Routine Home Inspection NOT HVAC Diagnostic

Dated: 08/30/2016

Views: 97

A routine home inspection can get to be a sticky situation if a buyer or seller doesn’t like what the inspector reports. Inspectors are not experts at HVAC, roofing, plumbing, electrical or any other type of trade. Inspectors are trained in identifying conditions in a home that may indicate a potential issue. Sometimes questions arise about the way the inspector has done his job  although all inspectors work within the same guide lines as to what they are required to look for and how to conduct their inspection.

Often people will base their decision to get a home warranty upon the outcome of the home inspection.  This makes sense on the one hand, and on the other, one can’t conclude THAT much from a basic inspection.  The inspection lets the buyer know that they are buying a home in “running order”.

Allow the inspector to do his job.  He is not the ‘bad guy’. No reason to get ornery with him/her. Ask questions but don’t expect them to be the expert. If you are suspicious or have further questions, be polite and double check on your own or hire a professional in the specific field. An inspector cannot discover a bad situation if they don't have accessibility to discover it.


A recent buyer of mine had their home inspection.  Routine… a few items for the punch list. The HVAC inspection passed with flying colors.  The inspector did what he normally does.  He DID NOT open up the grates and inspect internally. A week after the closing my clients detected a leak in the AC unit as the water was seeping from the closet into the bedroom. They had an HVAC contractor come out and do a complete diagnostic.  It didn’t take but 5 minutes to find the following:

The home inspector did his job.  Perhaps next time I will open the filter and grate myself to check.

The HVAC contractor put a $1,230 price tag on the job to fix it WITHOUT warranty. Quite pricey for a 13 year old unit.  The new owners deliberated for two weeks on whether or not to get an entire new unit or pay the "fix it" price.

The following week, the new condo owner called the warranty company who sent a guy out from another HVAC contractor who charged them a $75 service call and ordered a new tray underneath.  Seems the old moldy tray had a leak in it and so the water from any condensation was leaking out.  That's it.

Moral of the story ... Get a warranty. Get a second opinion. Check things over a little yourself. Ask questions of the agent and the inspector.

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