Home Inspections performed before purchasing new homes are very smart moves. Home Inspectors are, for the most part, very well trained, licensed and perform thorough inspections. They can find things that may cost you $1000s if left undetected before the purchase.
That being said, there are some areas that are not included in Home Inspections that may also cost you $1000s if left undetected. For instance, Home Inspectors check for the proper operation and condition of the Heating and Cooling Systems. What Home Inspections miss is the integrity of the duct work and overall seal of the Heating and Cooling Systems. This is especially important in an older home, 20 plus years old. The Code max leakage of an HVAC System should be no more than 8% of the square footage of the conditioned area of the home. To identify leakage amounts we perform a Duct Efficiency Test test which requires special certifications and training. Home Inspectors don’t have the equipment or certifications. Leaky systems can make your home less comfortable, shorten the life of your system and cause higher energy bills. Additionally, when our area experiences extreme weather, hot or cold, a home with a leaky HVAC System may experience wild swings in utility bills. This winter saw many home’s utility bills doubled or tripled.
Very Important!If the home you are considering to purchase has a “Wall Return” for the HVAC unit(meaning you put the AC filter in a grill on a wall instead of the ceiling, BEWARE! These returns are notoriously leaky and most probably will cost you money in the form of higher utility bills if not professionally sealed.
Another huge energy saving point that not enough attention paid to is the R Value of the home’s insulation. It should be R38 which is nearly 14″ thick. Just because the home has insulation doesn’t mean it has adequate insulation. It should also be consistent throughout the attic, no thin or bare spots. Also if insulation is adequate make sure there are baffles between the joist that guarantee air flow in the attic.
Next, if your home has an attic staircase in the conditioned area(living area), you should have an attic tent. In Louisiana, most home have the attic staircase door(leakiest unsealed door in the home) is the same hall area as the AC Return. This allows the AC System to pull hot humid air directly out of the attic. As a result your AC System is overworked, causing higher bills and shortening the life of the System.
If you are considering the purchase of a home and would like more information on our services please call or message me at 225-413-1157 or simply submit the form below. The call or message is free and our service may save you $1000s.