HVAC Engineer

By
Home Inspector with Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area InterNACHI 10041206

I done an inspection the other day on a house that the owner/seller attended. I don't mind that, I really don't, as long as they let me do my job and report to my client without interference. IMHO the seller should not be there, it can lead to uncomfortable situations and sometimes the seller feels like they are being ganged up on and get defensive. I get that, that's why they should go get lunch or something while the inspection is happening.

Here, the owner proudly presented me with a ton of documentation for the upgrades they had done to the property. "You're going to love my new HVAC (Heating Venting & Air Conditioning) unit, it is the Mac Daddy!" I said good, I will check it out. Then he proceeded to tell me that the system was designed by a HVAC engineer that had just come out of college and this was his first job. "Uh oh", I thought. "Nice" I told him, "I'm sure it is very efficient then"

So off I went to conduct my evaluation of the property. I finally got to the HVAC unit of which the air handler was in the attic. That in itself is not very wise. Unless there is NOwhere else to have it because of space, the attic is a poor place for installation. Especially if you are the poor guy that has to crawl all the way across the attic to the other side from the access point where the pull down stairs are at to service it! Ahem... sorry, I got off track. I wormed my way over to the air handler, sweating profusely. The first thing I noticed is that the drain pan installed under it was not plumbed to the outside like the condensate line was. Not smart. It could fill, overflow and you wouldn't even know it till its too late, and caused water damage. And there was a small area that they had moved the insulation aside for some reason and not replaced it. So there was no insulation in this small square area right beside the unit. Then, I noticed there were several return ducts coming in from the bedrooms and the hallway, that is good.

Only one problem... the filter is on the end of the unit, in the attic! So to change the filter, you have to climb into the attic and crawl on your hands and knees all the way across the attic dragging a new filter and hope you don't put your foot through the ceiling drywall because you missed the little board you have to crawl on.

That is not smart, that's just ignorant. When I asked the owner when the last time he changed the filter he said "I think in January" Hmmm, 9 months ago. I see why he hasn't done it...

 

 

I hope this engineer guy gets better with experience, cause in this case, you failed and created a huge mess for your clients. Guilty, Mr. HVAC Engineer! 

Get a Home Inspection before purchasing a home folks... the money you save may be your own!

 

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Posted by

 
 
Fred Hernden 

 

 Superior Home Inspections

 

  505-588-9559

 

 **************************************************************************************

 Albuquerque, Rio Rancho New Mexico and surrounding areas...

 

“My mission is to provide superior quality home inspections to my clients to ensure peace of mind so they can confidently make the largest investment they may ever make!"

                   

Please visit my website at: www.SuperiorHomeInsp.com for details!

                 

 

                                     

 

 

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New Mexico
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Rainmaker
528,488
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

Fred,

Here in Colorado we have units buried in basement crawl spaces that owners won’t crawl into so the filter never gets changed.

Oct 06, 2015 01:15 AM #1
Ambassador
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John McCormack, CRS
Albuquerque Homes Realty - Albuquerque, NM
Honesty, Integrity, Results, Experienced. HIRE Me!

Always wise to have a home inspection.  Agreed sellers being present can and often times does cause stress during an inspection which is never cool. 

Oct 06, 2015 01:17 AM #2
Rainmaker
568,100
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

David - A smart engineer/installer would have installed a filter in the ceiling and ran a duct to the return side of the air handler. Nuff said.

John - At least now the buyer has a clear understanding of what he is buying! Yes, wise indeed!!

Oct 06, 2015 01:21 AM #3
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Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Fred - sellers should not be present during a home inspection! We consider it the buyers time and buyers don't show up until right at the end to go over the results with our inspector.  Let the inspectors do their job without constant interference. As for the 'just out of college engineer'  -  big red flag on that one!

Oct 06, 2015 01:56 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,846,440
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That's pathetic.  But common!

Also, my attic unit has two returns on my upper level.  Each has the grill in the ceiling so I can get to my filters to wash them every month.  Easier than schlepping up to the attic!

Oct 06, 2015 08:22 AM #5
Rainmaker
568,100
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Anna Banana - I agree, but sometimes it happens... grin and bear it! Red flag for sure!

Jay - No doubt, that's where they should be! A schelepping we will go...

Oct 07, 2015 01:52 AM #6
Ambassador
2,079,769
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

What kind of an idiot puts the filter up in the attic? I would NEVER change it!

BTW, have a question regarding sinkholes. I once called the Clearwater clerk of court and was told that there is NO record kept at the city or county level of sinkholes...........is this incorrect? How do I check on things like this?? You seem to know.....

Oct 07, 2015 08:22 AM #7
Rainmaker
568,100
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Barbara-Jo - Exactly... and neither did this guy! I don't know about sink hole records, I know Insurance companies keep track of them because mine told me there was recorded sinkhole activity within 2 miles of my home! But, I just did permit searches for the properties I was going to inspect. If any repairs or remediation is done they must pull permits to do that, and there is your record.

Oct 10, 2015 01:09 AM #8
Rainmaker
284,761
Gene Allen
Fathom Realty - Cary, NC
Realty Consultant for Cary Real Estate

I wouldn't even have to go to college to do that good.

 

Oct 23, 2015 04:41 AM #9
Rainmaker
568,100
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

Gene - Exactly... So did the guy mis-represent himself? I think yes!

Oct 24, 2015 12:50 AM #10
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Rainmaker
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Fred Hernden, CMI

Albuquerque area Master Inspector
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