Heat exchangers

How are you guys writing your reports up about inspecting the heat exchangers? With these new high efficiency furnaces you can’t even see the darn things. Does anyone have any good verbage?

Like this:


2.4. Heating
I. The inspector shall inspect:
[INDENT]A. The heating systems using normal operating controls and describe the energy source and heating method.
B. And report as in need of repair heating systems which do not operate.
C. And report if the heating systems are deemed inaccessible

II. The inspector is not required to:
A. Inspect or evaluate interiors of flues or chimneys, fire chambers, heat exchangers, combustion air systems, fresh air intakes, humidifiers, dehumidifiers, electronic air filters, geothermal systems or solar heating systems.
B. Inspect fuel tanks or underground or concealed fuel supply systems.

The heat exchanger is a high efficiency 90% sealed combustion chamber. Therefore, there is very limited visibility. Most furnaces have an inspection glass of only 2 inches in diameter or less which makes inspection limited. If a more comprehensive inspection is desired a qualified heating contractror should be contacted prior to closing to perform a more invasive inspetion than can be done during a general home inspection.


Try this on for size:

“Closed system. This was a very limited inspection as the inspector is neither qualified nor authorized to carry out a technically exhaustive inspection of the heating system. Buyer is advised to have this system serviced annually to ensure safe and efficient operation”


I agree with Currins.
Refer to the SOP.

I write my report in plain and simple language. I write and reiterate what the SOP states but in an “easy to read and understand” way.

“The inspection is visual only. Therefore there are things that are beyond the scope of the inspection. That includes the heat exchanger. We do not report the condition of components that are not seen. We do not take things apart to look at them.”

Simple language that reiterates the SOP helped me. I recall explaining to a client why his HVAC guy was able to find the crack on the heat exchanger. He tore apart the system to find the crack!

By the way…

In the hvac training video, we take apart heaters and check out the many different exchangers.


I’m with Chris and Ben, refer to the SOP for your guidance.
I would recommend to my client in my H/I report to have a Prof. HVAC Contr. inspect and verify the conditions I’ve noted, as well as any other defects he/she found during there inspection service of the furnace, for safe and reliable operation.