HVAC Inspection and Cost
Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are responsible for moving the air through your home and controlling the temperature. Regular maintenance of those systems can prolong the life of your HVAC and alert you to potential bigger issues. If your system is left without regular maintenance, it can fall into disrepair. When one or all of those systems fail, your house can run into more problems than just being too hot or too cold. Prolonged system failure can lead to the accumulation of moisture, the development of mold, and other health problems caused by poor air quality, poor circulation, and stagnant areas.
What Is An HVAC inspection?
A standard home inspection will look at the HVAC system for general wear and tear and confirm if it is working properly. When the inspector has some doubt about the system’s performance, they will recommend an additional, more in-depth inspection of the HVAC system.
HVAC Inspection Checklist
Your HVAC system has several parts — the cooling unit, the heating system, and the ventilation. If your home has natural gas or an oil furnace, then there is also a combustion aspect to the inspection. The inspection checklist is thorough and examines the following components:
- Installation – was the unit and all its components installed in accordance with current safety standards
- Inspect all filters and replace any that are substandard
- Look for signs of rust and degradation of the materials
- Examine the electrical – is there proper voltage running to the appropriate units, is the wiring damaged, are all displays operating properly
- Blockages in any of the systems – this includes checking the interior and exterior vents for airflow, inspection for gas leaks, or blockages in the pipes
- Properly sealed – are the ducts sealed and is there appropriate pressure in the gas and refrigerant systems
- Is the blower working properly – if there are no blockages but the air isn’t reaching the house there may be a failure in the blower system
- Confirm the calibration – is the thermostat registering the temperature correctly
- Are the defrost and heating cycles working properly
- Are the safety controls working properly
The HVAC inspection will examine all these components and provide you with a report of the findings. A good report will give you solutions and cost estimates for any repairs or replacements deemed necessary. If the HVAC system is in need of cleaning or maintenance, it will not work effectively to heat, cool, or clean the air in your home. This can cause it to work harder, which in turn will increase the cost of your heating and cooling bills. Light maintenance can be performed by the inspector or a knowledgeable technician on the spot. Other problems like a new appliance or duct blowout will require subsequent visits.
If you are having an HVAC inspection as part of a home inspection for a house you are considering purchasing, negative results do not necessarily mean you shouldn’t buy the home. In some cases, these results can help you negotiate a better price Be sure to request a detailed estimate of the cost of repairs before proceeding.
How Much Does An HVAC Inspection Cost?
The cost of an HVAC inspection is around $325 for a 1200 sqft home and can take 1.5–3 hours to complete if there are minor repairs or maintenance issues found. The cost goes up if the inspector finds more significant issues because more time is required to find the problem, report the solutions, and estimate the costs for repair. The cost will increase based on the size of the home and the state it is located in.
A preliminary or superficial HVAC is performed during any home inspection. The inspector looks at the general state of the system and its components to confirm it is in working order. They typically do not perform a thorough examination of the system and its components in a general inspection. If you would like to have an inspection on your home to determine whether or not your system is in need of repair or maintenance, you can hire an HVAC technician rather than a home inspector. The HVAC technician is not a home inspector and not all home inspectors have the required in-depth HVAC knowledge to provide you with a thorough report of the repairs needed.
Do I Need An HVAC Inspection?
Routine maintenance can be performed by the homeowner if they are comfortable with the spaces and familiar with the system. Replacing filters and keeping the area clear of dust, debris, and anything that can clog or inhibit performance are all maintenance tasks a homeowner can do.
An HVAC inspection is an in-depth diagnosis of the efficacy and life of your system. The inspection will examine the entire system for current problems and look for areas where potential problems could arise.
If you are thinking of buying a home and want to know if an HVAC inspection is worth the time and money, weigh the cost of replacement if major failure occurs after your purchase against the cost of the inspection. Don’t forget that failures rarely occur at opportune times.
For homeowners, an HVAC inspection should be conducted once a year to prolong the life of your air condition, heating, and air ventilation systems. If your system is over 10 years old, it will require more frequent inspections. The best time of year to do an inspection is before the intense heat of summer or the cold temperature of winter — or both — depending on where you live.
If you decide to have your system inspected, be sure to hire an accredited HVAC inspector, get references, and request a sample report. The report should be thorough and offer actionable solutions to your specific HVAC needs. Whether you are in the market to buy a home or concerned about your current HVAC system, getting an HVAC inspection can bring peace of mind and potentially save you time and money.