Buying a new home is a very rewarding but overwhelming process. With so much to do and so much paperwork to fill out, it could be easy for things to slip through the cracks.
When it comes to your potential new home’s HVAC system, you’re probably relying on the home inspection to tell you everything you need to know. Though a home inspection is fairly reliable, the home inspector may not be knowledgeable enough to spot or notice potential system hazards or inefficiencies that a certified heating and cooling technician would.
In our most recent blog, the HVAC experts at Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning discuss tips to help you, the buyer, do your own HVAC system check and save you from unexpected expenses after purchasing and settling into your beautiful new home. You may also contact a local heating and cooling company to perform the inspection for you to ensure everything is working properly.
HVAC System Checklist When Buying a New Home
Here are some things to check around the home in regards to its heating and cooling system.
Room to Room
Pay attention to the temperature and level of moisture as you move from room to room. Are there drastic changes in particular rooms or areas of the home? Some of the common reasons for uneven temperatures in homes may include blocked or leaky air ducts, the wrong sized furnace or air conditioner, blocked vents, poor insulation, or an aging HVAC system.
Take notice of where the vents are located for both intake or outflow. Is their constant air flowing through those vents? Does the force air change from vent to vent or room to room? Some common reasons for low airflow through some or all of the home’s vents include blocked or dirty air ducts, air duct leaks, an HVAC filter that is too restrictive for your unit, dirty or clogged air filters, or oversized ducts or undersized vents.
Are there multiple heating and cooling zones in the home? If not, is your current system capable of zoning should you choose the setup in the future? This is a question to ask your realtor to find out for you.
Get information on how old the make and model of the installed HVAC system is. Then, ask when it was installed. Research that specific model and get the facts in regards to how long these HVAC systems typically last. Sometimes, it may seem like you have an old HVAC system, when it’s actually got a few years left in it. Air conditioners typically last about 15 years, while furnaces need to be replaced when they’re between 15 and 20 years old, on average.
History of Maintenance
Ask the current homeowner to provide as much maintenance and repair history as possible. This will help you determine where you are in the maintenance interval and how well the system has been maintained. Older HVAC systems that haven’t been properly maintained are more prone to breaking down and typically need to be replaced earlier than well-maintained units.
Warranties and Service Plans
Are there any active warranties or service plans on the HVAC system? More importantly, are they transferable to you or could you take advantage of them as long as they are in place? Ask the current homeowner for this important information. It’s possible to have the current homeowner include a one-year home warranty to cover your HVAC system and other appliances in case they break down.
Make sure to collect any and all HVAC machinery equipment manuals. If the physical manuals are not available to you, make sure to get the model or serial numbers since most manuals could be digitally downloaded online. Manuals may prove helpful insight in an emergency.
Thermostats & Detectors
Thermostats and smoke/carbon monoxide detectors will be checked during the inspection, but it’s good to know their age, model, and capability. Decide whether or not you would want to replace them or when their lifespan is expected to end.
Physical Unit Inspection
Pay attention to any dust, rust, or noises. Even the smallest speck or slightest noise may be an indicator of a developing problem with your heating and cooling system. If you’re seriously considering buying the home, it’s a good idea to contact an HVAC professional to perform a full inspection of the unit.
Stay or Go
In the end, is the system worth keeping or will you do away with it completely? Will you need to replace the system and install a brand new one? This is no small cost, so it’s something you may want to try to negotiate into the cost of the house or set aside funds to replace the system.
Contact Thiele for HVAC Services Today
The HVAC professionals at Thiele can help you get some better insight into your potential home’s HVAC system. We’ll help you determine if you have an old HVAC system that needs to be replaced, as well as provide tips and any other information or services that you might need.
As HVAC systems age, they naturally become less effective. If your systems are around 20 years old, there’s a good chance that they’ll soon need to be replaced.
Contact one of our experienced technicians so we can come out and help you in the inspection process. No matter the HVAC service that your new system requires, the professionals at Thiele can help.