Home Inspection Furnace

Furnace inspection

When going to the property and you turn on the thermostat and the heat comes on from the furnace and warms the house; is that the end of the inspection for the furnace other than checking around the unit itself?

Why do you ask?

6 months ago I did a Home Inspection and everything worked and the unit was in working condition. When the client moved in they had the gas company out they (gas co.) said the block was cracked and there was soot, and two of the burners was not working.

The unit is 40 plus years old

This memo was in an email by the Realtor, with the idea that they would like some type of reimbursement for a new furnace

No, it isn’t if I was the home inspector.

What exactly did you write in your report about the 40 plus year old furnace?

I wrote that the furnace was functional and in working condition

Depends on SOP and if you had a limitation for not inspecting it .
Experienced inspectors know one that old might have a cracked exchanger and also recommend a HVAC tech examine it further as you can not tell if the exchanger is cracked unless you use a snake camera much of the time.

Personally I take a picture of the burners in operation most jobs.

You should also notate it is old and prepare client it might need replacement soon.


40 year old furnace?

Few make it that long.

Did you note the age in your report?

Did you recommend service including a carbon monoxide test and heat exchanger check?

Did you observe the flame pattern when while the blower was on?

no I did not put in the report that it was forty years old
no I did not recommend any type of service

I just report that the furnace was functional

Thank you to all that responded to my ?

Very informative

You should observe the operation of the furnace, not just listen to it turn on.

All the burners light? What does the flame do when the fan comes on… etc…
You should have checked and caught these things if they were there 6 months ago. Could they have have occurred after you left the inspection? Sure.

As for the age. A furnace built 40 years ago will likely last 40 years. One made last year, not so likely.

Heat exchangers do not fail just because of age, so don’t assume that.

Recommending service will not get the monkey off your back. It will also not prevent a cracked “block”.

You should consider additional training and better inspection methods in your mechanical systems inspections.

And you may be writing a check…


Why? He did what was required of him by the SOP. He’s less likely to have to write a check than me. Those who do nothing can’t get in trouble.

Don’t know what SOP is relative to this person. Don’t know if he’s in a Licensed State that requires more than an association SOP.

And SOP won’t help if he didn’t meet the Standard of Care for his area or industry.


I totally disagree with this statement. I was installing furnaces forty years ago, and they were cheap crap. The 70’s were not a good decade for quality products (eg Chevy Vega, Disco, Mullets…). New high efficient furnaces have to be made to higher standards and better materials just so they will work. Digital controls are now super reliable and trouble free. I would cheerfully bet a large sum that they will last longer than any furnace made in the 70’s, but my personal expiration date will probably come up before I can collect :frowning:

You and I both! :-0

The point of that statement (and a counter to yours) is that it really doesn’t matter what the age of the equipment. Only the "CONDITION" matters…

I see old furnaces owned by little old ladies that are in showroom condition, and brand new ones with cracked heat exchangers because there is a 275pa negative return duct static pressure because some idiot cut a 6x6" hole in the floor behind a 20x30" filter grill with a high efficiency filter installed.