12 Ways to Assess Your HVAC System


Ducting or duct work is the distribution method to transfer air from the air handler to different rooms of the home. This system is designed by an engineer and then installed by a professional. If the system is not designed by an engineer, you risk the chance of the system not having a balanced static pressure, and will result in having hot and cold spots throughout the home. When air is being forced into multiple different spaces, we want to make sure the temperature is the same in each space when the air around the thermostat has reached its desired temperature and shuts off the system.

The vital importance of the ducting system is to ensure it is free and clean of any dust and debris – which is why replacing our air filters is so important. If there is a large amount of dust and debris in the ducting system, the result will be poor air quality and a risk of shortening the lifespan of the air handler. If too much dust and debris enters the air handler the result is the evaporator coils will accumulate this dust and debris making the system less efficient and possibly clogging the condensate drainage system which will require unnecessary maintenance and repairs. Here are some of the things your Myrtle Beach Home Inspector will look for when determining the integrity of the HVAC duct system.

There is another very simple method for identifying a contaminated ducting system, and that is simply turning on the heating system sensing a burning smell inside the home from dust and debris burning off the heating elements in the air handling unit.

Evaporator Coil and Air Handler

The evaporator coil and air handler are the work horse behind the HVAC system. This major appliance is constantly providing make-up air flow to all parts of the home. This system is made up of a fan blower to distribute air to different parts of the home, and an evaporator coil which is the primary heating or cooling source working in conjunction with the outdoor heat pump and electric heating elements for emergency purposes.

The primary importance of replacing air filters on a regular basis is not only to protect the ducting system from contamination, but to ensure that contamination does not effect the air handling unit. Here are several ways that a Myrtle Beach Home Inspector can locate major concerns within the evaporator coil and air handler system.


Heat Pump and Air Conditioning Units

The heat pump works in conjunction with the Evaporator Coil through a series of compression (heating) and condensing (cooling). The process of either heating or cooling with a heat pump is essentially the system reversing its operation to do one or the other. It is constantly drawing heat from the atmosphere and transferring that heat into the home or driving it out of the home and dissipating it back into the atmosphere via the fan inside the major appliance.

Air conditioning units or condensers are similar to heat pumps. However, their function is dedicated to cooling andas they rely on a furnace in order to heat the home. Essentially, the main difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner is that an air conditioner cannot reverse it operation.

The way that these systems function is by using what is commonly known as refrigerant or freon. Freon has a very low freezing point which allows it to draw heat from the atmosphere even at very low atmospheric temperatures. Here are several ways that a Myrtle Beach Home Inspector can locate major concerns with the heat pump or air conditioning unit.


All of these conditions are seen on a regular basis by your Myrtle Beach Home Inspector and not necessarily all the things an inspector will look for. This is, however, a great starting point to determine if further investigation is required. All of these concerns are a result of poor maintenance, that being said, a well maintained, professionally installed and regularly serviced system can last for decades. Always make sure to change your air filters!


Me and my team at LAB Home Inspections hope you really enjoyed this article!


If you have specific questions about your home, or would like to schedule a home inspection, please contact Darren directly:

Darren Dawson, Certified Master Inspector (CMI)®

Myrtle Beach, SC

(352) 665- 9900

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