I didn't understand this installation from the moment I saw it - it was an HVAC system looking to kill. Really.
This new system was installed in 2011. Not using the grill returns in the ceiling in favor of a new media filter in the unit (those are the 3" or 4" thick ones), in order to get to the filter one had to go up and literally crawl over the unit!
This is one of many views of the unit.
Literally this installer taped, TAPED, the unit to duct work.
Classy, classy job! It represents experience, ability and true customer care. (sarcasm dripping from my curled lips)
I see this company's work all the time and the next time I see the owner wave from the back of the truck I will know what to do...
But I digress.
Of course crawling over the unit for filter replacement ever since 2011 had separated it from the duct work.
I got a delightful and welcomed blast of cool air in my face while in the hot attic though! Nice!
Hard to tell from the photo, but this particular gap is wider than my very classy PF Flyer!
All of the other equipment like condensate line clean out, drip pan float and discharge tube and filter cover are on the other side too.
All of those things need access.
To have to climb over a unit to get to them is not smart.
Flexible ducts also octopus off the end of the rectangle duct you see here, so the entrance and exit to the backside of the unit is a broad stretch of the legs, but a very narrow opening. Not good.
But here is my biggest beef.
Stepping back over the large, flexible duct to get out of the attic, the perch in front of the access ladder is only about 6"!!
If, stretching the legs so far, you miss, slip or misplace your foot look where you go!
Who thought this was a good idea must have learned the HVAC trade from Murphy, of the famous Murphy's Law.
Oh, and the attic access ladder was dated 2011.
I wonder who put it in?
Just wondering if that guy is waving bye byes when someone falls down that staircase because the attic access ladder was installed with 8, that's eight,
This guy is good!
You knew that drywall screw comment was coming, didn't you!
When contacted the HVAC company, while waving, wrote back that if someone is afraid of going up there to simply remove the media filter and start using the ceiling grill returns again!
Um, hey fella, the system is still put together with tape, and you still have to climb over the unit and fall down the ladder every time the unit needs access! What's the plan, bub?
And who was it that talked these people into the ultra-expensive media filter so little Bobo's allergies would be controlled?
Please understand everybody - media filters, any good filter, will not control allergies. I know what they say on TV commercials. What air they filter they filter well, that is true. But the system cannot turn over enough air every hour to make a difference in the air's allergic content by volume.
My recommendation: look for dangerous circumstances! Pay attention to them on home inspections. A danger that exists when you buy the house will remain unless something is done to eliminate the danger. In this case my client, a doctor, smartly wanted the system moved sideways so one did not have to climb over anything to gain access. The seller, understandably, balked. We'll see how it ends up, but I assure you my client, a doctor, does not want that danger in his house! He also wanted the attic access ladder removed and properly installed. I think that if the waver's company installed it, the waver should also be the company that pays for that re-installation!
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC
Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.
Office (703) 330-6388 Cell (703) 585-7560