If you’ve ever spent a summer day at home sweating away the hours, or had your heater fail in the middle of a tough winter snowstorm, you know the incredible importance of protecting your home’s HVAC systems. 

Short for “heating, ventilation, and air conditioning,” your home’s HVAC system includes many critical components that work together to keep you safe and comfortable, including the home’s furnace or boiler, air conditioning system, vents and ducts, and exhaust fans — as well as all of the electrical elements and gas lines necessary to keep things running. 

Moving into a home and having these crucial systems fail can be frustrating — not to mention time-intensive and extremely costly to repair. 

Fortunately, a knowledgeable home inspector in your area can help you gain a better understanding of these important systems. Whether you’re about to purchase that dream home or are looking to maintain your current one, a home inspector’s report can help you get a handle on your HVAC, allowing you to keep the components operating efficiently and potentially avoid inconvenient, expensive breakdowns down the line. 

Home Inspections and HVAC

Because the HVAC systems are among the most important in a home, they are also among the most common and crucial elements of a standard home inspection. Whether you are inspecting a property as a condition of buying it, getting your home ready to sell, or trying to protect your investment, a home inspector can help you identify and understand the age and condition of your major systems by looking at the installed heating and cooling equipment, accessible vent systems, and flues. 

As part of a standard home inspection, your inspection pro will also help you understand how your systems work, by describing the energy source and the distinguishing characteristics of your heating and cooling methods. As an example, a forced-air heating system may be powered by gas, oil, or electricity, and its flue piping and distribution may be metal or PVC. With air conditioning, the energy source may be electrical or gas, and the central air system may be air-cooled or water-cooled. 

Understanding the how, what, when, and why behind your HVAC system can be crucial for keeping it running for years to come, while also… 

Keeping Your Family Comfortable

Our home base of Chicago, Illinois is known for having pretty volatile weather — with heavy snow storms and freezing winds in the winter; totally unpredictable conditions in spring and fall; and more than enough hot, humid days during the summer months. 

You don’t want to be exposed to frigid temperatures in winter or scalding days in summer! For this reason, it’s incredibly important to make sure your HVAC systems are properly maintained and operational, so you can rest assured that they will keep you comfortable and secure right when you need them most. 

Protecting Your Household

Your home is your castle — and, unfortunately, like medieval castles of old, it can be exposed to threats from dangerous invaders and beasts. We’re not talking about dragons and wizards, but very real health and safety hazards, like fire, gas, and mold. 

In addition to keeping us comfortable all year long, our home’s HVAC systems also help keep us safe. For example? Gas-fired hot air units that are close to or beyond their normal lives have the potential of becoming a source of carbon monoxide in the home. Combustible gases detected around the house may present serious fire hazards. Ventilation systems and exhaust fans are crucial for getting rid of moisture, which can help prevent the spread of toxic mold and mildew and keep everyone in your home breathing a little bit easier. 

Regularly servicing or even replacing the many components of your HVAC system is a powerful first step in keeping your loved ones safe and protecting your home from lasting damage.  

Saving You Time and Money

Studies suggest that a home’s heating and cooling systems may be responsible for making up half of the household’s total energy bills. It’s important to know when to upgrade or repair your HVAC systems, as this can help dramatically lower your utility costs — both in the short-term and well into the future. 

Similarly, if your heating or cooling system were to fail, they might prove extremely expensive to replace — perhaps costing thousands of dollars. A home inspector can help you understand the age and condition of your HVAC systems, which can help you anticipate the need for future repairs, or even negotiate for remedies with the seller before you move forward the purchase on the home. 

How Your Chicago Home Inspector Can Help

Interested in taking the first steps toward truly understanding your home’s HVAC systems? A home inspector can be a helpful guide. 

For buyers about to move into a new home, a home inspection can help provide a solid foundation of knowledge about the property, including its major components and systems. In addition to reporting any deficiencies or potential failures, your home inspector will include maintenance tips and other information in their report to help you protect your investment. As part of a typical home inspection, your inspector will look at hundreds of elements around the property, identify the age of major components, and identify the location for your electrical and gas shut-offs, which can be important in an emergency. 

Want to protect the home you already own? A home preservation inspection can help you maintain your property by ensuring that your systems are functioning as they should be. In this report, your inspector will identify safety hazards and mechanical concerns and help you gain new insights into the age of your HVAC systems. In short? They’ll provide you an education on keeping your entire home in proper working order. With HVAC, the little things make a big difference — from knowing when to change your furnace filters, to clearing away growth around your AC unit, to scheduling a regular appointment to have your systems serviced by an HVAC specialist.

At Windy City Home Inspection, we believe in the importance of providing all of our clients with not just an inspection, but a full education. We have an extensive network of contacts in the Chicagoland area, and can help you connect with local service providers for further inspections and specialized service if deemed necessary (including furnace technicians and air conditioning specialists). 

We’re also committed to making sure we’re always available to answer your questions and address your needs. We offer HomeBinder as a free gift. This useful service can send maintenance reminder emails, send you alerts about product recalls, and give you a virtual space to organize your digital files and documents. 

We can also connect you with Home Owner’s Resource, a free service that gives you access to professionals whenever you want to ask any questions about maintaining your property. 

We’re Your Chicagoland Home Inspection Experts

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. is here for you. With Windy City Home Inspection, you can expect a competent, thorough inspection covering all the bases and never cutting corners.

Whether you’re buying a property, selling a property, or just want to know how to maintain your property, Windy City Home Inspection has an inspection for you.

When searching for the right home inspector, it’s important to find someone you can trust — and that’s why we are here for you. The inspectors at Windy City Home Inspection, Inc. are licensed by the State of Illinois, certified, and insured. Each home inspection is backed by our Warranty and Protection Plan. Furthermore, we pride ourselves on our superior customer service. If you ever have questions, even years after your home inspection, we will be here to answer them — even if it means returning to your home.

At Windy City Home Inspection, Inc., we perform inspections to the highest standards – yours. Backed by a consulting team with more than 60 years of experience, Windy City Home Inspection is committed to excellence. Have a question? Let us help.