Archive for the ‘HVAC’ Category

I just finished an inspection that the client didn’t want, at first. Her lending institution told her she needed one to get a loan. (That’s another story) During the course of the inspection things went very well. The house was 30 plus years old and had recently been rehabbed by someone local.

When I got to the heating and cooling I found an item which costs only a few dollars and it was incorrectly installed which could cost someone their life. I found that someone used a clothes dryer vent pipe for a gas flu vent type “b” vent. Needless to say, this won’t work, the back side of the vent was cooked with a large hole in it. Carbon monoxide had been pouring into the house while doing this home inspection until I found this safety issue.


I immediately turned the heater off and asked the clients and their young kids to go outside and get some fresh air. Fortunately they had not been there but a very short time and fresh air is all they needed and they refused medical treatment. I do carry a small medical bag with me and checked my SPO2 levels which were fine.

Lots of lessons to be learned here. Above all else, GET A HOME INSPECTION!


I came across this outdoor a/c condensing unit the other day. It’s sitting on top of a high rise condominium along with 50+ other newer units. It was the last original one still standing in the large crowd. I believe the only thing holding it together was oxidization. For some reason it worked as well as a new unit as far as making the condo cold inside.




There are a few HVAC insulation duct covers that don’t hold up well to our southern attics and sunshine. A recent home inspection revealed this problem. The current owner stated she just paid someone to fix her ducts but wasn’t able to get in the attic to check them. During our home inspection it didn’t take long to surmise she didn’t get everything she paid for. Approximately half the ducts had been poorly repaired and the other half nothing was done to. The outer plastic shell degrades quickly here and they loose some of there efficiency. You can see by the photo’s people will be paying to heat and cool their attic spaces.

This lower picture is another example of the attempted repairs

I frequently recommend at least a quality pleated air filter over the cheapie blue or green see through type as shown below.

MERV ratings range from 1 – 16 and measurements are in microns. Some of the common particles related to MERV ratings are pet dander, insecticide dust, smog, dust, viruses, wood, tobacco smoke, spores, bacteria and pollen.
Some of the most common filters found in residential use only have a merv rating of 1 to 4. I call these “bird stoppers” These are typically disposable panel type filters and do not do a good job of filtering the air because they will not stop particles smaller than 10 microns.

There are some manufacturers that have specific recommendations for their equipment, which should be followed for warranty purposes.