Mention Component Age?

Do you mention furnace, water heater and condensing unit age in your report?

If you do what’s is your recommendation to your client when the unit/s are at or beyond the manufacturers expected life?


If you don’t, why not?

That the unit is at or near the end of its designed life. You can expect a higher level of maintenance and a higher cost to operate. Budget to replace the unit before it fails. I cannot determine how long the unit will last.

If it is past it;s designed life i state the design life and i that have no way of telling how many years it will last. Service by a qualified tech is recommended. Most likely there has been lack of service.

Yes, and I have “average” life expectancy of the appliance. I don’t state, nearing or beyond it’s life expectancy. I list the age with the make, serial, and model, then have a standard sentence that tells the average.

The item is at the age where it is near the end or past its useful life. Be prepared to replace it in the near future.

" The ( unit ) is operating at or beyond it’s design life and may require replacement in the near future. Further operation of this ( unit ) may incur additional expense due to increased maintenance costs."

We have three so far that don’t mention component age. Please explain your reasons if you don’t mention age.

They write softer reports to avoid scaring their realtor referrals. That’s the bottom line. Sad but true, but they won’t admit it.

Component age is not always available and when it is, it is the manufacturing date…not the installation date…that you are reading.

Secondly, the age of a system is irrelevant to its condition, unless the age is at or near the end of its expected life.

Last summer, I saw a water heater that looked in pristine condition…it could have been installed a week ago…that was manufactured in 1970. What is there to report, regarding its age, other than the fact that it is past the age of its normal useful life and they should prepare to replace it?

About 15% of my inspections come from real estate salesmen, so there is no “soft report” motivation behind any of my wording.

Would you agree the situation with the water heater is far from the norm?
Obviously the component should be reported on based on condition.

I pput in my report the age (if can be determined) , model # and serial #.

If it is beyond the systems expected life I recommend an evaluation of the system for life expectancy. If it is a gas furnace or AC unit, I recommend asking sellers when the last time the unit was serviced and recommend they be serviced annually for a gas furnace and every 2 years for an AC unit.

***The heating system was paced through it’s normal sequence of operating modes, with no obvious defects noted at time of inspection. However, due to systems age, it is clearly beyond it’s life expectancy, and replacement should be considered soon.

Reporting life expectancy aside… if you know something to be true and possibly useful to your client, why hide that information?

If you come upon information that reveals the exact age of a particular component (new or old), tell your client.

Would I spend extra energy and time trying to determine the exact age of everything? No. But we are in the information business and I see no reason to withhold any information that may be of use to the client.

Your poll says “mention…” This assumes that you already know. So I say tell your client.

I also report that information, if I can discern it.
In addition, I’m starting to mail this along with the
“Now That You’ve Had A Home Inspection” booklet,
once I’m sure they’ve closed and moved in…

If I can determine the age of the component (and it is possible most of the time) I note it on the report. I also tell the client it has passed its supposed life span and might need to be replaced in the near future. Your client should have as much information as you can provide. If you were the client wouldn’t you want to know too.

I routinely “mention” the approximate age of the unit and if I can’t I also tell them that and why. Never had it come up as an issue. It is fairly easy to determine the age of components even if the date is not that obvious. Is it something I spend a great deal of time fretting over it, no. Generally if it past the service life expectancy, it looks like it or performs like it. Do I automatically determine because some thing is old it needs to be replaced, again no. If it is working as advertised with no visible signs of stopping doing just that, I report it. I do discuss that the unit is older, may work for years or it may stop working before we can finish the inspection. No need to make a huge deal out of it, put it in the report and move on. I think the condtion of a unit is more important than the age. Seen many new units that were poorly installed and or abused, neglected and that cut the life expectancy significantly.

I try to give clients the manufacture date and/or the install date. Carson & Dunlop has a great little serial/model number decipher book I use when the serial number doesn’t appear to follow a common system. I would imagine other HI supplier outfits have these. Very handy. When something looks good but is older, I like to talk about average lifespans to manage liability. Knowing the age helps me help them (clients).

I write the estimated age in my reports.

Better yet, when it obviously old, maybe not as old as a 196X Holly furnace, but OLD and date is gone…

Do you mention that you can’t determine date or that you can’t determine date and it is beyond service life and recommend having unit evaluated for replacement?

**[FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2][FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2]System Make: [/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Helvetica][size=2]York
[FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2][FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2]System Type: [/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Helvetica][size=2]Natural Gas, Warm Air System
[FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2][FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2]System Location: [/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Helvetica][size=2]Basement
[FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2][FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2]Estimated Age: [/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Helvetica][size=2]19 Years
[FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2][FONT=Helvetica-Bold][size=2]Design Life: [/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Helvetica][size=2]15 to 20 Years
**[/size][/FONT][/size][/FONT][FONT=Helvetica][size=2]York Furnace (1991)

  • Design life expectancy of the Furnace is 15 - 20 years.
  • Recommend annual service and evaluations on all HVAC equipment to maintain.
    Recommend service of the Furnace at this time if annual service has not been performed.
  • Service records are not visible or apparent at time of Inspection. Recommend obtaining
    service records from the homeowner.
  • Due to the age of the equipment, replacement needs should be estimated and anticipated.