Before Your Buy a Home, Have the HVAC System Inspected by a Professional

June 16, 2015

If you're in the market for a new home, you know there are certain things that need inspecting before you buy the home. Besides checking the roof and the foundation, a home inspector will probably turn on the HVAC system to see if it works. But that's not enough. HVAC systems are expensive and complex, and a proper HVAC inspection should be done by an HVAC professional. Why a Professional HVAC Inspection? Typically, a home inspector will turn on a furnace if it's winter, or the air conditioner in the summer, and then include in the report that the heating or cooling appears functional. This tells the prospective homeowner nothing about the condition or expected life of the HVAC system. You won't know from the report if the system has been maintained and operated properly, or if it's the right size. If it's too small, the system will run continuously. If it's too large, it short cycles. Either way, improper sizing causes major stress on the parts and shortens the life of the equipment. Prospective homeowners usually assume that the inspector has done more than just turn the equipment on, but that seldom happens unless you hire a professional inspector. For instance, a professional could run a pressure test or use a scope to see if a furnace might have a cracked heat exchanger, an expensive repair for a condition that risks the leaking of carbon monoxide into the home. The inspector can also check for adequate ventilation so the home's occupants are not beset by moisture problems and poor indoor air quality; for leaking ductwork so the homeowner can be assured that the HVAC system is not leaking conditioned air into the attic; or for mold, often caused by moisture leaking into ductwork. Remember, HVAC system repairs are often expensive. It can cost a lot more to repair a system that's malfunctioning (let alone replace it!) than to replace an appliance such as a dishwasher or washing machine. If you have other questions about a professional HVAC inspection, contact Lozier Heating and Cooling of Des Moines. We've served central Iowa since 1906. Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: "3Dmask/Shutterstock"