central a/c

No manufacturer tag, no model or serial #, what do you do?How do you determine btu/tonnage?

Report that the label was missing/illegible, any defects you discovered, and if appropriate your general opinion as to its likely age.

how would you estimate tonnage? by building sq. footage?

Does it run? Does it cool? What is it’s condition?

Report “No unit ID”, it’s worthless information anyway.

God, don’t be guessing by SF of the house unless you want to be buying the client a new A/C!

If you want to take things apart you can get compressor information and call it in. I hardly seen the need. Just report what information you are capable of gathering. You don’t have to determine the capacity or age.

*“how would you estimate tonnage? by building sq. footage?”

*Why would you wish to attempt such an estimate?

Ditto what David A. said. Never “guess” at anything. Always report what you see or can not see. It is not your fault the data is not available to report so don’t make it your fault. No one expects you to know everything, if they do then you need to manage their expectations better. First and foremost do not panic. It is not the end of the world if they do not know the tonnage or age. Is it working normally? If it is an old piece of crap indicate such in your report. I see too many newer inspectors trying to pick the fly s**t out of the pepper and missing the obvious things they need to be reporting.

Ditto what David A. said. Never “guess” at anything. Always report what you see or can not see. It is not your fault the data is not available to report so don’t make it your fault. No one expects you to know everything, if they do then you need to manage their expectations better. First and foremost do not panic. It is not the end of the world if they do not know the tonnage or age. Is it working normally? If it is an old piece of crap indicate such in your report. I see too many newer inspectors trying to pick the fly s**t out of the pepper and missing the obvious things they need to be reporting.

Ditto what David A. said. Never “guess” at anything. Always report what you see or can not see. It is not your fault the data is not available to report so don’t make it your fault. No one expects you to know everything, if they do then you need to manage their expectations better. First and foremost do not panic; present your findings or lack of information in a calm, confident manner. That is what separates the professional from the novice. Never let them see you sweat. It is not the end of the world if they do not know the tonnage or age. Is it working normally? If it is an old piece of crap indicate such in your report. I see too many newer inspectors trying to pick the fly s**t out of the pepper and missing the obvious things they need to be reporting.

there are someclients that would like to know how many btu’s or tons the unit is, just want to be prepared and give a professional answer.

Recommend they ask the owners for the paperwork or get a professional AC guy out there.

“just want to be prepared and give a professional answer.”

IMO, the “professional” answer is:

“Without labeling I don’t know, you can’t tell by examining the outside of the unit. An HVAC technician may be able to tell you by opening the unit and examining components or labeling inside”

IMO, the non-professional answer is any variant of:

“My guess is…”

If you start guessing about anything related to capacity - let alone “adequate” or “efficiency”, you may end up buying someone a new AC system.

The only “guess” I will make regarding an unlabeled AC condenser unit is with regard to likely remaining service life in the case of a clearly aged unit, in which case my boilerplate is:

“The manufacturer’s label on the exterior condenser unit is illegible, and I was not able to determine the age, capacity or electrical requirements of this unit. Based on its weathered exterior appearance it is possible this component is approaching or has exceeding its expected service life. While the central AC system was functioning at the time of inspection, it could fail suddenly any time, including between the time of this inspection and the close of escrow. When the condenser unit is replaced it is possible that additional components of the system will also need replacement to comply with manufacturer’s warranty requirements and/or Federally mandated efficiency standards. This could be a substantial additional expense. I recommend that you budget for replacement of this unit in the near future, and that if you require estimated costs for replacement that you obtain proposals from a licensed and insured HVAC contractor for this work.”

The professional answer is: are you ready for this, it’s a new concept, “I DON’T KNOW!”

If you want a professional answer, I’ll come down there for $500/hr plus expences.

People do like the truth and how you present it goes a long way.
Question how old and what size is this ac.
I am sorry but the label for this AC is not ledgable and I have no way of knowing size or age.
I seems to be operating well at this time and I would enjoy it, but because of the way it looks to me I would say it could be close to its normal life.
Every day it keeps you cool is great but do consider budgeting for a replacement in the not too distant future.
The normal life in this area is about 16 years but I have seen the fail in 12 ,but I also have seen the operating at 20 years.
You have said nothing but most are happy to hear the truth.
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While that may be true, even if you knew the exact answer, I’m not sure the average home buyer would have any clue as to what that information means. If they are tecnically savy enough to know, they have probably already looked a the nameplate anyway. So, what I think they are really trying to get you to do is to render an opinion as to whether the unit is “big enough”. In that case an extension fo the ‘professional’ answer might be…
“determining the proper sizing for an air conditioning unit is a fairly complex process involving location, the size of the house, type of construction, insulation quality, number and type of windows, etc. Such a calculation is beyond the scope of a standard home inspection”

How’s this: Label on unit is not legible. Unit is functioning and appears to be adequate for this size living space.

Why would you comment on the adequacy of the unit? Without doing the proper calculations, you are only guessing, which could get you into trouble.

The label on the unit was missing. The unit appeared to be functioning as intended at the time of the inspection.