You're purchasing a home in Sunny Phoenix, Arizona and your home inspector says your furnace is short cycling. What!? Homes have furnaces in Phoenix!?
As a home inspector in one of the hottest climates in the world, determining the condition of the air conditioning system for my clients is a top priority. Summer temperatures routinely exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and may still be above 100 at dawn. A recent home inspection I performed in Chandler, Arizona (home to the Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook-Off Festival every November) revealed a problem with the air conditioning system. The home was only two years old, so the air conditioning should be good as new, right? You'd be wrong. About 15 percent (my estimate based on my inspection history) of the one and two year old homes that I inspect have a problem with "Not cooling enough". This was the case in Chandler.
Pressure Regulator needs an Expansion Tank
Here in the Greater Phoenix, AZ desert, a whole-house pressure regulator valve, also known as a pressure reducer (valve) is sometimes employed to reduce high water pressure supplied by the water company to a safer level for use inside the home, typically agreed to be between 40 and 80 PSI. In most areas, an expansion tank or expansion device must be installed whenever a pressure regulator is installed and there is a tank-style water heater. The expansion tank protects the plumbing components (including the pressure regulator itself) from premature failure due to high pressure resulting from a closed system.
The big game is in a few days, and if you're like most people you've at least started to plan the party. Right? Well your home is worthy of that kind of planning too. Here in sunny Scottsdale, AZ, the Super Bowl usually means daytime temperatures in the 70's are here. It's a great time to make sure all your gardening and landscaping gear is ready to go for the explosion of greenery that the past wet El Niño winter will bring in just a few weeks. The chainsaw will need sharpening, and if you "forgot" to drain the fuel before you put it away last fall you'll need to give it a tune-up. .You've probably noticed weeds starting to bloom. Now is the time to apply a pre-emergent to your lawn or apply a targeted herbicide to your desert landscape. One last bit of advice before the big game: vacuum the compressor area under the refrigerator. Doing that once a year will ensure you have a fridge full of cold beer and a house full of happy guests.
Oh boy, if I had a dime for every time I get asked that question. It's usually asked at the very end of the home inspection after I've discussed the major defects that I found during the home inspection. I wish I could give them the peace of mind that they're looking for, but in reality I can't. Setting aside the litigious society we live in and the implications of me "recommending" that they buy or not buy the house, I think that what they are really saying by asking that question is that they don't fully understand the long term implications of all the problems this house has, or they're not emotionally or financially ready to be a 'homeowner', with all the recurring repairs and maintenance that accompany the title. For that reason, I will again go over the major defects found, with emphasis placed on discussing their options with their Realtor.
In the end, if they still press me for an answer, I'll tell them that I've performed major home renovations on almost all systems in a house, doing most of the work myself. I've had my own handyman business. I have the technical knowledge and the practical hands-on expertise to fix just about any problem the house may have, from the foundation to the roof and everything in-between. I can't stand shoddy workmanship and often times have to just do it myself if I want it done right. It's why I became a home inspector. Home Inspectors understand that houses are not built to stay in pristine condition forever, especially in the extreme environment of the Phoenix, AZ desert. Wether you live in Queen Creek or Sun City, walls crack, the ground moves and the rain always find a way inside. It's not any less of a house if the repairs are done right.
Yes, I would buy this house, but maybe you shouldn't.
Tony Jurewicz is the owner of Smart Start Home Inspections, serving Phoenix, AZ and the surrounding communities. Tony has a technical background that augments his home inspections and enables him to write high quality reports. His past experience in remodeling, repairing and investing in homes in both the desert Southwest (Arizona) and New England (Connecticut) gives him the hands-on practical knowledge necessary to identify and explain home defects to his clients. Tony is well prepared to help you get to know your new home inside and out.