Forced Air – Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning – HVAC Systems – Common Home Inspection Findings
Air flow to the air conditioner condenser, the air conditioning unit located outside of the home, should not be restricted by particulate accumulation on the condenser coils/fins. Excess particulate accumulation leads to inefficient operation of the air conditioning system. Homeowners should routinely check the condenser unit and clean it as directed in the owners’ manual.
HVAC forced air system filters should be checked every month or every other month during operation. Keeping the HVAC systems operating efficiently is important for energy savings, comfort and air quality. Furnace and air conditioning duct work typically contain a filter located within a couple inches of the furnace. This air filter typically should be changed every month to two months during operation.
Forced air HVAC systems often include a humidifier. The humidifier typically contains a water panel that needs to be changed at the beginning of the heating season. The water panel may also need to be changed during the season. Refer to the owners’ manual or search the model number of the humidifier online to become familiar with operations and maintenance of the humidifier system.
Some forced air systems include an ERV/HRV (Energy Recovery System or Heat Recovery System). These systems are designed to exchange air inside the home with air outside the home. Filters within the systems need to be routinely checked and changed as directed. Most ERV/HRV systems contain a set of maintenance directions inside the unit. Refer to the owners’ manual or search the model number of the system online to become familiar with operations and maintenance.
Evidence of a leak from the evaporator coil of the air conditioning unit (portion of the air conditioning system inside the home), should be evaluated by a qualified HVAC technician as soon as possible. Leaks may be caused by a clogged condensate line, a frozen evaporator coil, a cracked drain pan, a hole in the refrigerant line, or other issues. If a leak is allowed to continue, more significant and costly damage to the HVAC systems can occur.
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