Chances are you will get a home inspection if you are planning to buy a new home. This is a relatively general inspection that checks on multiple aspects of the house, such as the foundation, plumbing, roof, and electrical systems. However, one thing you don't want to overlook is the HVAC inspection, which checks the heater and air conditioner. HVAC repairs or replacements can be costly, which you likely don't want to contend with as a new homeowner. The following are three reasons to get this inspection.
#1: Verify appropriate sizing
The air conditioner and furnace in your home should be sized to fit the square footage they must serve. An overly small system won't heat or cool well, so your house will often be at an uncomfortable temperature. It will also have to work harder, which means more costly repairs as well as early replacement. Overly large units can also be a problem. These use more energy than is necessary, costing you more money. They may also be more expensive to service; for example, if they use more filters that require frequent replacement than a smaller, more appropriately sized unit.
#2: Check for signs of recurring issues
The air conditioner and furnace are two of the most-used appliances in your home, so you don't want to inherit someone else's problems. An inspector can stress-test the unit to make sure no recurring issues are present. This is especially important for checking the off-season component, such as an AC check in winter or a furnace check in summer, since issues with these can remain hidden until well after purchase. The inspector will also look for signs of frequent repair, such as obvious mending or damage that has been left behind by past break-downs.
#3: Investigate water damage
One major issue that sometimes lurks in an air conditioner is water damage, which is often accompanied by mold. Units that are placed poorly or that aren't supplied with proper drainage will often get water onto the home. This is especially a concern with rooftop models. The hoses get blocked or aren't sufficient for the amount of condensation, so the AC drip tray overflows and water gets trapped. This water then seeps into the home, and mold can grow in the attic or other nearby areas. An experienced inspector will check around the AC for water stains and signs of past leaks.
For more help, contact an air conditioner inspector in your area, or check out websites like http://www.homeinspectionassoc-ma.com for additional information.