The heating and cooling system is one of the most important systems in a home, which is why the home inspection may include a detailed exam of this equipment. Here are common problems homeowners encounter:
- Filters:If filters aren’t changed regularly, air flow can become blocked, causing problems with heating and cooling functions.
- Leaks:Any leak can be a precursor to a larger problem, like a cracked heat exchanger, which converts fuel to heat. If the exchanger breaks, it can release dangerous gas into the air. A leak in the cooling system can allow refrigerant or gas to escape and can be potentially dangerous.
- Exhaust flue:This is a vent for the exhaust byproducts to be moved out of the house and released outside. The exhaust flue needs to slope up to an outdoor vent or chimney with proper support and must be kept away from flammable materials.
- Electrical concerns:Homes that have electrical problems are liable to lead to blown fuses or tripped breakers during times of heavy heating or cooling use. It’s important to have an electrical kill switch located close to the furnace so power can be cut immediately in case of an emergency.
- Dirty condenser coils:Dirty condenser coils can restrict air flow and lower your energy efficiency. Keep plants and other obstructions at least one foot away from the unit.
- Non-level condenser unit:The pad the outside condenser unit sits on should be within 10 degrees of level. Being non-level reduces the effectiveness of lubrication in the tubing - increasing stress on refrigerant lines.
- Ductwork:Air ducts that are improperly installed, cracked or have broken connections send heated or cooled air into attics and walls instead of the intended rooms.
- Age:Most heating and cooling equipment has a life expectancy of 8-12 years. But avoiding or at least delaying the problems above with regular maintenance can help extend that life by years.
It is recommended that your HVAC system be inspected by a licensed technician annually. For more information, see AJPerri.com– a family-owned business based in Tinton Falls, founded in 1971.