The Heating and Cooling Systems: Creates a Comfortable Environment
Inspectors will review your home’s heating and cooling system, or its HVAC system, making sure that they are operable, that the system is located in a safe area of the house, and noting its condition and past service and repair notes. With the heating system, the inspector will identify the system’s energy source (gas, oil, electric) and method used to conduct heat or air throughout the home, and also whether the home has proper ventilation, venting, or draft. In addition, the inspector will note whether the system’s distribution is functioning and if the controls are adequate.
With cooling systems, the inspector will also review whether they are operational. Most cooling systems have separate indoor and outdoor components as well as separate lines for gas and refrigeration functions.
As part of the inspection, the inspector will review whether heating and cooling systems show signs of functional difficulty, damage, or excess wear. The inspector will review water heaters, oil furnaces, and electrical baseboards for signs that these heating mechanisms are malfunctioning. The inspector will also indicate the age on current heating and cooling systems and some of the care and maintenance issues you’ll need to keep track of, depending on the type of home you purchase.
For instance, if you are buying an older home or one that is currently oil-heated, an inspector will examine the oil furnace for signs of excessive wear. Separately, you will want to ask the seller if the oil tank (usually buried underground on the property) has ever leaked. If the home was converted from an oil heating system to another source of heat, inspectors will visually examine whether the former tank was properly decommissioned. If you are buying a home with a boiler, an inspector will examine its condition. Boilers heat hot water and then uses that heat to heat and distribute warmth from gas, oil, electrical or other forms of fuel or heat throughout the home. An inspector will conduct a visual review of the boiler (which in some older homes is insulated with asbestos materials), verify that all rooms have a heat source, and assess the boiler’s condition.