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A question for the city dwellers . . .


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I looked at a condo/loft yesterday that was conditioned by a package-unit heat-pump installed on the roof. I was able to locate the appropriate system by peering down through the skylights--all the while hoping I didn't surprise another owner and get arrested for voyeurism.

It occurred to me, though, that without the skylights, I would have had no idea which system conditioned the place I was checking out. Does anyone have any secrets or hints for identifying the correct HVAC systems in these situations? I suppose I could have switched the fan on, and hung out on the roof a while, but there still would have been a margin for error.

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I usually arrange to have the agents cell # and tell them to switch it on and off a few times while I'm on the roof...

Otherwise, take a general photo and say 'not sure'.

The other thing is if you see say 20 yr old units and a few new ones here and there.. I include a mention in the report that 'folks are starting to replace these units' and include a photo of the mixed-age units.

Then include in the report you could not determine which was theirs, why and all the other heads-ups.

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Around here, I've only see a/c compressors on the roof, and I won't switch those on at all in the colder months. If they're not labeled (or if I believe they are inacurately labeled) I site common deficiencies like worn foam insulation, roof flashing details (both very common), out of level, compressor not isolated from the roof and so on.

Whether I can determine which unit is theirs or not, I think it's also useful information to let my client know what percentage of the rtu's are older/original, and how many have been replaced.

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