Hvac new business

I think perhaps I will start offering a new side to my inspections by offering the home owners a post inspection after installation by Hvac contractors. After two of my inspections this week can see a great need in this area for this as the city inspectors are not doing their job if a permit was even obtained which it probally was not.

I just came off an inspection this afternoon that the contractor should have his license pulled.

The house old two story renovated for a flip. The thermostat within 5 feet of the kitchen stove two returns one above the stat and one below, both wall mounted close enough to the kitchen stove to be used for a stove exhaust fan:) . Up flow furnace resting on a wood return box that had approximately 4 inches of the floor removed inside the return chamber drawing un-conditioned air from the crawl space. The Goodman furnace was installed in 06 and has the condensate overflow cup mounted on the exterior side of the furnace. When this cup fills with water it overflows into an open ended drain line that was hard piped into the kitchen sink drain line under the home no P-trap. The sewer gas travels back up the line to the open end of the drain and into the home.

I encounter bad installs like this very frequently and have been considering adding a post inspection for the consumer before they pay the contractor good money for bad work. What do you think would it work or would I just piss off all of the contractors that do good work???

The “good” contractors wouldn’t be pissed off if they did everything to code, it’s the fly by nites that would be pissed and they probably should change careers anyway!

Sounds like a good idea to me. It gives the consumers you serve a little more assurance that they are getting a quality air conditioning install and that it will provide adequte heating and cooling for years to come. I would also check to see what professional org’s these hvac contractors belong to. If you need any additional info feel free to send me a email or a private message.

Charlie, That is what got me inspections at any cost for the past 11 years and got me into this business. “Anyone can inspect a house… Not just anyone can do the HVAC” (from the realtor that got me doing this job).

  1. Being able to run HVAC equipment at low ambient temps is a major plus to clients. You know how to modify equipment for low ambient use!

  2. Refrigerant pressures tell it all.

  3. Air flow issues = comfort/discomfort.

  4. Electronic leak testing.

Go for it! You’ll be glad you did. Dig out that EPA certification card and post it with your NACHI badge and State Licence.

Your right David I have gotten tons of inspections full house just because of my HVAC background clients love it.

I just get so tired of contractors taking advantage of little old ladies and and folks that won’t crawl under a home and check the quality of work on a new install the contractors the bad ones know this and do just anything they want to do just so long as they get their check. I see this kind of work all the time. If these A** Holes knew they were not going to be paid until after the work was inspected they might change the quality of work performed.

City inspectors in this area will not crawl the crawl space and check duct work and you know your self what a bad duct job will do to the performance and the economics of operating a bad system

Do you guys ever think about doing a quick acid check if things point in that general direction?

No Doug Have not considered it but might be a thought especially if you were to see a condensing unit change out using the old line set same A-coil and no dryer in the suction line that would be some good red flags for a acid test.

Yep, there’s been more than one occasion Ive been tempted to do one. I keep the kit in my truck along with a stubby hose and gage but I have only done it once for an inspection and it was for a friend of mine. He was pretty much convinced the unit was a POS anyway so he wanted me to do it. It turned out to be contaminated. As you probably know it only takes a couple minutes to perform one with the glass bulb kit but the information is very valuable.

I used to buy the jars of liquid that you just poured a little of the oil into and it turned purple if acid was present.

It is amazing how many friends you can have when you know how to do something not everyone can do.

Doing that 8-to-10 hours a day I don’t want my friends calling me for freebies. At my age you have to be a front line relative to get me to look at an A/C I am what you call a burn out. I just tell everyone I sold my tools. Is that called embellishing.:slight_smile:
:slight_smile: </IMG></IMG>

I hear that.

I carry litmus paper (commercial type) and test the oil that comes out when I take my gauges off. The others are a bit expensive and getting oil is sometimes difficult in the summer.

Using a megometer on the compressor is a good indication of contaminants in the oil/refrigerant also.You must be careful as this is starting to get close to " predicting the future". I simply report on what the meter says and let the client make any further decisions.

David I don’t do acid anymore :slight_smile: was referring to the old days when the compressor was out and on the ground just tip it up and get a little oil if it was burnt bad as you know you can smell it. I used the acid test to simply determine the extent of cleanup. Used to buy a liquid flush to wash the line set and evaporator and as it turned out the flush was later re-called as it was causing more harm than the acid in the system. Go Tell

I use the hoses on my gages that have the check valves as required by the EPA. Don’t want the Freon Police to arrest me:(

I was never a fan of flushing. The R-11 flush was out the window when I arrived on the scene.
Yes, the acid test will help you determine the extent of suction line dryers needed. I did use acid neutralizer additives in very large (10 hp and above) compressors, which appeared to work quite well. Never had any callbacks related to contaminants. Acid neutralizer and suction line dryers is about the extent of cleanup that I was comfortable with.
Yes, those hoses are required. However, in the cool weather I usually still get a shot of oil coming pass the Schrader valve when I remove the gauges which I can acid test.
If the oil really stinks or its an excessively old unit which the client is dependent upon and does not intend to replace in the near future, I recommend this procedure to give them a little better idea of the existing condition of the equipment.

This flush was also after R11 but for the life of me I can not remember the name of it. Had a funky shaped jug and there was actually two liquids that had to be mixed as it was put into the system. Oh well don’t have to do that anymore.

I never really thought about an acid test on these old systems but sounds like something that I might charge a few extra bucks for. I alway have known that two heads were better than one. Thanks

Just another little extra service to make you client happy!
And another way to get your inspection fees is up where they belong! :slight_smile:


That’s a great idea, worth thinking about in my area as well. You would’nt believe what I see as well.
I’ve been doing marketing for Warranty Inspections and it’s starting to payoff. The top problems I run into are problems with MEP.
How new homes get CO’s with installation conditions I find, are beyond me.

I may also start post closing “WDO” inspections as well. Rampant fraud in the preclosing WDO inspection letters and inspections in my area.
Ga’s. R/E Comm. is rewording their contracts/disclosure to require the potential Buyer to provide its own WDO/Insp. letter for the property in question. We’re waiting for the wording and verification with Ga’s. Dept. of Agri. to approve. I know other states have similar spec’s.

Anyway, thanks for thinking outside the box

Greg where you been hiding hope your health is fine.

Yes there is a lot more out there if a person can just put it together than just home inspections. I have many years of experience that some times I feel is just being flushed down the commode. Am to broke up physically to do that kind of work any more but it is still in my head. To many horses I guess?? How’s business in Ga have been swamped here since the first of the year.


Things are certainly picking up, but still a way to go.
Thanks for asking, my health is much better, the Dr’s. just want to see me so much that I have a hard time setting up any real string of H/I’s. We’re still working on regulating the Counadin so I won’t have another DVT. My guess is, I have a few more months of Dr’s. being a pain in the backside, and then I should be down to Qtrly. or Semi-Annual visits.
Physically I feel great, I’ve done about 27 H/I’s since the 3rd week of Jan…

My wife and I are also dealing with our elderly parents, but again things going pretty good.

I hope to start monitoring/talking on the Board again, as schedule allows. I’ll try to keep helping and learning, especially learning.


Dryers go in the suction line on compressor change outs not condensing unit change outs.

Now if old line sets and evaporator remained on a condensing unit change out write it up in your report that full system efficiency will not be realized. Department of Energy’s recommendations are that indoor coil must be changed with condensing unit for rated efficiency. It’s on their web site. Now if it is a heat pump the indoor coil must be changed as the system has to be a match set. Otherwise the system will be properly charged for only one of its modes and improperly charged for the other mode. Have known low ballers that would change just the condensing unit wondering why the system would cool well but wouldn’t perform well in heating mode. They would be constantly adjusting the charge.:ouch:

Gary your statement could be debateable if the compressor burned out on the old unit and it was opted to change the whole unit V/S the compressor then suction line dryers should be installed.

I have no confidence in this new generation of HVAC Techs to many Fly-By-Nights they do not have the same work ethics as us old Farts my generation