Air conditioner inspection

I am currently in the process of selling my townhouse in Raleigh, NC. The a/c unit, and heat for that matter, are original and were installed in 2001. The house was inspected last week and the inspector noted that both units had exceeded life expectancy and should be replaced for functional operation. He had some trouble with the thermostat and was under the impression that the a/c didn’t work.

My question is this: is the inspector legally allowed to determine whether a unit should or shouldn’t be replaced and put it in a report?

The unit, while old, has been maintained and has had no troubles for the last five years that I’ve lived with it. While I understand an old system can be something to worry about, we’ve made no claims that it was new or anything and I feel like his comments could very well tank the sale of my house and that inspection will stay with us until we do sell it.

Assuming that what you have written is correct and there are no other issues with the system, he should not have written replacement. I would have said it was functional for its age, was past its expected life span, and to budget for replacement. As a buyer, if the home was priced at top value, I would try to negotiate for a credit towards a new one. Lets face it, it will probably need to be replaced soon.

As for legally writing that in a report, there is nothing to limit what he writes. The client paid for his opinion and he gave it. Unless there is something in your state licensing laws the strictly prohibits it, he is free to comment.

If he had trouble with the thermostat, if you were there, you should have stepped in and shown him how to use it.

If that is the only issue with the home and it will tank over that, then everyone is dropping the ball by ne coming to an agreement. While an AC unit is a couple of thousand dollars, is it really worth it to let a deal fall through without some concession on your part Remember, the issue will probably be note on other inspections if you have them.

He is allowed? Well, he’s allowed his opinion.

The Estimated Life Expectancy of a heat pump is 10 to 15 years.

So if you units were installed in 2001 and it’s now 2016, both units are 15 years old and are technically at the time that would be considered their average life expectancy.

Now, I can’t say I’d phrase it like that, but without being there and evaluating myself, I can’t say for sure. Every situation is different.

I do know my own AC was installed in 1999, and it needed repairs in 2014, more in 2015 and this past year it was beyond repairing and had to be replaced. So 15-16 years seems about right.

Then again, on a recent inspection I came across an AC unit from the 1970’s that still actually worked. But even though it worked, I had to put in the report it was older and beyond it’s expected useful life and could need repair/replacement at any time.

It might depend on which state you are in. Some states, especially those that have no licensing for home inspectors, like California, allow inspectors to do almost anything. Other states have extremely detailed requirements and how to inspect items and report on deficiencies.

Doesn’t matter what state he is in. It’s Bull ****!

Someone unable to operate a thermostat calls for replacement based on the date of manufacturing?

It works, or it does not.
If it works and he caused you a financial loss, sue his ***.

He can only give an opinion “Based On Facts”. Age and projected life is not factual.


If you want to do it, you had better be right, or get out your checkbook.

I find age to be very factual indeed, and there is lots of research concerning average life expectancies; I find those to be factual as well.

Thanks for all the responses, is there a website or something I could dig through to search for NC’s laws?

We had a heating a/c guy check out the system today and he said both systems are in good, working order. Frankly I don’t have a problem with the guy stating the age of the system and that this is potentially a problem, but to say flat out they need to be replaced when he can’t get them running is a little upsetting.

So based on Your age, I will dismiss your opinion?!

Based upon my age, and my years in the HVAC industry, My age trumps your age.

Is this a viable argument? Hell no…

I don’t give a crap about how often your right when it comes to the age of things, I give a crap about calling something worthless without a shred of fact. That costs someone money. That entitles them to sue your damn *** for anything they can. JMO

Lack of fact is: “BULL ****”!

Age vs typical life expectancy is relevant information for home inspector to pass on to their client. However, age in and of itself, is not a defect.

The inspector is full of crap. Age and function are two different things. His comment makes zero sense. Can he legally say it? Probably.

I have no concern over what anyone does with my opinions, or the facts. That is their problem, not mine.