I have been an HVAC/r tech for 15 years - AMA

I am not an expert by any means, but there are a few issues to watch out for and although I am an inspector newb, I would like to contribute to the forum.

-many furnaces, A/Cs and heatpumps have delays. You may have to wait up to 5 minutes for them to kick on.
Examples:
A Rheem A/C is an excellent brand (i put one in my own house) but the condenser will go into a 5-minute time delay if it was short-cycled, and Carrier furnaces will blow air for 90 seconds before they ignite. These settings can be adjusted by the thermostat or circuit board.
My advice is to be patient instead of automatically assuming there is an issue.

-HVAC equipment located in an attic can cause devastating damage by condensate overflowing to not only the living space below, but the basement below that if it is not equipped with a float/cutoff switch. I do not want to be the guy that did not recommend one. They should also be equipped with a cleanout in pvc condensate drain line.
-call it out if there is no filter media, or the inside of the furnace/AH is really dirty–this could indicate that the evaporator coil is plugged up with dirt/pet hair and guarantees the ductwork is filthy as well *cringe.

Easy visual cues that indicate equipment:
-metal flue = low efficiency (some codes require them in attics in certain states to avoid freezing condensate lines)
-plastic flue = high (90% or above) efficiency
-Reversing valve = heat pump
-gas line and/or flue = furnace
-big electrical wires entering the side, and the presence of breakers on the front of the air handler = electric heat

-every single AH (air handler) over 5 years old will have mold inside of the cabinet (unless it is equipped with a HEPA air filter or UV light system, etc., and likely even still will be)

terminology:
-electric heat = air handler
-gas heat = furnace
*there is no such thing as an electric furnace or a gas air handler

not true, I have one…
https://www.dettson.com/products/new-supreme-family/

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I was speaking in generalities, not the .1% of exceptions.

Does it increase the hydro bill much? I’ve seen quite a few different brands of electric furnaces. Might consider one myself.

I have equal billing so I don’t notice it much and I don’t have a gas bill…Rates are reasonable for electricity in Quebec so an electric furnace is common, you will have to do the calculations for your situation.Energy Costs Calculator.xlsx (17.2 KB)

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An electric furnace is a stand alone heating device which may or may not have an evaporator coil attached, or attached to a condenser or outdoor unit.

An Air Handler is Part# 2 in a heat pump or A/C unit. It may, or may not have a heater kit in it. So it is not the same as an electric furnace. These are commonly called a “Straight Electric Furnace”.

Thanks for the effort, but please don’t post stuff like this when you don’t know for sure what your talking about. This stuff ends up out on the web and on this board confusing and distracting Inspectors. As you hang around there for a while, you’ll see a lot of “Old Wives Tales” and incorrect information pertaining to HVAC. Like you can’t run an “Electric Furnace” in the summer, or a Heat Pump in cooling in the winter…

Image result for electric furnace

An electric furnace is similar to a conventional gas forced-air furnace except that it produces heat with electric heating elements instead of gas burners. Circuit breakers that control the heating elements may be either inside or outside the cabinet.

People also ask

What is the difference between an air conditioner and an air handler?

An air handler will most likely be found inside the home as part of a split-system air conditioner or heat pump. An internal blower distributes the conditioned air throughout a home, making it feel more comfortable in the process. … The most efficient air handlers come equipped with variable-speed motors.

Even though the internet is often wrong, at least take a look to vet your opinions.

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Around here, not having an electric furnace would be the exception.

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Damn, nevermind. Back to the drawing board.

Welcome to the forum.

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