Buying a new home is an enormous task, one filled with a seemingly endless list of questions and considerations. One must look at their purchase holistically, and do a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis. And it is important not to overlook a home’s HVAC system when making such a monumental decision.
What is often seen during the purchasing of an older home is an HVAC system nearing, or beyond, its suggested lifespan. Often, homeowners that are contemplating selling their home will hold off on repairs and replacements. Because of this conundrum, potential homeowners should ask questions about the home’s system and request supporting documents to back up any claims made by the seller.
If you believe the home’s HVAC system to be faulty or in disrepair, consider working with the seller to negotiate a discount for future replacement and repair. The last thing a new homeowner needs is additional expenses. Here are some things to look out for:
Age and Condition of the System
Most components of a standard HVAC system have a lifespan of 10-15 years. The first question you should ask the seller is the age of the various components and documentation supporting those claims. If any of the components are nearing the end of their 10-15-year lifespan, you should ask to have the cost of a future replacement discounted from the asking price.
Inspect the various components, both visually and audibly. If you see obvious signs of decay, such as misplaced parts, rust, or other forms of degradation, this should be considered. Additionally, knocking or hissing noises can be a sign of problems to come.
Ask the seller for a copy of any regular or emergency maintenance. This will help you gain an understanding of the reliability of this system.
Inquire About the Home’s Insulation
A home’s insulation is one of the most vital components of its ecosystem and is often overlooked by homeowners and potential buyers alike. A well-insulated home will save a homeowner money every year in heating and air conditioning costs. When a home is poorly insulated it requires your HVAC system to work in overdrive to reach and sustain the desired internal temperature. This will ultimately lead to overuse and will reduce the overall lifespan of your HVAC system.
If you think of your furnace and air conditioning unit as the heart of your HVAC system, ductwork serves as the blood vessels. Without proper air flow through the home, your HVAC system is suffocating, unable to function properly. Proper ductwork should be void of gaps, loose connections, and other signs of issues such as water or rust. They should also be clean, and if you see dusty or dirty ductwork, you should work with the seller to have a comprehensive cleaning completed before your family occupies the home.
Overall Level of Comfort
When you’re doing a walkthrough of the home, monitor the overall level of comfort you feel and see if it’s in line with your expectations. Also, when walking room to room, pay attention to any temperature differences. When different rooms have different temperatures, it’s probably a sign of an HVAC issue.
Buying a home is already a stressful and daunting task, and ensuring your family’s comfort through a reliable and trustworthy HVAC system should be a priority. By paying close attention and asking the questions above, hopefully you can limit the number of headaches from purchasing a new home.
If you have recently bought a new home and would like us to come and inspect the condition of your current HVAC system, please call: (812) 683-0675.