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Normal Operating Controls
The phrase, "normal operating controls" refers to the mechanical devices that turn your furnace, boiler, water pump and air conditioning systems on and off. In homes with central air conditioning and forced air heating systems, and steam heat, the thermostat is the normal operating control.
Making sure that the operating controls for the mechanical systems are working is an essential part of inspecting a home's heating and cooling system. Obviously, no such system is of much use if you can't turn it on and off easily. The inspector will check that the controls are installed correctly and that they operate the systems correctly.