One of the most important part of your home is the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system. A well maintained and designed system can bring the homeowner years of comfort and happiness. A poorly maintained or failing system can bring disaster.
Many contractors will recommend replacing the Air Handler and the Outdoor Unit (Condenser or Heat Pump) as single or dual components. However, the modern HVAC systems are much more than just two pieces. The house itself, exhaust vents, ductwork, filters, windows, doors, drain lines, and fireplaces all play a very important role in the HVAC system as a whole. It is important to have a full picture of how your system is performing and how you can improve performance.
Christopher Molnar, LLC uses the latest tools and technology to get that whole house picture. A full HVAC inspection is not a five or ten minute job, because our technicians will inspect all the system and building components to provide you with an updated report on your system performance.
There are many parts to a proper system evaluation, none of it is based on “opinion”, because at Christopher Molnar, LLC we want to just base our evaluations on facts. This is how we achieve a well-balanced, non-opinionated, inspection.
All of our technicians are trained and have obtained their certifications through a national certification body, many times more than one.
We regularly attend professional development conferences, and in many cases contribute to the exchange of knowledge and provide training for other contractors around the country.
All of our technicians follow suite and take great pride in their training and academic/technical competence.
Tools and Instruments
As with any other technical field the tolerances for what is working properly and what is not working properly has changed over the years, and along with this tolerance change so has the tools that are required to properly diagnose and evaluate systems. From the refrigeration side of the HVAC/R system, to the Air Flow side, to the Building envelope itself, our technicians use the latest tools and equipment.
Evaluating the refrigeration side:
To evaluate the refrigeration side of your system our technician use the Testo smart probe set. Most other contractors rely on the standard refrigeration gauge set with the long hoses. Our technicians have those as well, but most often they are trained to use the smart probes. Did you know that every time you put the regular gauges on and off of a system you take a risk of contaminating the system with air and other refrigerants? Additionally because the hoses hold a rather large amount of refrigerant each time the hoses are taken off the system, the system becomes a little lower in charge.
We use the standard (well, a digital version of the standard gauges) for service (repair) only.
Evaluating the Air Side:
To evaluate the air side of the system our technicians look at two components. First, is the cooling/heating part of the Air Handler doing what it is supposed to do. That means, is it dehumidifying, is it draining, are the air pressures within the capability of the air handler. To do these evaluations we use the Testo Smart Probe Air Distribution set of sensors. Combine this with the refrigeration readings from above and our technicians can start to develop a full picture of your HVAC system. Temperatures at various points, humidity, and air pressures all are important. If a contractor does not insist that their technicians evaluate these on each inspection than the customer looses out.
But, wait, we are not done with the air portion of the system yet, because our technicians still need to evaluation the ductwork that carries the air from the air handler or furnace, out to the rest of house. Many things can go wrong here or be inefficient. Duct leakage is a major problem, as is missing insulation and collapsed ductwork. Additionally sometimes there could be an improper installation that has not been noticed for years. So, our technicians go register by register and use an air hood to capture the air flow from each register/grill and provide a report. The goal of any system? The amount of air entering the system through the return vents should equal the amount of air leaving the system through all of the supply ducts. If there is a difference there is a leak someplace.
Our technicians use the CPS Digital Air hood with the CPS Connect software to create a picture of how air is moving around your home or office. At the same time our technicians can identify and make recommendations on areas of the system that is not receiving enough air or receiving too much air.
Evaluating what you can’t see
Finally, our technicians make use of an infrared camera to check the outside walls and ceilings of the building for areas of heat gain (air conditioning) or heat loss (heating) that you may be unaware of. Many times our technicians will be able to pick up on leakage around doors and windows, or even missing insulation in the attics. We are also able to scan the attics while the system is running and pickup on signs of duct leakage or even find the location of duct leakage with the infrared cameras.
Our infrared will find all sources of heat, that includes electronics, cracks around doors, appliances, windows without proper glazing, and sometimes even the resident pet. White and red is a lot of heat, yellows and greens lesser amount of heat, and blues are areas of cool. The darker blue signifies an absence of heat (cool). We can use the “cool” to find water and pockets of humidity because these show up as cooler than the surrounding area.
Your System Health Report
Finally upon the conclusion of our inspection the technician will prepare a detailed system health report that is delivered to the person requesting the inspection. If the inspection was requested by a contractor or insurance professional this report will be delivered to them and they will be providing it to all concerned parties. If this report was requested by the homeowner / business owner the technician will review the preliminary report before leaving the property and a finalized report will follow within 24 hours (via email).
All of our reports include pictures, screen captures, and reports from our suite of test tools. We will provide recommendations and costs of repair vs replace. We will provide you with all the tools to fix, evaluate, and make a decision on what comes next.
When working as an independent third party with insurance professionals, contractors, or legal professionals we do not offer to repair, replace, or service anything we find as it would be unethical to do so.