Home Inspector Report – Blog 2 – Hot Water and Heating Systems

Hot water and heating may be some of the most expensive systems in your home, but they are also among the most crucial. They are often systems that either work or don’t, making maintenance and inspection important to preventing sudden, drastic issues. Buyers expect to move in knowing that they will stay toasty in cool evenings and have the freedom to have a hot bath before unpacking. This is why home inspectors take extra notice of hot water and heating systems. Firstly, inspectors like knowing tank details for traditional boilers. This information can say a lot about the maintenance of the boiler and the home as a whole.

Here is an excerpt from a report written by a professional inspector:

“The inspection is an opinion of the general condition of the hot water tank at the time of inspection. The inspector cannot, and does not offer any guarantee as to the life span of to tank. For a detailed analysis consult a qualified licensed plumber.”

Now, you may think “They checked the tank and they know it’s condition. Why can’t they offer some kind of guarantee?”. This can seem picky, but that’s exactly what inspectors should be. They should not be giving iffy reports or rough estimates. The more they know about your system, the more accurate they can be in their assessment. Take for instance:

 “Tank details / age and type and size are noted along with the correctness of installation and functionality of the safety features.”

This means that the inspector is clear about the tank’s details, saw that the initial installation was done correctly and that it has resulted in a safe system. They can judge (within reason) how long the system will last, and if you will have to replace it soon.

Heating systems:

For performance, longevity and safety, the furnace should be serviced annually. Consult vendor for service history. All servicing and repairs must be performed by a qualified HVAC specialist. Inspector cannot confirm adequate heat distribution to all areas or rooms in the structure.”

In any inspection report, you may see recommendations as to your next step. These may include future services, replacements or consultations. However, inspectors will not suggest consulting just anyone on a home’s system. Often times inspectors will advise you to hire a professional HVAC technician to assess furnaces and related HVAC systems. At R&B, we have technicians that are skilled and certified in plumbing and HVAC service work, offering the best for you and your home. However, similar to hot water systems, what inspectors will do is note specifics about the age and installation of furnace systems.

“Furnace type and installation method are noted, but not the exact age.  Or warranties.  Service records are advised to be obtained.”

In this case it is important to have contracted with a reputable company who keeps detailed files for a long period of time. Finally, if the home was serviced by R&B, we will have those on file. All you have to do is call our offices or email us a request.