Typical rooftop chimney with a rain cap and shielding

Heating systems are one of the most important features of a home. Not only do they keep you warm in the winter, but they also play an important role in the overall safety and efficiency of your home. That’s why it’s an important piece of the home inspection.

Like it or not, the cold weather is heading our way on Long Island. Let’s say you decided to skip your home inspection when you bought your new home over the summer. Best-case scenario: you turn on your heat and nothing happens. Worst-case scenario, it can be a disaster that threatens the safety of your home and family. Are you prepared to handle any home heating issues that may arise during the winter?

In this blog post, we will discuss what home buyers can expect during a heating system inspection, as well as some of the most common issues. If you’re in the market for a new home, be sure to read this blog post!

Home Heating: What Do We Inspect?

When a home inspector performs an inspection, we will look at all aspects of your home’s heating system. This includes inspecting the furnace, boilers, pipes, chimneys and ductwork. Additionally, John will look for any potential safety issues with the home, such as gas leaks, asbestos and carbon monoxide.

Obviously, there are certain challenges when you have a home inspection during the winter. However, this is not a reason to forgo the inspection. Additionally, winter is the perfect time to check the full functionality of your heating system.

Why an HVAC System Inspection is Important

Home inspections include the HVAC system. This is an essential home system, which is checked for efficiency, age, and maintenance. Here on Long Island, having an efficient home heating system during our cold winters is a crucial part of maintaining the comfort of your home.

A home inspector can inspect all aspects of the home’s heating system to ensure it’s functioning properly. Since it is one of the most important systems in a house, the inspection is very detailed.

Common Heating Problems Found on Home Inspections

When inspecting a home’s heating system, home inspectors will probably uncover issues. While not all issues will fail a home inspection, some will have an impact on its efficient and overall performance. Let’s look at some common problems:

  1. Filters. Dirty or damaged filters cause airflow problems, inefficiency, higher bills, and health issues.
  2. Leaks. A leak is a big problem in HVAC. Often, it is a sign of a larger problem in the home’s ductwork.
  3. Incorrect Thermostat. A malfunctioning thermostat may cause issues with temperature control and energy efficiency.
  4. Condensation Issues. Sometimes, there is an issue with condensate drainage or condensing units that causes water to collect around the home’s heater. It can lead to an accumulation of mold and mildew.
  5. Faulty Wiring. This is the main cause of most home fires. Homes with faulty wiring will have problems during times of high usage.
  6. Flue Problems. Damaged flues increase the risk of toxins coming back into the home. Additionally, a flue that is too close to the roof will cause backdrafts.
Picture of a flue that is too close to the roof. A red arrow points to the flue shaft to show distance.

Inspection Report. The hot water heater flu is too close to the roof.

Picture of TPS valve leak with red arrow pointing to it

Inspection Report. The TPS valve is leaking.

Picture of chimney from home inspection report showing damaged masonry. Red arrows point to the problems areas.

Inspection Report. The chimney crown is cracked and the mortar/bricks are loose.

These are only a few things home inspectors look at when assessing the home’s heating system. During the home inspection, the inspector will check for any of these problems, as well as signs of wear or damage due to age or poor maintenance. This can help home buyers prepare for potential repair bills or replacement costs.

Get Peace of Mind with New Home Inspectors

Whether you are buying a home, selling, or just looking for a seasonal efficiency check, we are here to help. John’s inspections include a thorough analysis of the home’s heating system, as well as other home systems, such as plumbing and electrical systems.

Did you know?

You don’t need to wait until you are buying a home to have an inspection of your major systems. Here are a few other reasons people would have their HVAC systems inspected by a home inspector:

  1. Selling your home.
    Get an idea of what will come up on an inspection before the buyer does theirs.
  2. Showing a home.
    As a real estate agent, have confidence showing a home.
  3. Seasonal inspections.
    This ensures your system’s maintenance requirements are being met.