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Backwards A/C Sytem?

So this was the highlight of the past week.  After 22 years in this business, I have never happened onto a scenario quite like this one.

When I get to a home, I typically turn down the air conditioning when I arrive and I let it run for an hour or more, then check to differentials to determine if it is cooling properly.  I usually test the air temp at the main return first, then test the air at the supply register(s).  Typically, the air at the return is the same as or close to the air temp inside the home (this case – 71 degrees inside of the home).  I then measure the air at the supply registers in the home to see if the system is cooling.  By taking the return air temp, then subtracting the supply air temp – you now have the temperature differential of the system.

In this villa, a new package unit HVAC system was installed on the rooftop in 2016. Turns out that the HVAC company installed the system backwards so the unit was pushing 43 degree air through the return vent in the hallway and 71 degree air is getting pulled into the system via the supply registers in each room of the home.  This basically results in having NO air conditioning in any of the rooms in the home but the hallway feels like a walk-freezer!  Ok, I understand that mistakes happen and I understand that the system was accidentally installed backwards.  The mind boggling part is that the homeowner who spent thousands of dollars on a new system, 3 YEARS AGO, never realized that something was wrong and never called to have it fixed.  How could this be?  Frontline discovered the issue during the home inspection and now Easy Breezy A/C is going out for the repair!  It all worked out for the new owner but the old homeowner probably wishes that they had called Frontline several years ago.

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About the author

Todd Johnson has been a home inspector in the Tampa Bay area since 1998. He is extremely detail oriented and takes great satisfaction in his work. Todd understands the importance of the inspection and how much is riding on it; after all, it's YOUR home! Call Todd at Frontline Inspections today at (727) 460-2655