Furnace inspection and heat exchangers


An ageing furnace is always a concern whether you own a home or are purchasing. It is highly recommended to have your heating and cooling system serviced annually for many reasons, one reason is to have the heat exchanger inspected. Properly maintained equipment can be repaired prior to issues developing and causing break downs. Having a furnace inspection to identify heat exchanger issues is important.

A furnace inspection for deterioration of the heat exchanger is very important. The heat exchanger is metal which expands and contracts as it’s heated and cooled over the years of use. Condensation can develop on the heat exchanger. The expansion and contraction of the metals along with condensation can lead to weakening of the metals and rust. Which over a period of time can lead to cracks or holes. Once the cracks or holes develop there is a risk of carbon monoxide entering the home. Most equipment in use today requires disassembly to access the heat exchanger. Have a heating and cooling professional service and evaluate the system annually. Also when your home inspector recommends to have the system serviced/inspected by a licensed heating and cooling technician, you should follow their recommendation.

So annual maintenance of the heating and cooling equipment is highly recommended. The cleaning of the coils helps the air conditioning operate properly and reduce strain on the fans and compressor. This annual service will inspect the furnace equipment helping you determine if the unit is operating safely. Also heat pump systems need to be serviced annually. These systems need the coils cleaned just like the ac system, basically it’s the same parts. A heat pumps reversing valve allows the system to pull heat from the outside and heat the inside of the home. Think of the annual service like changing the oil in your car. You wouldn’t run your car without changing the oil as recommended. A lack of maintenance increases the chances of failure in the future.

In conclusion hire an experienced home inspector at the time of your home purchase which will help inform you of these important decisions. Listen to your home inspectors recommendations at the time of purchase. Also have the system serviced annually after the purchase. Most annual services in the Nashville area run between $80-120 per unit, this is a reasonable fee to have a $6,000+ piece of equipment evaluated. So not having this equipment further evaluated when recommended on a home purchase can cost a lot of money.

Thanks for reading and for your Nashville area home inspector needs call Daley Home Inspections. Jason Daley has a residential construction, home owners insurance and home inspection background and is a certified inspector with the American Society of Home Inspectors. Call or email Daley Home Inspections to discuss your home inspection needs.

Furnace inspection cracked heat exchanger on home inspection

Example of a cracked heat exchanger