A Closer Look at Common Problems: HVAC

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Every week, the detail-oriented folks at Green Scene Home Inspections will give CandysDirt.com readers an education in inspection. Want to see what they see? Tune in  for “Upon Closer Inspection.”

After you’ve done about 7,000 home inspections, a few common themes emerge. People tend to neglect the same kinds of things in their homes, and of course, Mother Nature affects the homes in a certain area in the same sorts of ways.

As a homeowner, or a Realtor working with homeowners, these commonalities are good to be aware of, so you can take care of your home while you own it and look for potential problems when you’re buying a new one.

In North Texas, the HVAC is a huge one. Our poor HVAC systems get a workout, especially on those “winter” days when we go from heat in the morning to AC in the afternoon, back to heat at night. You’ll want to look at the age and wear on a HVAC system. The average lifespan is 15-20 years – so you’ll want to know the age and how well the system has been maintained so you can plan accordingly.

The HVAC unit can only do so much if the ducts the conditioned air is traveling through are deficient.

We see a lot of ductwork that turns too sharply, cutting off the air (like when you bend a hose). Or ductwork like the picture below that is old, leaking and disintegrating.

If your windows and doors aren’t sealed properly, that conditioned air is going out while outside air is getting in. In the picture below, you can see the telltale sign of broken window seals – condensation on the glass.

In this video, our Inspector shows some of the things we’re looking at when we inspect the outside unit.

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