attic or crawl space.  

If you are thinking about replacing your old furnace with a new high efficiency unit, be sure have your heating ducts inspected and they are in good shape.  A high efficiency furnace does not mean much when the ducts are leaking.  Be sure the contractor you hire obtains a permit from your local building department and you get a signed final inspection from the building inspector for your records.      

FURNACE TIP - Remember to change your furnace filters.  If you are not feeling good air flow coming out of your registers, check the filters.  

Brian Washko is the director of building for the City of Hendersonville.

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