A home inspection is a necessary part of buying and selling a home. If you’re selling, it’s important to be aware of common HVAC problems so you can avoid citations on your inspection report. According to a study by the National Association of Home Builders, you can expect to get 15 to 20 years out of your HVAC system. Everything needs replacement at some point, but systems that are well-maintained may last longer. However, these are some issues that are commonly found upon inspection.
We don’t often think about filters, but if they are not changed or cleaned regularly, they can block the air flow and cause problems with your heating and cooling functions.
Ductwork delivers the goods when it comes to HVAC, and if it’s not installed properly, or develops cracks or broken connections, you can lose heated or cooled air into attics or inside walls, affecting the energy it takes to deliver the right comfort level to interior rooms. Ductwork leaks can also create moisture issues in your basement or crawlspace.
Exhaust system issues
Any combustion equipment needs to properly vent its waste, including carbon monoxide.
The heat exchanger transfers heat without transferring the gas which carries it. If you have a cracked heat exchanger, it can cause a gas leak into the home.
The flue serves as a vent pipe. Exhaust gas created during combustion moves through flue pipes from the furnace to the outside. Your flue pipe needs be properly supported, and also kept away from any flammable materials.
Condenser unit issues
Your condenser unit changes refrigerant from its liquid state by cooling it, then expelling the latent heat into the surrounding area.
Dirty or clogged coils
If the coils on your outdoor condenser unit get dirty or clogged, it restricts air flow and hurts energy efficiency. Make sure all plants or other obstructions are kept at least one foot back from the condenser unit. You can clean the surface periodically using a brush or a vacuum cleaner.
The pad for your condenser unit needs to be level – or within 10 degrees of level. When it is not, the effectiveness of lubrication in the tubing is weakened, and there is increased stress on refrigerant lines.
Believe it or not, a common HVAC problem found during home inspections involves actual missing parts. If a home for sale is vacant, it may be a target for theft because several components inside HVAC equipment can be scrapped for cash.
Whether you’re selling, buying, or staying put, it’s always a good idea to have your furnace and air conditioner inspected by a licensed technician at least once a year.