House shopping can be an inspiring and liberating experience. After all, you finally get to purchase a home that you love and can call your own. No more paying rent to someone else. You can use your mortgage payments to invest in your future. Before you rush to pick out a home, read up on how to inspect the HVAC system, so you don’t buy a dud.
You may feel a bit apprehensive about house shopping because you’re worried that something may bring down soon after you move in. If you’re buying a previously owned home, it comes with the territory. To lower the chances of you having to pay for major HVAC system repairs, you’ll need to perform a good visual inspection.
You should consider having an HVAC tech with you while you’re assessing the HVAC system. Understandably, you won’t be taking them to every property that you look at. However, the homes that you are ready to close the deal on should warrant you working with an HVAC tech. While you inspect the HVAC system, be sure to question anything that looks odd. Your HVAC tech will also alert you to any potential issues.
HVAC equipment can last for many years before needing to be replaced. You should inspect the HVAC system to learn its age. If you can’t find the age, ask your HVAC tech. Ideally, you should look for a home that has a system that is under 15 years old. Of course, the closer to new you can get is better. Keep in mind that even homes with new HVAC systems installed have been known to act up and need repairs. That’s why you should have your tech check things out.
If you decide to purchase a home has an HVAC system that is close to the 10-year mark, don’t forget to shop for Energy Star certified heating and cooling appliances to reduce your future home’s energy usage.
Check the existing unit for labels that contain information about its efficiency. Keep in mind that the older the system is, the less likely it is to meet the standards listed on the label. You should be aware that many heating and cooling systems have the minimum requirements they must be listed on the labels along with their ratings, which may be higher than the minimum.
If you’re dealing with the seller, ask them about the maintenance and repair history for their HVAC unit. Be prepared to take everything they say with a grain of salt unless they can also produce receipts as proof. If they can’t furnish receipts, ask them for the name of the company that serviced their equipment. You may be able to contact that company to find out the repair history. Clues that may indicate there are ongoing concerns include frequent repairs and replacement parts. If you have questions about anything, ask the sellers for clarity.
Walk through every area of the homes you’re interested in purchasing. Pay attention to how hot, cold or stuffy they feel. Turn the AC on and see if it gets any cooler. You should also pay attention to how the home feels when the furnace is on. If there is a difference in heat, coolness, and comfort in any of the rooms while the HVAC system is on, chances are there are some repair issues that need to be addressed, such as leaky, dirty or poorly insulated ducts.
Don’t purchase a home or any property without taking the time to inspect the HVAC system. For more helpful heating, cooling and ventilation advice from PJ’s HVAC, contact us at 615-645-3233.