Getting Ready to Put Your Home on the Market?
Updated: Jul 29, 2020
Are you getting ready to put your home on the market for sale and unsure of what's really required to bring your electrical or HVAC system up to date? Here's feedback from our Master Electricians & Master HVAC Technicians on the most important repairs for your home. Take a look at the most common questions asked by homeowners (we're pretty sure you might be thinking about some of these...)
Why do we need to repair it if we're moving?
Electrical repairs flagged by your Home Property Inspector focuses on possible hazards, excessive wear & tear of major systems or likelihood of property damage. Although you might have lived with the hazard, the next Home Insurance company, Title Company and/or City Ordinance sometimes will not allow the transfer of property (or the sale of your home) to be completed without the repair completed and verified by a licensed contractor.
I'm pretty handy, can I just repair electrical and HVAC repairs on my own or ask my handy-dandy cousin to make the repairs? Unless you are a licensed contractor and listed in good standing Texas Department of Licensing & Regulations, you cannot make the electrical or HVAC repairs because it was not completed by a professional. Also, extended warranties and the integrity of your materials cannot be verified because they were not purchased by a Service Professional.
Why do some repairs require a city permit?
A city permit or "Green Tag" is a way for all parties to verify the work was completed by a good standing, licensed, bonded and verified professional. It is proof that the work was completed within the guidelines of the "code requirement" and that no other hazards, excessive wear & tear of major systems or likelihood of property damage will occur because the issue was resolved.
I don't need any fancy outlets in my kitchen, bathroom, pool area or garage and I've never been shocked. Why do I need to upgrade these plugs to GFCIs?
On average, 400 people die from electrocution each year, and 4,400 are injured due to various electrical hazards, according to the American Burn Association. In addition, there are an estimated 141,000 electrical fires every year, which result in hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries. The National Safety Council reports that electrical accidents account for nearly one workplace fatality every day and nearly 4,000 workplace injuries each year. There are four main types of electrical injuries: electrocution (fatal), electric shock, burns, and falls. If you experience an electrical injury at home or work, you may be able to recover compensation. Depending on your situation, any of the following may be held responsible for your injuries through a premises liability claim:
A maintenance company
A building or business owner
Many of the electrical hazards that lead to injury and death are caused by aging or
damaged wiring systems. Residential and business electrical systems should be maintained regularly in order to prevent common electrical injuries. The use of arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCIs) and ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) can greatly reduce the risk of injury or death due to electrical hazards. While AFCIs address potential fire hazards, GFCIs help prevent electrocution hazards. In order to be effective, these devices must be properly maintained and should installed by a professional.
What are the most important electrical issues?
Each year, Texans sustain property damage and are injured by accidents in the home. While some accidents may not be avoidable, many other accidents, injuries, and deaths may be avoided through the identification and repair of certain hazardous conditions.
These conditions may not have violated building codes or common practices at the time of the construction of the home, or they may have been “grandfathered” because they were present prior to the adoption of codes prohibiting such conditions. While the Texas Real Estate Commission Standards of Practice do not require inspectors to perform a code compliance inspection, TREC considers the potential for injury or property loss from the hazards addressed in the Standards of Practice to be significant enough to warrant notice.
Examples of such hazards include:
malfunctioning, improperly installed, or missing ground fault circuit protection (GFCI) devices for electrical receptacles in garages, bathrooms, kitchens, and exterior areas
malfunctioning arc fault protection (AFCI) devices;
malfunctioning or lack of fire safety features such as smoke alarms, fire-rated doors in certain
malfunctioning carbon monoxide alarms;
improperly installed appliances;
improperly installed or defective safety devices; and
lack of electrical bonding and grounding
Federal Pacific Panel boxes
Are Federal Pacific Electric breaker panels safe? Why do I need a new panel box if I have this? My electrical devices work fine! No, Federal Pacific Electric (FPE) breakers panels are not safe and NEC urge any homeowner who has one to update their electric panel box. Federal Pacific Electric breaker panels (commonly known as FPE breaker panels) have been found to have a high potential risk for unexpected failure. These breaker panels are considered to be defective and unsafe among industry professionals. Federal Pacific Electric breaker panels have been found to have high failure rates and linked to thousands of house fires. Because of this, the common stance among home inspectors and home inspection certification organizations, like NACHI and ASHI, is that Federal Pacific Electric breaker panels need to be replaced. FPE Stab-Lok electrical panels and circuit breakers do not comply with National Electrical Code (NEC) because studies have confirmed their high rates of failure.
My A/C system cools in the summer and heats in the winter. Why did I get flagged for repairs?
Your HVAC system has 4 major components:
Does it heat efficiently and effectively?
Does it cool down efficiently and effectively?
Is there proper ventilation from the outside air, different temperatures setting and air flow?
Is the air quality compromised or clean as possible?
In order to determine these critical points pass your home inspection, you should have record of your seasonal tune-ups performed by a licensed HVAC professional. Tune-Ups range from $110 & up when work is performed per unit. Some companies also perform HVAC assessments ranging from $55 per unit prior to repairs or maintenance tasks being performed. Below are the most common overlooked maintenance tasks that cause the most damage:
Rusted drain pan leads to rusted evaporator coil with a leak
Condensation line excessively leaks rusted liquid and saturated your flooring
Drain pan is full of liquid because your condensation line wasn't flushed out
Thermostat doesn't change temperature
Some rooms are too hot or too cold due to
Coolant/Freon hasn't been capped or you're still using R22
Outside condenser coil is too dirty and is making system work too hard
Air filter is not the right size or changed according to schedule which makes the airflow circulate dirty air throughout home
What are some other requirements an Electrician or HVAC Technician can resolve?
Are there enough smoke detectors?
Are there enough CO2 detectors?
Is there a GFCI weatherproof cove on outside outlets?
Is the panel box labeled?
Is the home grounded?
Are the outlets TR standard?
Why does every HVAC company keep bringing up R22? According to the EPA, in the United States, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are regulated as class I or class II controlled substances. Class I substances, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and halons, have a higher ozone depletion potential and have been phased out in the U.S.; with a few exceptions, this means no one can produce or import class I substances. Class II substances are all hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are transitional substitutes for many class I substances. New production and import of most HCFCs were phased out as of 2020. The most common HCFC in use today is HCFC-22 or R-22, a refrigerant still used in existing air conditioners and refrigeration equipment.
Since its creation, the R22 refrigerant has been wreaking havoc on the environment, not to mention your health. The time is now. We are being called upon by the greener powers to update our air conditioning systems and rid ourselves and our planet of toxic chemicals. Keep reading to learn more about the harmful effects of the R22 refrigerant and why you need to upgrade your HVAC system today! - Happy Hiller
Upgrading a system or replacing it with a system that depends on another type of coolant is better for the environment.
Want to know more about ways Electrician On Call can help you with ensuring your electrical and HVAC repairs are conducted? Contact us at (214) 235 - 7251 or email your home inspection report or punchlist to firstname.lastname@example.org.