When you are buying a new home, you probably have a lot on your mind. As you look at the number of bathrooms, size of the yard and proximity to a good school district, there are also other elements of a potential new home that are equally as important. One thing you should always check is the HVAC system.
A main fear when buying a new home is that something will break as soon as you move in. While you cannot predict the future, you can do proper research to know what to expect when purchasing your home. This is also true for the HVAC system in your potential new home. When you get a home inspection done on a home you are considering buying, make sure your home inspector looks at these things:
Age Of The Home
One of the easiest tell-tale signs of the health of an HVAC system is its age. We generally only expect HVAC systems to last about 15 years, so if it is older than that, you may need to budget in a replacement system in the near future.
Your inspector should complete a visual inspection of all parts of the HVAC system, including furnaces, boilers and air conditioning units. These may be hidden away outdoors, in basements or in utility areas, but they should still look like they are in good condition.
Size Of The House
As we have talked about in previous blogs, if the air conditioning unit is the wrong size for the house, it can make the climate uncomfortable or hike up the energy bill, as well as contribute to breakdowns or lower air quality. Make sure the HVAC system or AC unit are the right size for the home.
Past Maintenance Of The HVAC System
Home inspectors will probably investigate any past maintenance and repairs on the system to see if it is up to date. This might include looking at dated job tickets, which repairmen sometimes leave behind or attached to the unit after servicing an air conditioning unit, boiler, furnace or heat pump.
Check The Energy Label Of The System
All heating and cooling equipment should have a yellow energy label, usually located on the furnace, heat pump or air conditioning unit. These labels will list the energy efficiency of the unit and its operating costs relative to similar equipment. You will want an HVAC system that is more energy efficient, as this will save you money in your heating or cooling bills and will also prevent your system from over working to compensate for lowered efficiency. Keep in mind, though, this refers to the unit brand new. If it was not properly maintained, it is probably not as efficient as the label states.
HVAC System’s Comfort level
As you walk through different rooms in the home, paying attention to the comfort level, is the house stuffy, even though the air conditioning is cranking? Or is it a clammy and moist feeling with the AC? Are you still chilled with the heat on? Or does the comfort level and temperature change drastically from room to room? All of these could be warning signs that the HVAC system is the wrong size, has not been properly maintained or that there is something wrong with the delivery system, such as leaking ductwork that needs maintenance.
Warning Signs While Inspecting Your HVAC System
Watch for these warning signs regarding your HVAC system while moving through your inspection.
- Old age – if the system is more than 15 years old. If the system is fairly old, you may want to look at replacing your HVAC system.
- Damage – if any parts of the system, including the air conditioning unit, furnace or duct work, is damaged
- Noises – if it is the time of year when the system might be running, listen for weird noises, such as banging, whistling or a loud fan
- Performance – your home inspector can test the performance of the system, as well as assess the energy label to see if it is properly rated for the home size
If you have run into any of the above warning signs in your potential dream home, do not panic. This does not necessarily mean you should not purchase the house. However, it is good to be aware of the life of your HVAC system. This way, you can budget for future repairs and start the replacement process when it is convenient for you, and not wait until it is too late.
If you need an HVAC inspection or you are ready to schedule maintenance on your new home’s system, contact the team at Airpro Indoor Air Solutions to schedule your appointment today.