had lunch with a cpl realtors

One was complaining about a client using a franchise company- here’s what the inspector did:

“that son of a biotch looked at the equipment tag on a AC condenser and said its 20 years old. He said it needs to be replaced! He never tested it!, He doesn’t know anything about how or when it has been serviced! I will never work with that sob again and i will make sure everyone I know doesn’t use him!”

He may not have tested it due to the outdoor temperature, but I would tell my client to be prepared to replace a 20-year old air conditioning unit even if it does presently operate, in that it has exceeded the average span of use. I can see my client’s real estate salesman relating the story exactly as you told it.

This is why we write our reports to the client…and not to the salesman.

At least the inspector could tell the age of the unit from reading the data tag without having to come in here and asking every time they do an inspection. I would be telling my customer to budget for replacement as well.

Who do ***you ***agree with?

The agent is overreacting but at the same time the HI would be wrong to recommend replacement based on age alone.

Who paid for the lunch, you are the agents? :mrgreen:

Vince, remember the source!

Did the inspector actually state what the realtor said? Most likely not. He probably did as most of us say, “although hvac unit is functioning as intended at the time of inspection, the unit is at or beyond typical life expectancy, and should be budgeted for replacement due to it’s age”. Sounds like another realtor spouting embellishments for the sake of conversation, and to prove his superiority over another human being to his fellow comrade.

Now, if the inspector actually said as the realtor stated, well then… shame on him!!!

I would state that it has exceeded its average life expectancy and that the client should be prepared to replace it as it is likely but there’s also no way of knowing if it might continue to run for another 20 years.

The realtors paid for lunch… Older women, i think im eye candy to them or something being just 42 years old… :slight_smile:

Back when I owned a heating and cooling company, I saw units that had the fan replaced and then later the compressor. Making it a almost new unit. Just something to think about when you are suggesting something to be replaced.

I think that’s why it’s a good idea to say Repairs or Replacement.

Check out this 31 yr old one that still works…

Exterior condensor unit - made by Heatwave, First one I have seen.
Crawlspace unit - Friedrich, electric strip heat, airhandler, evaporator.

I made it very clear in the report what the real condition was.

March 26 2010 031.jpg

March 26 2010 032.jpg

March 26 2010 010.jpg

If the unit (A/C compressor, furnace, water heater, etc) is older, but operated properly, I may put in about “near the end of its statistical life” verbiage.

BTW: My A/C compressor is a Craftsman, built in 1965, and it still works like a charm. I clean it every year (twice) and have only had it re-charged once.

Recently, I have my HVAC guy (I know, personally, both owners and they are really good and they pay for thier guys to get 40 hours of training every year) replace the blower on my furnace. In the paperwork, he stated “Recommend replacement of the furtnace”. It was 15 years old, lennox pre-cat 1 and operated properly and I asked the tech, why?

He siad that the furnace was OK, except for the blower motor he just replaced, but he also said that when the units are 15 years old or more, they always call out for replacement because if “liability problems”.

This is a very important point. I now tell this story to every client. What if you do an inspection and find everything working right, but the first furnace check-up the client has, the HVAC tech says that the unit should be replaced? Do you think you could get sued.

This actually happened to me once. The client called and was very angry. I canceled my inspection for that day (habded it off to anothe NACHI guy) and went up, asking for the client to have the HVAC tech there as well.

I re-checked the furnace. It was OK. The HVAC tech said it was not. I asked him why. He told me that the furnace was a conventionally drafted furnace and that was not energy efficient. I asked if the furnace, itself, was operatimg as designed. He said yes. So I said, "So, there is no defect, other than your feeling that it is not energy-efficient enough?. He said, “yes”.

I turned to the client and he started yelling at the tech, at which point the tech packed his stuff up and walked away.

Read and learn. You not only have to do your job properly, but also work to manage your client’s expectations.

Hope this helps;

Would it not be prudent to state,
HVAC System is functioning as intended at the time of this inspection, though it has exceeded its average life expectancy. Replacement recommended for a more energy efficient system.


Condensing unit was tested using normal operating controls and was functional at the time of the inspection. This unit is approaching, or has exceeded, the manufacturers recommend life and may require repairs or replacement at any time.

exactly… simple verbiage to not make a client want to demand a new unit.

Maybe not replacement, but definitely further evaluation by licensed HVAC contractor

I agree with Larry, further evaluation needed.