Inspection Training

How to Inspect the Cooling System Operation (UPDATED 6/29/18)

Once the inspector is done with the exterior and moves to the interior of the house they should check the cooling system for proper operation. If it is less than 65 degrees outside the inspector should not operate the system and mark this section as “Not Inspected”. The inspector should NOT exclude the entire cooling section if it is less than 65 degrees outside because there are other components besides just the operation that can be inspected at the cooling system. Please review the entire procedure below.

 

NACHI SOP

 

International Standards of Practice for Performing a General Home Inspection

 

3.5. Cooling

 

I. The inspector shall inspect:

A. The cooling system, using normal operating controls.

 

II. The inspector shall describe:

N/A

 

III. The inspector shall report as in need of correction:

A. Any cooling system that did not operate.
B. If the cooling system was deemed inaccessible.

 

IV. The inspector is not required to:

A. Determine the uniformity, temperature, flow, balance, distribution, size, capacity, BTU, or supply adequacy of the cooling system.

B. Inspect portable window units, through-wall units, or electronic air filters.

C. Operate equipment or systems if the exterior temperature is below 65° Fahrenheit, or when other circumstances are not conducive to safe operation or may damage the equipment.

D. Inspect or determine thermostat calibration, cooling anticipation, or automatic setbacks or clocks.

E. Examine electrical current, coolant fluids or gases, or coolant leakage.

 

Axium SOP Differences

Axium Requires: The inspector will turn on the air conditioner using normal operating controls and perform an ambient air temperature test to check if the unit is cooling the air down properly.

 

Tools Needed

The inspector will use the two digital thermometers to perform the ambient air temperature test. We do NOT want to use our infrared thermometer to get these temperatures unless the digital thermometers are not working and it is the only option.

Procedure

  • When we are inspecting the compressor outside we will have the digital thermometer on the unit to tell us if it is warm enough outside to turn on the unit. If it is less than 65 degrees we will not inspect the operation and we need to get a clear picture of this thermometer showing that it is too cold to operate the unit. We would use the “Not Inspected” comment if this is the case. It is important to explain to the clients that operating the air conditioning in these conditions could damage the compressor and that is why we don’t turn it on if it is less than 65 degrees outside. You also will want to use your best judgment when deciding to test the air conditioning operation. For instance, if it has been under 65 degrees for the last few days and the current temperature is 67 degrees, you may still want to exclude the operation of the system.

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  • If it is warm enough to test the compressor we will turn the air conditioning on using normal operating controls (thermostat) when we move to the inside of the home and start to inspect the interior. You will place one digital thermometer on a supply register and the other digital thermometer on a return air register.
  • Once the air conditioning has been on for about 15 minutes go back and check the temperatures on these thermometers. You will take two pictures for this section. The first picture will be showing the temperature of the supply register and the second picture will be showing the temperature of the return air register. Make sure that these pictures are very clear so you can read the temperatures in the pictures. You are looking for the difference to be between 14 to 22 degrees. If the temperature is within that range, it would be an “Inspected” comment.
  • Make sure to turn the thermostat back to the original setting after turning on the air conditioning.

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Common Defects

  • The temperature range being less than 14 degrees or more than 22 degrees.

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Common Mistakes

  • Not setting the thermostat back to the original setting.
  • Not getting clear pictures of the digital thermometers showing the temperatures.
  • Excluding the entire air conditioning section when temperature is less than 65 degrees.
  • Not putting the digital thermometers on the right registers.
  • Not letting the air conditioning run long enough to get proper readings.

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Report / Software

IN


  • An ambient air test was performed to determine if the difference in temperatures of the supply and return air was between 14 degrees and 22 degrees, which indicates that the unit was cooling as intended. The supply air temperature was [word 1] degrees, and the return air temperature was [word 2] degrees. Air temperature measured at supply and return registers had a difference.
    • Cooling Degrees:
      • Multiple
    • Explain:
      • Less Than
      • More Than
      • That fell within the acceptable range of between 14 to 22 degrees F.

NI

  • Less Than 65 Degrees: The air conditioning system was not tested because the outside temperature was below 65 degrees F at the time of the inspection. Testing the air conditioning in these conditions risks damaging the compressor. In addition, the temperature differentials will not be accurate in these conditions. The system should be serviced at the beginning of every cooling season.

NP

  • N/A

RR

  • An ambient air test was performed to determine if the difference in temperatures of the supply and return air was between 14 degrees and 22 degrees, which indicates that the unit was cooling as intended. The supply air temperature was [word 1] degrees, and the return air temperature was [word 2] degrees. Air temperature measured at supply and return registers had a difference [word 3].
    • Cooling Degrees
      • Multiple
    • Explain:
      • Less Than
      • More Than
      • That fell within the acceptable range of between 14 to 22 degrees F.