HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. It’s often used as a general term to describe the different heating, ventilating, and cooling systems within a given home, including fireplaces (when present).
The extent of HVAC systems can vary from home to home. Some are packaged systems, where heating and cooling are controlled and implemented by a single mechanical unit; others are disconnected from each other. Regardless of HVAC type, a home inspector will be consistently looking for the same thing within each aspect of the system.
Most homes have some sort of central heating system (such as a furnace or boiler) that disperses hot air through a home, usually through air vents. In most modern HVAC systems, these components are controlled by a centrally located thermostat.
During the inspection, the home inspector will run the heating system on normal settings to make sure it’s functioning. The home inspector will also report on the location of the thermostat, as well as the energy source/heating method. Most modern homes have electric or gas-powered heat, whereas some older homes utilize wood-burning furnaces.
Proper ventilation is critical to keeping indoor air pollutants and moisture out of a home. There are two different types of ventilation: natural ventilation and forced (or mechanical) ventilation.
Natural ventilation, as the name implies, is the process of ventilating a home by natural means, usually by using open windows/doors and other air entry points on a house. Forced ventilation systems utilize mechanical fans and air ducts to cycle air through a house (bathroom fans, attic vents, etc.).
When the inspector comes to inspect your home, they will check for the presence of functioning ventilation in the attic, kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, and any unfinished crawlspaces, noting any areas that lack necessary ventilation.
The most common form of air conditioning in a home (especially an older one) is natural ventilation. Some homes have a full HVAC system, which includes an air-conditioning unit controlled by a central thermostat.
If your home has an air conditioner, your home inspector will run the system using normal settings (the same as with the heating system), checking that the system is operational.
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Buying a house is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. While a home may look perfect on the outside, there could be a lot of potentially expensive issues hiding under the surface that you need to know about before closing. Don’t leave anything to chance; get your home inspected.
Yes. Just because a home is new doesn’t mean it won’t have problems; it just means that someone hasn’t lived in it yet to discover any of its potential defects.
While it is not a requirement for you to have your home inspected prior to putting it up for sale, a pre-listing home inspection can be beneficial. It reveals the true state of your home and allows you to identify and repair potential deal-breakers prior to being discovered by the home buyer inspection.
Normally you would contact a home inspector after a purchase agreement has been signed. To protect your best interests, we highly recommend that you make sure there is an inspection contingency clause in the agreement prior to signing, specifying buyer and seller obligations after the completion and findings of an inspection.
On average, you should expect the inspection of a typical single-family home to last between 2-3 hours. For larger properties, it may take longer, and require an additional inspector onsite.
Absolutely! In fact, we encourage you to be there. As a prospective home buyer, the purpose of our inspection is not just to inspect the home, but to also educate the buyer and make sure you are the most informed about a property prior to moving forward with a purchase.
Our inspector provides a comprehensive report in line with the InterNACHI Standards of Practice that identifies material defects of the components and systems of a home along with our recommendations for repairs. Usually, the full report is ready for you within 24 hours of the inspection! For a sample of our reporting, click here.
No home, new or old, is going to be free of problems. However, not all problems require major fixes. Having a home inspection helps you identify possible issues before they potentially become bigger and costlier.
No. A home inspection is not the same as an appraisal or municipal inspection. A home inspector reports on the physical condition of the home, and any possible material defects in need of repair or replacement. It’s not pass/fail; it’s just the facts.
In compliance with the InterNACHI Code of Ethics Article I, Section 11, we, as InterNACHI certified inspectors, are prohibited from performing or offering any repairs or related services to any home for which we have prepared a home inspection report for a period of 12 months. For any suggested repairs, we recommend consulting a specialist.
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