What is included in an air conditioner inspection by a home inspector?

Friday, May 8, 2020

Because a home inspection is primarily a visual examination of a property, most of the air conditioning part of a home inspection involves looking at the components, noting the details of their type, location, distribution—and, of course, noting any defects found. Testing is also required, but only to make sure that the system functions, according to the Standards of Practice of the two national home inspector associations, the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) and International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), along with the State of Florida and other states that license home inspectors and set standards for their inspections.

    The inspector is not required, for example, to "determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system.” Many inspectors exceed these minimum standards.

    Here’s the air conditioning section of InterNACHI standards:

3.5 Cooling

I. The inspector shall inspect:

    A. the cooling system, using normal operating controls.

II. The inspector shall describe:

    A. the location of the thermostat for the cooling system; and
    B. the cooling method.

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

    A. any cooling system that did not operate; and
    B. if the cooling system was deemed inaccessible.

IV. The inspector is not required to:

    A. determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system.
    B. inspect portable window units, through-wall units, or electronic air filters.
    C. operate equipment or systems if the exterior temperature is below 65° Fahrenheit, or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment. 
    D. inspect or determine thermostat calibration, cooling anticipation, or automatic setbacks or clocks. 
    E. examine electrical current, coolant fluids or gases, or coolant leakage. 

    The ASHI standards are essentillay similar, except that they exclude inspection of "cooling systems using ground-source, water-source, solar, and renewable energy technologies."

    Even if the exlusions listed above are not stated directly in the home inspector’s contract agreement, one of the Standards of Practice mentioned above will be referenced as part of the contract agreement. 

    Click on any of the links below to read other articles about what is required to be included, or not, in a home inspection:

AFCI •• Air conditioner •• Ants •• Appliance recalls •• Appliance testing •• Attic •• Awnings •• Barns and ag blgs. •• Bathroom exhaust fan •• Bonding •• Carpet •• Ceiling fans •• Central vacuum •• Chimneys •• Chinese drywall •• Clothes dryer •• Dryer exhaust •• CO alarms •• Code violations •• Condemn a house •• Crawl space •• Detached carport •• Detached garage •• Dishwasher •• Docks •• Doors •• Electrical •• Electrical panel •• Electromagnetic radiation •• Fences •• Fireplaces  Furnace •• Garage door opener •• Garbage disposal •• Generator •• GFCIs •• Gutters •• Ice maker •• Inspect in the rain •• Insulation •• Insurance •• Interior Finishes •• Grading & drainage •• Lead paint •• Level of thoroughness •• Lift carpet •• Low voltage wiring •• Microwave •• Mold •• Move things •• Help negotiate •• Not allowed •• Outbuildings •• Paint •• Permits •• Pilot lights •• Plumbing •• Plumbing under slab •• Pools •• Questions won't answer •• Radon •• Range/cooktop •• Receptacle outlet •• Refrigerator •• Reinspection •• Remove panel cover •• Repairs •• Repair estimates •• Retaining walls •• Roaches •• Rodents •• Roof •• Screens •• Seawalls •• Septic loading dye test •• Septic tank •• Sewer lines •• Shower pan leak test •• Shutters •• Sinkholes •• Smoke alarms •• Solar panels •• Specify repairs •• Sprinklers •• Termites •• Toilets •• Trees •• Troubleshooting •• Wall air conditioners •• Walk roof •• Washing machine •• Water heater •• Water pressure •• Water shut-offs •• Main water shut-off •• Water softener •• Water treatment systems •• Well •• Windows •• Window air conditioners •• Window blinds •• Wiring 

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

  To learn more about heating and air conditioning systems, see these other blog posts:

How can I find out the SEER of my air conditioner? 

My air conditioner won't turn on. What's wrong? 

How can I find out the size of my air conditioner? 

How can I tell whether the condenser (outdoor unit) is an air conditioner or heat pump? 

Where is the air filter for my central air conditioner and furnace? I can’t find it? 

Does an old air conditioner use more electricity as it ages? 

How did homes stay cool in Florida before air conditioning? 

What is wrong with an air conditioner when the air flow out of the vents is low?

Why has the thermostat screen gone blank? 

Why does it take so long to cool a house when an air conditioner has been off for a while? 

Why is my air conditioner not cooling enough? 

What are the most common problems with wall/window air conditioners?  

Will closing doors reduce my heating and cooling costs? 

   Visit our HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles. 

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