Heat Pump Defects List & Home Inspection Education
DEFECTS LIST - HEAT PUMP - CONTENTS: Heat pump inspection points and defects list. Lists of important heat pump system defects for residential buildings. What does a home inspector need to know about heat pumps? Home inspection training and education curriculum recommendations for heat pump systems
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This article lists significant heat pump system defects, definitions, and home inspection education topics.
This article series, beginning at BUILDING DEFECTS LISTS, provides lists of common building defects and basic defect knowledge that also outline recommended curriculum content for home inspector education.
The building defects and inspection points listed in these articles also guide homeowners and home buyers to building areas that merit careful attention and often point areas of safety concern or important maintenance and repair tasks. Page top heat pump sketch courtesy of Carson Dunlop Associates.
5.2 Heat Pump Inspection Points, Defects, Knowledge Base Requirements
5.2.1 Knowledge Base Recommended for Heat Pump Inspections
1. Describe the function of a residential heat pump system.
2. Describe these types of heat pumps: air-to-air, air-to-water, air-to-ground. Include an operating cycle description.
3. Describe the principles of operation of heat pumps including terms such as Co-efficient of Performance (COP), balance point and auxiliary heat.
4. List the materials and components of a typical air-to-air heat pump including compressor, the outdoor coil, the indoor coil, the outdoor fan, the indoor fan, refrigerant lines, reversing valve, expansion devices, thermostat, auxiliary heat, indoor fan, outdoor fan, condensate tray and condensate lines, duct system, duct insulation, air filter.
5. Describe the features of adequate installation and repair technique for heat pumps.
6. Define the following terms as they relate to residential heat pumps:
latent heat vaporization,
water source heat pumps,
ground source heat pumps,
two stage compressors,
outdoor temperature sensor,
two stage thermostats,
triple split systems,
time and temperature defrost,
seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER),
heating seasonal performance factor (HSPF).
7. Outline the typical life expectancy of residential heat pumps.
8. Identify the codes or standards which apply to residential heat pumps in your area.
5.2.2 Inspection skills for heat pump inspections
1. Describe the inspection procedure for heat pumps, including how to differentiate between heat pumps and air conditioning systems.
2. Identify the common defects listed on the next page.
3. Describe the implications of each defect.
4. Identify safety issues for the inspector and occupant of the home (same as air conditioning).
2. Communicate findings to client verbally and in writing, recommending corrective actions where needed.
List of Typical Heat Pump System Defects that can be Observed by Visual Inspection
Heat Pump Capacity
• Oversized for cooling
• Undersized for heating - review backup heat
Outdoor Condensing Coils
• Clothes dryer or water heater exhaust too close
• Iced up
• Poor location
Heat Pump Compressor / Condenser Unit Defects
• Electric wires too small
• Excess electric current draw
• Excess noise or vibration
• Inadequate cooling
• Inoperative in heating or cooling mode
• Missing electrical shutoff
• Out of level
• Running continuously
• Short cycling
• Wrong fuse or breaker size
Indoor Evaporator Coil Defects
• No access to coil
• Temperature split too low
• Temperature split too high
• Top of coil dry in cooling mode
Watch out: these inspection lists do not list all possible defects for the systems discussed, and not all home or building inspectors will examine all of the items listed here. CONTACT us to suggest corrections or additions to articles at this website.
These curriculae and building defect lists are based on smilar curriculum documents first prepared by Joe Scaduto, an ASHI member who prepared course material for Northeastern University's Building Inspection Certificate program in 1988, subsequently by DF, InspectApedia's editor, for New York University ca 1988 and later, with others, recommended to ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors.
The curriculum and lists of defects are informed by additional analysis of the process of home inspection that was developed beginning Calgary, AB for Canadian and U.S. home inspector education and certification examinations in 1997. Other early contributors to home inspection education in the U.S. and Canada include Dr. Jess Aronstein, Alan Carson, Mike Casey, Mark Cramer, John Cox, Dwight Barnett, Douglas Hansen, Rick Heyl, Larry Hoytt, Bill Merrill, Kevin O'Malley, Dennis Robitalille, Keith Peddie, Pat Porzio, Roger Robinson. ASHI did not adopt this material though currently that association as well as others offer extensive HOME INSPECTOR EDUCATION material.
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John Cranor is an ASHI member and a home inspector (The House Whisperer) is located in Glen Allen, VA 23060. He is also a contributor to InspectApedia.com in several technical areas such as plumbing and appliances (dryer vents). Contact Mr. Cranor at 804-747-7747 or by Email: email@example.com
Roger Hankey is principal of Hankey and Brown home inspectors, Eden Prairie, MN. Mr. Hankey is a past chairman of the ASHI Standards Committee. Mr. Hankey has served in other ASHI professional and leadership roles. Contact Roger Hankey at: 952 829-0044 - firstname.lastname@example.org. Mr. Hankey is a frequent contributor to InspectAPedia.com.
Arlene Puentes, an ASHI member and a licensed home inspector in Kingston, NY, and has served on ASHI national committees as well as HVASHI Chapter President. Ms. Puentes can be contacted at email@example.com
Wikipedia provided background information about some topics discussed at this website provided this citation is also found in the same article along with a " retrieved on" date. NOTE: because Wikipedia entries are fluid and can be amended in real time, we cite the retrieval date of Wikipedia citations and we do not assert that the information found there is necessarily authoritative.
Books & Articles on Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, & Repair
Carson, Dunlop & Associates Ltd., 120 Carlton Street Suite 407, Toronto ON M5A 4K2. Tel: (416) 964-9415 1-800-268-7070 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. The firm provides professional home inspection services & home inspection education & publications. Alan Carson is a past president of ASHI, the American Society of Home Inspectors. Thanks to Alan Carson and Bob Dunlop, for permission for InspectAPedia to use text excerpts from The Home Reference Book & illustrations from The Illustrated Home. Carson Dunlop Associates' provides extensive home inspection education and report writing material.
The Illustrated Home illustrates construction details and building components, a reference for owners & inspectors. Special Offer: For a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Illustrated Home purchased as a single order Enter INSPECTAILL in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
TECHNICAL REFERENCE GUIDE to manufacturer's model and serial number information for heating and cooling equipment, useful for determining the age of heating boilers, furnaces, water heaters is provided by Carson Dunlop, Associates, Toronto - Carson Dunlop Weldon & Associates Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on any number of copies of the Technical Reference Guide purchased as a single order. Just enter INSPECTATRG in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space.
The Home Reference Book - the Encyclopedia of Homes, Carson Dunlop & Associates, Toronto, Ontario, 25th Ed., 2012, is a bound volume of more than 450 illustrated pages that assist home inspectors and home owners in the inspection and detection of problems on buildings. The text is intended as a reference guide to help building owners operate and maintain their home effectively. Field inspection worksheets are included at the back of the volume.
Special Offer: For a 10% discount on any number of copies of the Home Reference Book purchased as a single order. Enter INSPECTAHRB in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
Special Offer: Carson Dunlop Associates offers InspectAPedia readers in the U.S.A. a 5% discount on these courses: Enter INSPECTAHITP in the order payment page "Promo/Redemption" space. InspectAPedia.com editor Daniel Friedman is a contributing author.
The Horizon Software System manages business operations,scheduling, & inspection report writing using Carson Dunlop's knowledge base & color images. The Horizon system runs on always-available cloud-based software for office computers, laptops, tablets, iPad, Android, & other smartphones