HVAC system

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. That concept keeps the service industry in business, but you likely integrate preventative maintenance into your everyday life without thinking about it. You get the oil changed on your car to keep it running. You go to the doctor for annual physicals to stay healthy. You put on a coat to prevent being cold in the winter weather. Preventative maintenance also benefits your HVAC system.

Your heating and cooling system is an expensive and vital part of your home. It is a complex system of electrical components, ducts and moving parts that operate 24/7. There are real consequences to long periods of neglect in your HVAC system as components get dirty, worn and out of alignment. At Mode Comfort & Air Quality, we understand your HVAC system directly affects your quality of life. We’ve compiled this list of seven reasons that regular service to your HVAC system is not only important, it is essential.

You may be forcing your equipment to work harder than it was designed to do.

Your HVAC system is designed to heat and cool your home efficiently. Over time, dust and debris coats coils and fins and makes your system work harder to maintain a comfortable home. This increased workload can also create more wear and tear and shorten the life of your equipment. Home and business owners can help keep their HVAC system running well by changing filters and scheduling regular service with Mode Comfort & Air Quality. During a scheduled maintenance visit, our expert technicians make sure that your unit is clean and working properly.. During preventative maintenance visits, we can also take care of minor problems before they become major ones.

You’re creating increased friction and poor airflow.

Friction is generated when air is forced to push against itself reducing forward momentum. Your system must work harder when the flow of air is impeded. This can be caused by improperly aligned ducts, closed registers and vents and clogged filters. A broken or malfunctioning fan can also reduce airflow.

Inspection and lubrication of moving parts is an important part of preventative HVAC maintenance. This will help prevent wear and tear on your system resulting from reduced airflow. Extend the life of your HVAC system and keep it going strong today with professional maintenance that keeps the air flowing.

You could be invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty.

The manufacturer of your HVAC system provides a maintenance schedule for your equipment. If you are unsure of what is required of your system, Mode Comfort & Air Quality can help. The warranty on your HVAC system relies on regular maintenance of its parts. Any major neglect of routine maintenance could invalidate the unit’s warranty. Make certain that you keep your unit maintained.

You may be paying more for energy than you need to.

Even top of the line energy efficient HVAC systems won’t save you money if you don’t keep them maintained. If your system has to work harder, you will be using more gas or electric to keep the temperature in your home comfortable. More usage means less money in your wallet. HVAC maintenance impacts both your energy bills and your comfort level. You need to make sure that you keep the unit cleaned, aligned, lubricated, and repaired for it to perform at its peak energy efficiency.

You might reduce the comfort level in your home.

The sole reason for you to have an HVAC system is comfort. You want to be warm and cozy in winter months and cool in sticky summer months. An ill-maintained HVAC system will begin to lose its capacity to perform. You might notice that you need to adjust the temperature more often. You might notice your system is working harder. Don’t let a struggling furnace or air conditioner suck up power in an effort to function well. Simple maintenance tasks will get your HVAC system back in peak performance mode and get you as comfortable as the day it was installed.

You might increase indoor air pollution.

Changing your filters is only a part of maintaining air quality in your home or business.  A dirty system can bring dust, mold, and allergens into the rooms of your home. This aggravates allergies and can be bad for people with compromised immune systems. One simple way to enjoy clean air and better health is to keep your HVAC system properly maintained.

You are at risk for more expensive emergency calls.

When you skip the recommended maintenance of your HVAC system, chances are good that you will be calling for emergency service at inopportune times. Wouldn’t you rather prevent the need for more expensive emergency calls? It is definitely less expensive to call us for scheduled maintenance throughout the year than emergency service.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance at Your Convenience

Our preventative maintenance is comprehensive. During inspections, our technicians can check refrigerant levels and inspect for leaks, clean condenser coils to ensure proper air flow, check gas connections for leaks, tighten all electrical connections, lubricate all moving parts, test thermostat to make sure it’s cycling the system on and off properly and more. Schedule your appointment at your convenience. You will save money and stress.

If you are a fan of preventative maintenance, please consider joining our Fan Club! Membership includes two preventative maintenance visits per year plus additional savings on all service calls. Read more about our Fan Club program here:

Ready for an inspection? Call Mode Comfort & Air Quality today at (804) 481-6633 to get your HVAC system checked.

Autumn is coming to an end here in Virginia, and old man winter is already knocking on the door. As you are pulling out your heavy coats and cozy sweaters, don’t forget that your HVAC system also needs to be ready for colder temperatures.

Here are some HVAC maintenance tips to get your system winter ready and keep those utility bills in check.

  1. Change your air filter. Of all HVAC maintenance tips, this one is the easiest and most vital. The air filter plays an important role in keeping your home clean and comfortable. It keeps dust and debris out of your HVAC unit. It also filters the air in your home. Clogged filters decrease the efficiency of your unit, too. Follow the instructions for your system and replace the air filter on a regular basis. For a standard 1” air filter, this is at minimum quarterly, but can even be monthly depending on the environment. Some air filters are intended to last 6 months or more. If you are not sure how often your specific air filter needs to be changed, please give us a call at 804-481-6633. Replacing the air filter is easy and extends the life of your HVAC system.
  1. Update your thermostat. The thermostat is the one part of the system you interact with on a regular basis. It is also the one part of the system that can severely alter your heating and cooling capabilities if it is out of date. It is not always a good idea to rely on old mercury thermostats. Use a digital thermometer or download an app on your smartphone that can gauge the temperature of the air coming from your system. Does that number reflect the temperature set on your thermostat? If not, you may want to consider upgrading to a digital programmable thermostat.Even if you have previously hesitated about the purchase of a programmable thermostat, it’s not too late to jump on the technology bandwagon.  Installation is a cinch, and the benefits are numerous. Energy bills are on the rise, and for every degree you raise or lower the temperature in your home, you may save up to two 2 percent on your utility bill. Program your new thermostat to raise or lower the temperature when you are away. You can have the temperature in your home follow your family routine. You can also control your HVAC unit with an app on your phone. You don’t even have to get out of bed to adjust the temperature. Give us a call if you are interested in upgrading your thermostat. Thermostats are not “one size fits all” and Mode can advise you on the best thermostat for your needs.
  1. Clean your air ducts. When you turn on your furnace or heat pump, air cycles through the duct system and out your vents. If your ducts are partially clogged with dust and debris, the HVAC system has to work harder to force the air through the ducts. You can lose up to 20% of the air that moves through your home’s duct system due to leaks or duct issues. Getting your air ducts cleaned before the winter season keeps efficiency high and bills low. While Mode does not provide duct cleaning, we strongly suggest Southeast Clean Air Solutions to our customers.
  1. Make certain your insulation is up to par. A well-insulated home is comfortable and efficient. Inspect your home for areas of deteriorating insulation, as well as weather stripping on doors and windows. Cold can enter the house through a drafty window or door. Make sure to check at the bottom of the door where cold air enters first. Upgrading your structure’s insulation and weather stripping is a small investment with a big payout.
  1. Schedule inspections and preventative maintenance. Mode Comfort & Air Quality is your first call for scheduling HVAC preventative maintenance. The HVAC system is responsible for up to half of your home’s energy expense. Making sure your HVAC is running in top shape will save you energy and money. Your regular maintenance expenses can pay for themselves in the savings you get from lower energy usage. Don’t forget that an HVAC tune up extends the life of your HVAC system. During a preventative maintenance inspection, the experts at Mode Comfort & Air Quality can often spot problems before they become bigger. You don’t want to be without heat on the coldest day of the year. Let our HVAC professionals help prevent that from happening. Of course, even if it does, we’ll be there. Join our Fan Club today!
  1. Consider an upgrade to your HVAC system. Have you crossed your fingers and hoped your HVAC would last just one more season? This may be the season to replace it. The average lifespan of a heat pump is 12-15 years and the average lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years, but advances in technology mean a system even ten years old may need an upgrade. A new HVAC system can reduce your annual energy bill up to 40%. Due to quickly rising equipment costs, if you are thinking about replacing your system, now is the time to do it,

 

These HVAC system tips will get you well on the way to a warm and comfortable winter season. You’ll want call in the experts for scheduled maintenance, repairs or replacement. Mode Comfort & Air Quality is the right company to provide the best HVAC service at the best price. We know you have many HVAC companies to choose from. At Mode Comfort & Air Quality, we’ve built our business on responding quickly, performing expertly, and giving the best personal service to each of our customers. For reliable HVAC service in Midlothian, Powhatan and Richmond, Virginia, call Mode Comfort & Air Quality today at 804-481-6633.

If you search the internet or go to a big box home store, you might believe that changing a thermostat is something very easy that you should absolutely attempt yourself, like, say, hanging a picture or unclogging the shower drain. But, in fact, changing a thermostat can be very complicated and potentially dangerous.

We can’t tell you how many times we have been called to a home where the customer had attempted to install a thermostat and couldn’t get it to work. Sometimes homeowners just choose the wrong thermostat to install (they are not one-size-fits-all) and sometimes they just find themselves in over their head when the wires don’t match up. Thermostats have evolved a great deal over the years, so if you are replacing a very old thermostat, it may look like things don’t match up at all. This is definitely a situation when you should have a professional do your thermostat installation.

Of course, if you have some electrical knowledge and a good understanding of thermostats and how they work, you can save some money by replacing your thermostat yourself.

If you do not have this knowledge and choose to replace a thermostat by yourself, you could risk:

  • An electrical shock (not deadly, but can be very painful)
  • Blowing a circuit breaker or otherwise damaging the electrical system
  • Ruining the thermostat
  • Possibly having the thermostat’s warranty voided because it was not installed by an HVAC professional
  • Damaging your system’s low voltage circuits and/or mechanical systems (which could be very costly)
  • Losing energy efficiency and performance from your unit due to a poor configuration
  • Higher heating and cooling bills

Mode installs all makes and models of thermostats. We can even install a customer-purchased thermostat (as long as it is the right one for your system). If you don’t know what type of thermostat would work best for you, give us a call at 804-481-6633 and we can schedule a free in-home visit to best determine your options.

If you have a sunroom in your home, or have recently added one, you may have discovered it is not as comfortable year ‘round as you expected.

There a few options you can consider to make your space more enjoyable 365 days a year:

  • Temporary solutions such as space heaters and free-standing cooling units.
  • Expanding the existing ductwork in the home to the sunroom. You may have to increase your existing system (such as from a 2-ton unit to a 2 ½-ton).
  • Adding a ductless heating and cooling system (also know as a mini split).

To give you all of your options, we would need to see the space and existing system, but we find that more often than not, ductless heating and cooling systems are the best solution for rooms that always seem to be too hot or too cold. These compact systems come in a variety of styles and sizes that provide personalized comfort control.

Your sunroom is likely also your sanctuary, and you can rest assured that a ductless system operates efficiently and quietly.

Some of the benefits of choosing a mini split system include:

  • Flexibility: just add the ductless system where you need it (such as your sunroom)
  • Efficiency: mini split systems have high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (“SEER”)
  • Individual temperature control for each space
  • No need to add costly ducts where none exist
  • Less chance of leakage
  • Better air quality, due to the top-notch air filtration systems that are included
  • Low maintenance. There is no annual check-up needed on a ductless air conditioner. You will want to have it cleaned when it gets dirty and change your filters regularly, but that’s it as far as maintenance requirements.

How Mini Split (Ductless) Systems Work

In a ductless air conditioner, there are two main components: an outdoor compressor or condenser and an indoor air handling unit, typically connected by a conduit that includes a drain line, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain.

The compressor or condenser is installed outside the home or structure and the conduit is run from the outdoor unit to individual rooms where a controlled temperature is desired. Wall-mounted interior units are then placed in the spaces you want to cool or warm (such as your sunroom), which is accomplished by refrigerant flowing between the outdoor and indoor units through copper tubing in the conduit.

Mini split systems can control anywhere from one to nine zones. So, if you plan to add a ductless system to your sunroom, you may want to consider if any other rooms in your home require additional heating and/or cooling. We have put air handlers in a variety of spaces: basements, bedrooms, additions, garages, home offices, etc.

You may be worried that your sunroom is all windows and there is nowhere to put the mini split. Air handlers come in a variety of mounting options:

  • Wall mount (this is the preferred method)
  • Floor mount
  • Ceiling mount
  • Multi-positional

Interested in a Mini Split Installation for Your Sunroom and/or Another Room?

Contact Mode at admin@modecomfort.com or 804-481-6633 to schedule a free in-home estimate. The technician will take into account:

  • How many rooms you want to heat or cool
  • The square footage of each room
  • The ceiling height of each room
  • How many windows are in each room
  • The size and type of the windows
  • Sun exposure of the home or space
  • Type of insulation
  • Type of roof
  • Type of foundation (crawl space, slab, etc.)
  • Doorways and openings to the rooms

This information will help him work up a quote for your ductless system installation and get you on the right track to make your sunroom an all-season room.

 

Have you joined Mode’s Fan Club yet? The Fan Club is our VIP program that comes with several benefits. Most notably, membership includes TWO preventative maintenance checks per year.
For those of you who like math:
Let’s say you have one HVAC unit in your home. To join the Fan Club would cost $19.95 per month (or $239.40 annually). This amount includes two preventative maintenance visits per year.
Preventative maintenance visits cost $156 each ($69 service call fee plus $87 inspection fee). Two per year would total $312. So, if you are person who likes your spring and fall system checks, the Mode Fan Club more than pays for itself with just this benefit alone.
Since math is fun, let’s see what happens if you have two systems in your home. The Fan Club for two systems is $29.90 per month (or $358.80 annually). Preventative maintenance visits for two systems cost $243 each ($69 service call fee plus $87 inspection fee per unit). Two maintenance visits per year would be $486. We don’t completely get the “new math” being taught today, but we’re pretty sure that $486 is still more than $358.80.
In addition to saving on your preventative maintenance visits, you will receive other perks and discounts. Please visit our Fan Club page to learn more and sign up. Even if you don’t like math, you will like the cool Fan Club membership card that we will send you after you join.

Many of our service calls are very simple: a blown capacitor. This is good for our customers because capacitors are comparatively inexpensive and quick to replace.

The part that is bad for homeowners is the simple fact that capacitors are a little bit like light bulbs. It might last 3 days. It might last 3 months. It might last 3 years. And there is absolutely no way to tell.

What Does a Capacitor Do?

Start capacitors give a jolt to the system to get the compressor and fan motor going. Run capacitors provide the oomph to keep the system running. They might be little, but without them, your unit is essentially dead.

Why Do So Many Capacitors Fail?

Capacitors blow for several reasons:

  • They become overheated by the sun (rooftop units are particularly susceptible to this)
  • They become overheated by the unit running too long and hard (this happens a lot during the summer months)
  • Power surges (including slight fluctuations in the electrical grid)
  • Lightning strikes
  • They wear out due to age and use

If you think your capacitor may be failing, it is imperative it is caught and replaced early. Running your unit with a failing capacitor can cause major (and expensive) damage. A dead capacitor can take out a motor or compressor with it, and possibly even cause the unit to fail entirely.

But How Do I Know if My Capacitor is Failing?

You probably won’t know, but we will! Preventative maintenance is the key to getting ahead of potential issues. Mode’s Fan Club is only $19.95 per month (for one unit) and that includes two preventative maintenance visits per year. One inspection can cost $150-$200…you can do the math. During these check-ups, we will inspect all aspects of your comfort system, including your capacitors.

There are a few signs of possible capacitor failure that homeowners can look for in between check-ups to (although there can certainly be other causes to the below):

  • The compressor struggles to start and then shuts off quickly
  • The unit starts and stops over and over
  • The AC is not blowing cold air
  • A humming noise
  • A clicking noise
  • Your system is performing differently than it previously had been

If a Capacitor is Such a Simple Part, Can I Replace it Myself?

We do not suggest that homeowners ever attempt to replace a capacitor themselves. The capacitor stores an electrical charge and contains hazardous oil. This is one piece of equipment best left to the HVAC professionals.

As always, if you have any questions about any part of your HVAC system, do not hesitate to contact Mode Comfort & Air Quality at 804-481-6633 or admin@modecomfort.com.

Every homeowner knows that they are “supposed” to change their air filters every month. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it is also a very easy thing to forget to do.

If air filters are not changed regularly, your system will not be working to capacity, and with this crazy central Virginia weather, we all need our ACs to work at 100%.

 

What Do Air Filters Do?

Well, for starters, they filter the air…but you probably suspected that.

Additional benefits include:

  • filtering out allergens, such as pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust
  • protecting your home from damage from larger objects that may come loose within your system
  • improved indoor air quality
  • lowering fire risk
  • improved efficiency of your HVAC system
  • lower energy bills
  • less wear and tear on your HVAC system
  • better airflow in your home, with more even cooling throughout the rooms

 

What Happens if You Don’t Change Your Air Filters Regularly?

  • extra strain on the fan motor (air filters are WAY cheaper than a new fan motor…I promise)
  • less efficient airflow
  • increased risk of your system overheating or freezing up
  • higher energy bills
  • increased risk of growing mold or bacteria
  • possible dirty ducts

For the sake of your health (and/or wallet), you want to avoid any of the above.

 

Do I Really Have to Change My Air Filters Every Month?

This simple answer is: Yes. At Mode Comfort & Air Quality, we suggest monthly filter changes especially for those with pets or those living in high pollen areas (that’s all of us here in central Virginia). Filters are inexpensive and easy to change. In fact, we discourage the use of expensive “high-end” filters, except in certain circumstances.

I can’t tell you how many times we have been dispatched to a service call, only to discover the air filter had not been changed for six months. The customer could have avoided the service call by simply changing the air filter regularly. We love our customers, and we really don’t want to charge you $69 to tell you your filters are dirty.

If you have any questions about how often you should change your filters, or what type of filters you should use, please contact Mode at 804-481-6633 or admin@modecomfort.com for expert guidance. We are always happy to help.

In the winter, we often hear from customers who are experiencing a lack of humidity in the home. This can cause dry, cracked skin on humans and pets, in addition to warping, cracking, and other damage to household furnishings and fixtures. In these situations, we install a humidifier to balance the moisture in the home.

On the opposite end of things, in the summer, excess moisture in the home can lead to mold, allergens, musty odors, mildew, and warping furniture and floors…none of which we want in our living spaces. To combat these evils, we commonly install a whole house dehumidifier.

Benefits of a Whole House Dehumidifier

  • Less sweat and clamminess on your skin (you will feel cooler).
  • Minimized allergy and asthma triggers, such as mold and dust mites (both thrive in high humidity environments).
  • Eradication of comfortable insect breeding grounds.
  • Elimination of musty odors.
  • Protection for your home, furnishings, and heirlooms from warping and permanent moisture damage.
  • Improved energy efficiency. By removing the excess humidity from your indoor air, you will feel cooler at a higher temperature, enabling you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher.

We often have customers with concerns about the maintenance commitment that comes with a whole house dehumidifier. The commercial-grade Aprilaire products we install have a dedicated drain, eliminating the need to empty or change water trays.

Can’t I Just Crank Up the AC?

If your home is humid, it may seem like the answer is to lower the temperature setting on your thermostat. This may make sense on the surface because air that has too much humidity in it makes you feel warmer. I can assure you that over-cooling is not the answer; you will use more energy and still not be comfortable. If your air conditioner just can’t handle the levels of humidity you are experiencing in your home, adding a dehumidifier will boost your air conditioner’s efficiency and effectiveness.

It is as simple as it sounds: the only effective means of removing humidity is with a dehumidifier.

You may think of Mode as a heating and cooling company, but the reason our name is Mode Comfort & Air Quality is because, of course, we do heating and air conditioning, but we also specialize in other services to make the air in your home healthier and more comfortable. Contact Mode at 804-720-9185 or admin@modecomfort.com today to find out if a whole house dehumidifier may be what you need for both your comfort and the air quality in your home.

 

All of them? Yes, all of them. Even the one in the bathroom that is always freezing cold? Okay, you can close that one.

Depending on many factors, the cost of heating and cooling your home can be responsible for as much as half of your electric bill. At Mode Comfort & Air Quality, we are often asked by homeowners what they can do to lower their energy costs and increase the efficiency and lifespan of their comfort systems. The first response to this question is another question:

Are all of your vents open?

You likely have a return register that is non-adjustable (just a grille), but your supply registers (through which air gets pushed through the house) will have a means to adjust them. It seems perfectly logical that if a grille is adjustable (like window blinds), then you should be free to adjust it, and many people do just that.

Wait, are you saying I shouldn’t touch the lever on the vent cover once it is opened?

Closing even a few vents can cause problems for your system. Issues can be minor, such as low air flow or condensation, or major, such as a dead compressor or a cracked heat exchanger.

Many homeowners tell us that they thought that by closing a vent or two in an unused room they were asking the unit to “work less.” The marvelous world of HVAC does not work this way. By closing vents, you are actually restricting the duct system by increasing the pressure in the air ducts, which could cause leaks. Believe me, no one wants leaky ducts. Energy Star reports that “In a typical house, however, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.”

Here is the technical part, in case you like numbers.

Air conditioners have to move a certain amount of air all the time. For instance, a 3-ton air conditioner is designed to move 400 cubic feet of air per minute (“CFM”). This flow can be raised or lowered 25 CFM without much impact on the unit (such as closing the vent in the bathroom that is always freezing…but just that one). A typical residential 6-inch metal vent moves 100 CFM. If you have a 3-ton AC and close off four vents, you just turned your 3-ton unit into a 2-ton unit. Thus, losing a third of the effectiveness (having a really dirty air filter can do the same thing).

Worst case scenario

Closing vents also causes the blower to slow down by restricting where the air can go. This can cause the evaporator coil to freeze, which will eventually destroy the compressor in the outdoor unit. Low airflow may also cause the heat exchanger to overheat, which could lead to a crack that potentially releases carbon monoxide into your house.

Final words

We suggest that you open your vents (but you probably figured that out by now), open your interior doors, change your air filters regularly, and let your HVAC unit work as it was intended. We go on many service calls that could have been avoided. At Mode, we are always happy to answer your questions and help you avoid costly repairs to your system.

I am going to address a subject that is somewhat polarizing among realtors and tradesmen alike:  home inspections. This blog, like all of my blogs, are my opinions only and based on my 25 years of HVAC experience.

 

A thorough home inspection can save you money big time when purchasing a home. A good home inspector can spot costly hidden issues and make suggestions on how to handle them; in extreme situations they can save you from buying a potential money pit. A skilled home inspector can make your next home purchase proceed like clockwork or even save you from potential financial ruin. We work with several fantastic home inspectors that are truly a credit to their profession. Like all professions, there are good and bad actors. As a buyer, you want the best of the best. Your real estate agent will have suggestions and you should consider them, however, do not rely solely on them. Do your own research, check reviews, check their social media pages and websites, and ask for references. Your home is likely one of the biggest purchases you will ever make; a little homework and a small upfront fee can save you thousands of dollars and years of misery down the road.

 

Home inspectors are one of the least regulated occupations out there. As little as five years ago, anyone could call themselves a home inspector and start working without any experience or training. Over time, this created a strained relationship between tradesmen and inspection professionals, stemming from the influx of inexperienced and uninformed people posing as a home inspection authority without any significant pedigree. This, at the same time, has made life very difficult for legitimate, hardworking inspectors who take great pride in their work and do their best for their clients. As a result of public outcry the same regulatory body that governs tradesmen and other professions has stepped in and is slowly turning this formerly unrestricted profession into a highly scrutinized and regulated industry. This is good news for the true professional; bad news for the guy in the minivan that does inspections on the side for extra cash. This oversight also makes it easier for consumers to make informed choices when selecting a service.

 

When buying a home, you want the best of the best home inspectors. When selling, you want the absolute worst.  However, as a seller, you have no say in who the potential buyer selects. Even though the industry is more regulated, there are still some very bad inspectors out there. Below is some background and guidance on suggested steps to take when selling your home. Again, these tips are based are my own experiences over the last 25 years.

When selling your home, the initial impulse is to fix EVERYTHING to prepare for the sale. This is not the best course of action. You may have everything repaired that you think may be wrong, only to later have the home inspector ding you later for things that you never even knew about. My advice: before the sale, call the best home inspector you can find and have a through inspection done to find out the potential expenses you may be facing (keep this for yourself…if you share this information with your real estate agent, they will be required to disclose the inspection to potential buyers), and set aside the funds you will need to make the repairs. Then make the house as pretty as you can, put the house up for sale and wait to see what the buyer’s inspector finds. If the new owners hire a bad inspector you could potentially save thousands of dollars (not to mention time and headaches); if they hire a good one, you will know what you are in for. Bad home inspectors just want to find something-anything-so they write the report and get paid.  I have seen many instances where a subpar inspector makes a big stink about small, insignificant issues and misses the giant, expensive, hidden issues. One of our clients recently did this very thing. The initial inspector they hired found over $14,000 in needed repairs ($2,600 of that was HVAC related) and the homeowner did not make any of the repairs. Later, after the home was sold, the seller called us back to make repairs that the buyer’s home inspector said needed to be made. We made the HVAC repairs, which ended up totaling only $280 (as opposed to $2,600). Basically, wait and see what happens and you can save thousands.

On the opposite side of the coin, if you are the buyer, my best advice is to carefully select your inspector. After the inspection, if you still wish to pursue the sale then hire one member of each trade to also inspect the home: roofer, electrician, HVAC contractor, plumber and a general contractor. Even though a good home inspector can be extremely knowledgeable, it is impossible for them to be experts in every field. They provide an educated overall opinion on the home and make suggestions. The tradesmen are experts and can find things that the inspector cannot. Yes, this is time-consuming and can be expensive, but for a little extra effort you can be absolutely certain you are making the right choice when making one of the largest purchases of your life.