HVAC..definitely my weakness..any help?

I have decided HVAC is my achilles heal…I know jack about them…I have baseboard electric at my home and I barely understand that :wink: kidding of course.

The SOP’s are very basic on this part of the inspection…do you guys hear a lot of “geesh…what do you mean you think it is operating but aren’t sure how long it will last or how good it is? Why should I have to hire an HVAC guy…I thought I hired and inspector w/ some smarts?” Or along those lines?

I’m concerned that my first paying inspection I will hear this crap…I believe in giving people their moneys worth in all that I do and I don’t want to shortchange them in this area.

Any ideas where I can learn? I learned the basics in my course…and I’m sure I can identify and I can find help w/ the age on the internet I’m sure…and these boards of course! I am just concerned someone won’t be happy with my write up of their heating system…and I want to be as prepared as possible.

Is the NHIE heavy in this area?



This is good reference material. You should ride along with a veteran inspector and see how they do it in you area.

pssst Brian…I’m trying…I’m trying…sigh

How close is Woodland Park to Colorado Springs or Denver. See I don’t know jack about some things either. The reason I ask is there are Johnstone Wholesale Supply houses in both of these locations. Johnstone sells a small HVAC troubleshooting handbook that is pretty good for the novice. It is geared towards rudamentary repairs but it has a lot of great information inside plus illustrations of the typical equipment you will see. I also recommend highly to find a Tech school in your area (or Jr College) that offers HVAC training at night. Usually you will get many hours of hands on experience and you can ask the instructor any and all questions you might have about the field of HVAC. You are going to find most of the homes you go into to inspect are going to have older, nasty equipment. Air conditioners and furnaces are one of if not the most neglected system in a home. People figure as long as it is running it is okay. A course will get you into the areas below the surface so you will understand how each type of system operates (or is suppose to operate) I felt the same way you did. Knew just enough to be dangerous to myself and my clients. I took a full state approved course and it was very inexpensive to do. I did my classes in the morning , did inspections in the afternoon and took an evening course to get my EPA certification (that only took a couple of weeks, two evenings each) Best thing I could have done was take an HVAC course. It has saved my bacon more times than I can count. Until then get your hands on a simple textbook and/or the handbook I mentioned above. It will help you for now and only costs about $10. You will not want to get into the depth of testing that is laid out but the instructions and illustrations are very clear and simple to help you get over the initial fear of looking at HVAC equipment. Email me anytime and I will try to help if I can. There are others in here who earned a living in the field and can help as well. There are no stupid questions so don’t be afraid to ask. Better to ask a difficult question than buy someone a new system because the one in the home you just inspected is a piece of cr*p.