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Heat source required in bedroom?

Heat source required in bedroom?

New postby VickiiCA on Sat Apr 10, 2010 3:01 am

Hello. I hope this is the appropriate place to post. I just purchased a home in La Mesa California. It was listed as a 3 bedroom home. The third bedroom with bathroom and an "additional room" was added on and permitted by La Mesa. The house was listed as forced air heat and does have an attic furnace that heats the front of the house (living room, dining room, 2 bedrooms). Once we moved in, we discovered there is no heat source to the rear of the house (the addition) including the bedroom--no registers, vents, nothing. This unheated area comprises about 50% of the living space and includes the largest (master) bedroom. The owners, via their agent have replied, "we were not required to install a heat source; just use a space heater."

Each party had an RE agent, we had an inspector, nobody noticed that there was no heat to this area of the house. Personally, as the buyers, we ASSUMED there was heat to the whole home. The city of La Mesa is not returning my phone calls. We are not receiving clear answers from anyone as to whether it was legally required for them to disclose there was no heat source, whether they could legally sell the home as a 3 bedroom and whether someone is responsible for remuneration to install heat.

I would appreciate any input in this matter.

Thank you.

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Re: Heat source required in bedroom?

New postby Jerry Peck - Codeman on Sun Apr 11, 2010 5:00 pm

The title question is: "Heat source required in bedroom?"

The answer is: Yes.

The complex answer is: Not only the bedrooms but ALL the "habitable spaces", i.e., living room, family room, den, bedroom, and the like.

Bathrooms, kitchens, closets, hallways, and the like are not considered "habitable space" and are not required to have a heat source, although many of those areas do have heat/cool sources (supply registers for central systems).

Not only are they required to have a heat source, but the heat source is required to be able to keep the inside temperature at 68 degrees F at a point 3 feet above the floor and 2 feet in from the exterior walls (some conditions apply - see code section below).

The following code section is from the 2006 IRC, and while California does not use the IRC, the California mechanical code, I am sure, contains similar requirements:
- R303.8 Required heating. When the winter design temperature in Table R301.2(1) is below 60°F (16°C), every dwelling unit shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a minimum room temperature of 68°F (20°C) at a point 3 feet (914 mm) above the floor and 2 feet (610 mm) from exterior walls in all habitable rooms at the design temperature. The installation of one or more portable space heaters shall not be used to achieve compliance with this section.

Table R301.2(1) is a table the local building department authority fills in from information gathered elsewhere in the code, as an example, the Winter Design Temperature has a note 'e' next to it, and note 'e' states "e. The outdoor design dry-bulb temperature shall be selected from the columns of 97 1/2-percent values for winter from Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code. Deviations from the Appendix D temperatures shall be permitted to reflect local climates or local weather experience as determined by the building official.", where Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code, in the 97 1/2 percent columns, shows San Diego at 44 degrees in that column - meaning that heat would be a requirement as that column is below 60 degrees F.

As far as 'legally being able to sell the home as having 3 bedrooms', there are a lot of other factors which would also come into play for that space to be a "legal" "bedroom".

If you need additional help, I can probably get a reference for a good and knowledgeable local inspector to work with you and address that question, and possibly even point out more concerns which would need to be considered, let me know.
Jerry Peck - CodeMan
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