A/C or Heat Pump

Your sentence above contradicts your sentence below.

Wikipedia (an elementary resource, I suppose) certainly references a condenser in a heat pump. What is the thing-a-magig outside the house when the heat pump is running in AC mode?

Not nearly as knowledgeable as you, David, when it comes to HVAC. Not by a long shot. Just trying to learn…but I’ve never heard it said that a heat pump does not have a condenser.

Wow, just starting out yet you joined InterNACHI when it was called NACHI in 2003.

Were you thinking about becoming a home inspector for 7 years?

Joe, What David is saying is that both coils act as condensor and evap, depending on mode, which is why in the industry they are refered to as inside and outside coil or section.

Thank you Bruce (I’ve been tied up working in the SNOW!).

Joe, It is what they do, not what they are called.
If you call it a condenser, you should indicate in which mode your operating. That works too.

Otherwise it’s “Indoor - Outdoor”.

This helps greatly in understanding your report, when read by others.
When you talk about a frozen condenser coil (meaning the outdoor coil is frosted because it is operating as an evaporator in the heating mode) it makes your phone ring unnecessarily and makes you look like you don’t know what you’re talking about. HVAC contractors love to talk down on home inspectors (as do other subcontractors), so don’t give them the ammunition for the opportunity.

No matter how the units are identified Ive always made it a point to comment on the fact that Heat Pumps have a tendency to feel drafty while in operation due to to the fact that the temperature rise is only 20-25 degrees unlike the 30-50 degree rise that you get out of gas heating units. The only way to get high temperatures like that out of a Heat Pump is to have the heat strips on & who wants to pay that bill.

Just curious, but how is this associated with the standards of practice of home inspection?

I see nowhere that we are to ensure comfort conditions within the house.

There is a requirement to have the ability to maintain temperature above the floor (nothing more).

Do we really know why heat pumps feel drafty? There are several reasons why.

Heat strips are not the only way to maintain high temperature output.

Maintaining head pressure, maintains temperature output.

If you adjust fan speed control, you can adjust discharge temperature of the supply air. Gas furnaces operate on low speed in heating mode and high speed in the air-conditioning mode. You can do the same thing with a heat pump.

I have a 16-year-old Carrier heat pump that only goes into defrost when there is actually a frost on the outdoor coil (not just because it’s really cold outside).

Also, indoor fan speed control changes fan speed in the heat mode if the head pressure falls below a certin balance point.

A proper system design is the primary cause of the “drafty feeling” you get from a heat pump.

They love to blame the heat pump for uncomfortable conditions, but it is just plain bad design.

Heat pumps feel drafty because the low temperature split typically encountered on properly operating systems with out the back up heat on. Ive replaced many Heat Pumps systems that were functioning properly because they were drafty. I agree that you should not try to determine a systems capacity to condition a home its not in the scope of an Inspection. Heat pump systems fan controls should only altered by a qualified service professional.

Thanks for the reply, Bruce and David.

Ever thought about getting some education and training before becoming a home buyer advocate??

Also you will see some package units nobody is commenting on . On these
there wont be a flue pipe , heat pumps dont need or have them they operate on
the flow of refrigerent, no gas needed to heat ,just depends on the reversing valve direction.