Cold temperature

Why do home inspectors not operate central a/c units when the temperature is below 65 degrees outside? Also will they even come on when it is 32 degrees outside?


A previous thread about this

Most manufacturer’s instructions will prohibit the operation of the compressor below anywhere from 65 to 55 degrees.

Under the right conditions liquid freon could find its way back to the compressor when not hot enough to fully evaporate into gas.

Since the compressor is designed to compress gas the liquid will cause the compressor to break and the inspector will have to replace it.

You prove little by operating it in the winter, anyway, for all it is doing is blowing around cold air that is readily available.

Of course (tongue in cheek) one could always “exceed” the SOP and take the risk. Literally, it’s your business.

Yes this has been covered before…

Here are some past comments on this subject.

See this thread…

[FONT=Arial]First and foremost we are “Businessmen” as well as inspectors. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]As “businessman” we must protect ourselves from any and all frivolous lawsuits. In order to do that we must have a comprehensive legal and binding contract. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]YOUR contract should DICTATE / STIPULATE in no uncertain terms what YOU will and will not do and or inspect. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]For those that live in a “Licensed State” you must conduct your inspections according to your state standards of practice. [/FONT]

Your “Licensed State” as their own standards of practice and you should become familiar with the “heating and cooling section” and conduct your inspections accordingly.
· [FONT=Arial]Any deviation will certainly get you in trouble and you could lose your license.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]For those of us who do not live in a “Licensed State” our only so-called legal protection is to conduct our inspections according to the “Standards of Practice of any Home Inspectors Association that we belong to.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]Remember…… YOU agreed to this stipulation when you joined this or any other Home Inspector’s association. [/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]{See NACHI, ASHI & NAHI rules & Regulations for membership.} [/FONT]

In this particular case since you are on the “NACHI message board” I would assume that you are a member of NACHI. Therefore in order to protect yourself…… You should conduct your inspections according to…

2.5. Cooling
I. The inspector shall inspect:
A. The central cooling equipment using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector is not required to***:***

*A. Determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system. *

*B. Inspect window units, through-wall units, or electronic air filters. *

C*.* {NOT }Operate equipment or systems if exterior temperature is below 60 degrees Fahrenheit or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.

*D. Inspect or determine thermostat calibration, heat anticipation or automatic setbacks or clocks. *

E. Examine electrical current, coolant fluids or gases, or coolant leakage.

[FONT=Arial]According to Nick gromicko and other long-standing NACHI members…… After long and careful consideration and in consultation with numerous experienced home inspectors The NACHI Standards of Practice was written. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]I have ASHI members tell me that they prefer or the NACHI standards of practice over theirs because it is more “comprehensive” and offers the inspector more protection.[/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]That being said……. here’s my personal opinion" on what I would or would not do. [/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]If the House was “vacant and shut down”, and had not been lived in for more than one, two to three weeks and more importantly… if the outside temperature had been less than 60° 24 hours prior to my inspection I would never turn on any “cold” unit.[/FONT]
· [FONT=Arial]Right now it is 62° in New Hampshire.[/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]It has been freezing {below 32°F} and in some cases the temperature has been below zero Fahrenheit EVERY DAY for the last three to four months![/FONT]
[FONT=Arial]I have two to 3 feet of snow all around my air-conditioning unit! I turned this unit off last November![/FONT]

[FONT=Arial]So… it is 62°F…… would you turn on the air conditioner?[/FONT]

I would not!

I hope this helps. :wink: