Ice Anyone?

Before I even walked inside the house this is what I find.:shock:

Good one thanks Chris .

So, what do you think the problem might be?

Please enlighten us.

AC is broke. Recommend call AC Guy with Flir One to make corrections.

You A** I just spit on my monitor:(

Restricted air flow.

Now go find it.

Could get complicated for some.
Low refrigerant charge can create blocked air flow if the owner runs it for a long time because it’s not cooling. Must defrost it first to know, so move on to the guy with the Flir One…

LOL David hahahahahahaha:D

I am not there to fix the problem. I am only there to find the the unit is not functioning. I did that. Now it’s up to an HVAC technician to do their job. But you knew that.

It could be just a dirty air filter.

The point is; someone is paying you as an inspector, hopefully a good amount of money, to take a look at what they are about to purchase.

Yes, it’s not necessary that you can fix everything. However home inspectors spend time, effort and lots of money on BS stuff (like home warranties, thermal imaging cameras, mold sucker machines, radon testing devices etc.) yet they fail to provide the most basic commodity they can provide their client, that’s knowledge.

Inspectors get into hot water with their clients generally because their clients do not feel the inspector was providing them a service.

Observing something and recommending someone else to evaluate and fix it leaves them open to additional inspection fees and unnecessary costs of unneeded repairs etc.

If at all possible, if I saw ice on the suction refrigerant line, I would try to find as much as feasibly possible, in the time allotted and within reason, so that the client could know if they just have a dirty air filter, a collapsed air duct, an evaporator coil that’s never been cleaned or a refrigerant leak (listed in order of financial severity).

It’s nice to know if the problem is a $1.25 filter or $1200 for a refrigerant leak and a bottle of R- 22 refrigerant.

I’m not picking on you. You asked.

You spend all kinds of effort to get a home inspection job. If you are able to determine the potential problem and advise your client and save them money, it goes a lot further than some home buyback scam. If you work on it, in time you will achieve this.

I would respectfully disagree.

The unit is broke, HVAC guy needs to fix it, period. I have other inspections to get to. I see that and I am done… move on the next thing on my checklist/report.

As for it costing the Client money, it ain’t their unit yet. It needs to be addressed before the close of escrow.

I don’t… till I’m done.

Like I said, as a Professional Inspector… It’s broke, fix it. :wink:
AC is no secret here in the Desert.

It makes cold air, everyone and their Brother here knows when it does not work properly.

And they know what Professional to call to make repairs.

As much as I would love to stay behind with the client and pontificate on the (at this point unknown) reasons for the failure, there is no upside for me or the Client doing this. I ain’t the one fixin it.

Of the the things you listed, it could be one, or a combination of those reasons, or something entirely different. (most likely low charge/leak)

Boiler plate narrative

*"Sometimes there is ice on your air conditioner because the system needs refrigerant. If the air conditioner needs refrigerant, it probably has a leak. The leak must be sealed and then new refrigerant added. Refrigerant leaks do not repair themselves, and adding more refrigerant without sealing the leak will not solve the problem. One indication of a refrigerant leak is that dirt and stains appear on the unit, but this may only be visible under the AC cover. *Ice can form on the air conditioner if the evaporator coil is dirty. If the coil is dirty, the system should be switched off until the evaporator coil can be cleaned or replaced. Continuing to operate the unit can damage the compressor and other parts of the system. If the damage is severe, you may have to replace the entire system. The AC might still work if you continue to use it, but it will gobble a lot of electricity and provide very little cool air.
There are other reasons why there is ice on your air conditioner. These include:

  • Dirty filters
  • Clogs in the system
  • Broken or damaged valves
  • Problems with the fan or fan motor
  • *Poor airflow *
  • Closed vents or registers
  • Running your AC when the temperature outside is less than 65 degrees
  • Thermostat problems
  • A blocked drainage system

I recommend a qualified HVAC contractor inspect and repair or replace any items as required."

So, lets say that an inspector with limited knowledge of HVAC takes your advice. He sees that the unit is iced up and thinks, I am a POS inspector if I do not figure out why this is happening. He goes to the furnace and finds the $1.25 air filter looks like a coyote pelt. Feeling confident that he solved the problem, he says that the filter was dirty and that by changing it, it should solve the problem. A few weeks down the road, the new buyer is moving in and the unit is iced up again. WTF, the filter was changed, just like the inspector recommended. Why is this still happening??? They call the HVAC tech out and sure enough, the thing needs that $1,200 for the refrigeration leak and bottle of R-22. Guess who is paying that $1,200.00???


wrong, you had already put it in the report that it needs to be repaired by a licensed…

Feeling confident that he solved the problem, he says that the filter was dirty and that by changing it, it should solve the problem.

That is where you would be wrong, again.

We are not there to solve the problem. If you write in the report, “change the filter and everything will be okey-dokey”, you’re an idiot…

We are there to observe and report what we see.

If you see that the unit is I stop and you take a couple seconds and check the filter, but that the evaporator coil (when accessible) were determine other factors that may be associated, you will know what it is “not”.

As I said you need to get rid of the ice before you can determine anything. But if the coil happens to be blocked, most likely the evaporator is also blocked but you can’t see it because it’s covered in ice. It determines what needs to be done other than just call some Joe and have him try to figure it out. Or you can buy into my home warranty program…

The point: just because you see ice does not mean you stop looking at the equipment for other defects and recommend that somebody else look into it.

If the filter is blocked your assessment says “deferred maintenance issue”. If the filter and air duct appear normal then you’re looking at a potential refrigerant leak issue. Nice to know.

You don’t start out recommending somebody hunt for a leak that you don’t know exists. Believe it or not many HVAC technicians are as lazy as home inspectors and do not address a dirty coil (due to a dirty unchanged filter)! It would be nice if you pointed it out so that they were forced to do their damn job.

Me thinks the point Dave is making a home inspector should have enough training in HVAC to be able to do more than just find the F******* thermostat

Ya should have at a minimum a working knowledge of how a basic systems operates and the components that it takes to operate

I know you by your post and can tell you are very knowledgeable. I understand your point, but I am not cornering myself into a specific issue or repair. Like you said, if I tell them the problem may be the filter and it’s a leak I did not detect, then I am in hot water. “I recommend an HVAC technician evaluate and repair as he deems necessary.”

However, you are a seasoned HVAC technician, then by all means make the suggested repair.