What is an HVAC Inspection?

Writen by
Guy's Team
April 30, 2024
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Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are essential for maintaining a comfortable temperature and indoor air quality in homes and buildings. As with any complex mechanical system, HVAC systems require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure they continue operating safely and efficiently. This article will explain what a HVAC inspection is and why it is an important part of preventative maintenance.

Purpose of a HVAC Inspection

The primary goal of a HVAC inspection is to evaluate the current condition of the entire HVAC system. A thorough inspection will identify any issues or needed repairs to ensure the system can continue providing heating and cooling as designed. Routine inspections also help detect minor problems before they escalate into major, costly repairs. Being proactive with HVAC maintenance helps extend the overall life of the equipment.

Some key areas addressed during a standard HVAC inspection include:

  • Checking refrigerant levels and pressures
  • Testing heating components like furnaces and heat pumps
  • Inspecting air filters and ductwork for blockages
  • Evaluating airflow and ventilation
  • Checking for leaks, corrosion and proper drainage
  • Testing safety controls and devices
  • Verifying correct installation and clearance spaces
  • Assessing the condition of insulation

What Gets Inspected?

A comprehensive HVAC inspection will evaluate all aspects of the system, both inside and out. Here are some of the critical components that will be thoroughly examined:

HVAC Equipment - This includes the condensing unit, evaporator coil, furnace, heat pump, air handler, ductwork, vents, thermostat and any auxiliary equipment. The technician will check for damage, leaks, odd noises, and other signs of wear and tear.

Electrical Components - Wiring, breakers, fuses, connections, and control boards will be inspected for damage and functionality. Voltages and amperages are measured to ensure electrical safety.

Filters - Air filters keep dust, allergens and debris from clogging HVAC components. Dirty filters reduce system efficiency and indoor air quality. Technicians will check the filter fit and condition.

Ductwork - Supply and return ducts distribute heated and cooled air. The inspector will check for leaks, separations, blockages, and proper insulation that can impact efficiency.

Thermostat - This key controller manages the HVAC system. The thermostat settings and programming will be assessed during the inspection.

Safety Controls - Gas furnaces and heaters have several safety sensors and shutoffs (carbon monoxide detector, flue temperature sensor, pressure switch) that will be carefully tested.

How Often Should a HVAC Inspection Occur?

Most HVAC experts recommend having your system inspected at least annually - twice a year is even better for climates with extreme winters or summers. Home warranty contracts often stipulate this semi-annual maintenance requirement too.

Some additional times when a HVAC inspection is recommended:

  • Upon moving into a new home.
  • After major repairs or system replacement.
  • Before the heating or cooling seasons.
  • When purchasing a home.
  • When the system shows decline or stops working properly.
  • After major events like floods, electrical surges or storms.

Routine inspections provide an opportunity to tune up the HVAC system before peak heating and cooling seasons when you need it most. It also establishes a service history that can be referred to when repairs are needed down the road.

What is Checked During a HVAC Inspection?

A standard HVAC inspection is very thorough and comprehensive. Every aspect of the equipment and installation are meticulously evaluated. Here are some of the main tasks performed by the service technician:

  • Visual inspection of the entire HVAC system (indoor & outdoor units) for damage and deterioration.
  • Operational testing of heating and cooling modes. Systems are run through complete cycles.
  • Temperature measurements taken from multiple supply and return vents to check for proper airflow.
  • Checking refrigerant pressures and charts to ensure levels are adequate. Refrigerant may be added if low.
  • Combustion analysis of fuel-burning furnaces to optimize efficiency and safety.
  • Inspecting condensers and coils for dirt buildup that can reduce performance. Cleaning if necessary.
  • Checking for vibrations, leaks, odd smells and noises that indicate problems.
  • Verifying ductwork and piping is intact without leaks or blockages.
  • Inspecting drains and pumps to prevent condensate backups.
  • Testing safety controls like pressure stats, limit switches and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Checking air filter - replace if dirty.
  • Recording electrical values like voltage and amperage draws for comparison.
  • Lubricating motors and bearings.
  • Evaluating thermostat, wiring and connections.
  • Verifying correct grounding.

What is Included in the Inspection Report?

After the onsite HVAC inspection is completed, the technician should provide a detailed report summarizing their findings. This written report is a helpful record of the system's general condition and any repairs that are advised now or in the future.

Typical contents of a HVAC inspection report:

  • Overview of all equipment inspected (brands, models, serial numbers, ages).
  • Condition of major components like heat exchangers, compressors, coils.
  • List of any issues or faults discovered and repair recommendations.
  • Results of temperature, voltage, amperage and combustion tests.
  • Documentation of refrigerant pressures and any refrigerant added.
  • Airflow readings from supply and return vents.
  • Filter inspection results - were filters replaced?
  • Safety check results including carbon monoxide tests.
  • Technician's general assessment of system performance and life expectancy.
  • Estimated costs and priorities for any suggested repairs.
  • Energy efficiency tips based on the inspection findings.

The report provides a helpful snapshot of the HVAC system's overall health and maintenance needs. Many homeowners keep these reports on file to help justify future repairs and replacements.

Why is a Professional HVAC Inspection Important?

While some basic inspection tasks like changing filters can be performed by homeowners, only an experienced technician has the expertise, tools and resources to thoroughly evaluate an HVAC system.

There are several key benefits to using a professional HVAC contractor:

  • Find issues not visible to homeowners - Technicians can detect refrigerant leaks, electrical faults and burner problems that may not be obvious. Early identification saves money.
  • Ensure safety - Combustion testing and carbon monoxide checks done during an inspection helps identify hazards.
  • Optimize efficiency - Adjusting refrigerant levels, airflow and components improves performance and can reduce energy costs.
  • Extend system lifespan - An expert inspection helps spot deterioration and prevent future breakdowns. Proactive maintenance is cheaper than emergency repairs!
  • Compliance with codes - HVAC technicians understand the many complex state and local regulations for heating and cooling systems.
  • Peace of mind - Knowing your HVAC system is operating safely and efficiently provides comfort and assurance.

Questions to Ask When Getting a HVAC Inspection

When arranging for a professional HVAC inspection, here are some good questions to ask:

  • What is included in your standard HVAC inspection? What additional tests are available?
  • How long will the inspection take? When can it be scheduled?
  • Do your technicians carry all required certifications and licenses? Are they trained on my HVAC brand?
  • Will you provide me with a detailed inspection report? Can you explain the results?
  • Do you also offer repairs and maintenance if issues are discovered? What is your hourly rate?
  • What payment options do you offer? Is financing available?
  • Do you have references from other customers I can contact?

Getting clear answers to questions like these ensures you receive a thorough, high-quality HVAC inspection from qualified professionals.


Regular HVAC inspections provide tremendous value for homeowners by identifying issues early, improving system efficiency, and extending equipment lifespan. A professional technician has the expertise to thoroughly evaluate all components and recognize problems not visible to homeowners. Addressing any deficiencies found during the inspection before they worsen prevents more costly repairs down the road.

Guy's Plumbing Heating & Air has been providing expert HVAC services in the greater Amarillo, TX area for over 42 years. Our certified technicians can perform a comprehensive inspection of your home's entire heating and cooling system. We use the latest tools and testing procedures to evaluate system performance and uncover potential problems. All inspections come with a detailed report summarizing system condition, recommended repairs, and energy efficiency tips. Contact our team today to schedule your next HVAC inspection! Keeping your system well-maintained ensures your indoor comfort and air quality.