State of Florida
61-30.812 Standards of Practice, General Limitations and Exclusions
(3) Home Inspectors shall not practice beyond the scope of their license as a home inspector. The following actions are beyond the scope of a Home Inspector License:
6. Compliance with regulatory requirements (codes, regulations, laws, ordinances, etc.), manufacturer specifications, installation procedures or instructions;
Because the State of Florida controls how a home inspectors perform their inspections, Home Inspectors are not allow to cite code in their report even if they know the local code.
The answer to your question about filing a complaint is:
In the state of Florida, The Department of Business and Professional Regulation regulates both Home Inspectors and Realtors.
You can check to see if the Home Inspector had previous complaints filed against them or file a complaint yourself.
Before you contract with a home inspection company you should always check them out. Verify their license and see if they have previous complaints, suspensions or fines.
Best of Luck
Carmen G. Munoz, P.A.
Lic. Bienes y Raices/Lic. Realtor
Turnberry International Realty
International Real Estate Sales Specialist
Miami, FL: 305-519-3626
Facebook: Carmen G at Turnberry
Actually, the regulations regarding seasonal energy efficiency ratings (SEER) of HVAC systems are part of a federal mandate that went into effect on January 23, 2006. As of that date, manufacturers of air conditioners and heat pumps now must produce only systems that meet a minimum 13 SEER requirement, rather than the earlier 10 SEER or 12 SEER.
This new standard is expected to increase energy efficiency by 30% (over 10 SEER units) and result in cleaner air and environment. Changes in the type of coolant used contributes to this improvement.
Because distributors and installers already had inventories of older systems when the new regulations went into effect, HVAC installers were allowed to use the existing inventories until they were gone. For maximum efficiency, the inside and outside units will usually need to be the same SEER number, although during the transition period, while old inventories were being used up, some mixing did occur.
Do you know when each part of the HVAC system in your house (inside and out) was built? Do you know when each part was installed? (There may be stickers on the units.) By now, the old inventories should be gone. If one of the units was replaced in the last year or so, then the entire system should have been upgraded to 13 SEER (or higher).
The company that gave you the quote is correct--At this point in time, if a replacement is done, both inside and outside units need to be compatible, and (unless one unit is already 13 SEER or higher) that is going to mean replacing the whole system (both units) in order for the system to meet the current standard and operate efficiently.
Did either you or the Seller put a home warranty on the home? If so, check and see if mismatched HVAC systems are covered. Also check your homeowner's policy to see if anything there might cover this situation.
Most home inspection companies inspect the HVAC system. Did the inspector mention mismatched units in the report? At this point, you may want to consult with an attorney and decide how to proceed. Good luck.
I'm sorry that you are now faced with a very large expense but it is not the home inspector's fault and even your agent (however good or bad you feel she is) was not responsible for checking. The seller should have disclosed that some work may not have been permitted.
Inspectors and agents cannot always know the exact code guidelines for everything within a city or county as they do change often.
The Condenser unit in A/C was replaced w/o changing the air handler inside. Apparently the city will not give a permit if the units are not matching. A/C companies I am getting the quote right now told me that. They are also telling me that if I don't change the whole system, I will not be able to sell the house later because of the code break! I am furious that home inspectors didn't point that out. How are buyers suppose to know all the city codes?
I cannot talk to my agent because she is the one who got the inspector to us and we already realised she has cheated us in many other things as well.