Why do you ignore HVAC

I spend more time in this thread than I can reasonably afford but it is my passion. I read all of the post about HVAC some I reply to and some I don’t. I don’t want to be classified as a know it all but I have come to the conclusion by reading these post that the average HI knows very little about what he is looking at. Some say well it is just a visual inspection and that is true but if one understands what he is looking at very easy to spot deficiency. You don’t need a bunch of tools you just need some knowledge.

I inspected a home this week that made me sick and I felt sorry for the sellers for being duped by some contractor that was grabbing the money and running. The duct work in the attic was just barely a month old revision from a downflow that had water in the ducts.I have the exact statement below in bold print that I copied and pasted directly from the report into this post. I don’t very often make this kind of call on a home but I was unable to keep from being very vocal. Read the statement and tell me if you would have the stones to make this kind of call.

C. There are supply air registers within the home with absolute no air flow as indicated with a
meter. In my opinion the updated supply air ducts meets no qualifications for residential
applications. The installer has used starting collars tapped onto the ridged trunk line with the
concept that static pressure will provide air flow. This does not happen with the size and or speed of
the blower. Static pressure duct systems are normally used in conjunction with high speed/volume
blowers in commercial applications. Recommend the installing contractor revise this duct system to
provide equal air distribution through out the home at his cost.

I would think you could only make that statement if you were a licnesed HVAC technician. Other wise I would just report that there was no air flowand that correction was needed. To me, to state that it:** meets not qualifications for residentail applications**: with no written back up from the Air Difussion Coucil or code citations is asking for trouble.

Thats my point Bill not saying you have to put in your report as I did but don’t you have enough curiosity when you see there is no air flow try to see why there is none. When I saw no air flow I could not wait until I got a look in the attic that is how one learns about these system. With my background I don’t need any written backup I know I am right and it is up the the contractor to prove me wrong if he can good luck with that. When I see something wrong I have to know why even if it is just for my own satisfication.

I agree with you Charley, but if this is new construction, the contractor will come back to you and ask you what code says I cant do it that way. All I am saying is that you need to be able to back up your statement with written documentation, ie the the code or installation instructions.

Why does CODE come up every time?

Another feeble excuse!
No air out of a register! Is there a CODE requirement?! No. But ASHRAE has a pile of engineers that have made standards.

It don’t matter…
No air, no heat!
Remember that all habitable rooms must have heat and be able to maintain a temperature and a certain height off the floor!

Come on…

I don’t need no damn code to say that it ain’t gonna work!

Builder: “I’m not going to do anything about this because they didn’t make a code for this”.

Well my code is, you don’t get a check at closing from the buyer if you don’t fix it.

Get off the code excuse.

Yes that is what I stand On in my evaluations **ASHRAE has a pile of engineers that have made standards.
And when one has the knowledge to recognize these standards it becomes very easy

Charley, I approached a similar situation just yesterday and posted it at C Brown’s board with pics. I’ll be the first to say I couldn’t attempt at being have as technical as you are. I definitely get curious when air flow is weak, but would simply look at the design and placement of the equipment, on a new build anyway. Your statement above, although very thorough, would go over the head of the average joe homeowner. After reading that, they may just ask “so what do i do?” To which I would reply, “just get a licensed hvac tech over here to go over your options”.

My posts aren’t really showing up any longer so I doubt you’ll even see this, but if you do, we’d be glad to have someone with your knowledge over at Carl’s place for some insight.

Well after rigorous testing with all sorts of test equipment, above and beyond the SOP, I was finally able to diagnose the lack of cooling. :mrgreen:

Well after it did not operate from the thermostat why did you not just recommend further evaluation by a licensed qualified HVAC contractor:mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen::wink:

HEHEHEEHEHEHEH Good one Charley :mrgreen::mrgreen::mrgreen:


I agree and also go beyond the SOP on hvac. There are a few units that are very hard to get the covers back on. One is a newer Carrier upright with a 7 inch thumb screw that is usually only in by one thread due to the flue pipe interferring with the cover.
I do not remove many of these covers anymore after learning of this problem. You can usually tell by looking at it if its barely on there.

Also, going on to other systems…

What is your procedure for checking the lower element on a 240V water heater?
I wonder how many inspectors know that you will still have quite a bit of hot water with the lower element burned out?

Charlie write up a inspection list and post it here for us. Would be very beneficial especially coming from someone in the trade like you.

Thermal Imaging! :wink: 100% accurate!

Billie, we were considering making a course like this, but it is a whole lot longer than just “a list”.

It won’t be free, but Charlie and I can work on something if there were enough interest.

Sounds like a useful list to me, thanks David and Charley.
I’d value a concise HVAC checklist as a valuable addition to my training.

Although I’ve had some part-time work with an HVAC guy doing seasonal maintenance for rental property managers, I picked up few precious troubleshooting tips along the way…

“more knowledge is always a good thing”

I use my flir on hot water tanks

What exact process do you use before taking the image?

I agree that carrier unit is a Bi!!! I hate that long screw myself have to hold your tongue just right.

I don’t get many electric water heaters here and yes I use the amp meter on both elements can usually catch the bottom element wires from the top excess plate.

I’m a home inspector and I didn’t understand your language. It’s too complex for the average home owner. Why not just say that there is no air flow?

I strongly disagree with you assigning the responsibility of who should pay for the repairs. In fact, one of the states in which I work prohibits a home inspector from initiating disputes among the parties.

I don’t think you are giving the average home owner enough credit and if you a home inspector did not understand what I was describing you should take some training and become more familiar with common terminology. BTW my client is a Engineer. If my client had been a female secretary I would have used different terminology. This duct work was less than two months old and I will lay the blame at the door step of a contractor improperly performing every time. If I had made light of the problem by simply stating no air flow the installing contractor would have had the opportunity to return and blow off my report now he has to address the issue as stated.

Every home owner thinks their property is perfect and there is generally a dispute every time a HI submits a report

I absolutely agree. I have reached the same opinion. That was the whole purpose of the HVAC course. For example… every home inspector should know…

  1. This is a picture of a ____________.