Ensuring Air Conditioning Equipment Is Secured
It is essential that everything be securely attached in case of earthquakes or even tremors. This includes air conditioners and heaters. During a home inspection in seismic areas the inspector will make sure that items are safe and secure from these natural occurrences. If the slabs of concrete, metal or wooden stands that hold them are broken, bent or tilted, a seismic event can cause damage to conduits and the electrical lines inside them, the gas lines in the vicinity and the ducting for the equipment. It is, therefore, important that the problem be rectified.
If the air conditioning unit is central air, the component on the exterior should sit on a slab of concrete. If the slab of concrete is not flat and level it must be lifted and packed underneath with fresh soil. If the slab of concrete is cracked or broken then the home inspector’s report will note that it must be replaced. Make sure that the soil is compacted. The home inspector may also comment on the height of the stand on the exterior. It must be at least 4” or higher depending on the how high the snow gets in the winter or how much rain collects in your area. There must also be a certain amount of open space around the unit to allow for repairs if necessary.
If the unit sits on the roof then ensure that it is well strapped and attached to its stand. There is cause for alarm, when the air conditioning unit or heater is placed in the attic, on an interior wall, in a window sill or even in the garage.
If you have any questions, concerns or need assistance regarding fixing the stands that your air conditioner or heater sits on, it is advisable to contact an air conditioning/ heating contractor, home repair service or a general contractor. A home inspector will not be able to tell you the cost of the repair or give you advice on which is the best company you should go to in order to get the repairs done. This should be discussed between the person who is selling the home and yourself. It would be advisable that you choose the contractor to fix the issue rather than let the seller get one. He or she may be prompted to get the cheapest deal just to get the job done, in which case you would have to get the quick fix repaired after you move in.