The HVAC system should be on your list of priorities to check when buying a home. Depending on its condition, it’s one of the biggest financial costs on its own and affects your monthly bills. It also plays a major factor in the home’s livability, determining the resident’s comfort. Knowing what to ask helps you get the necessary information to spot current problems and foresee potential ones.
What type of HVAC system is installed?
The kind of HVAC system would gives you a good idea on the several important things to note. Older models run on Freon and are less energy efficient than the newer ones. Freon is currently being phased out so it might be more difficult to find and costly to replace. Newer refrigerants are cleaner and safer for the environment. Being less energy efficient is not only harmful to nature, but it also costs more to operate. Older systems could also be an indication of the system’s age. Bear in mind the average lifespan of an HVAC system is 10-15 years. If you do find a home close to this range, don’t immediately back out of the deal as quality regular maintenance would have a great impact on the machine’s condition.
Has the system seen regular servicing?
Ask for documentation. These would tell you what company they trusted to maintain and fix their HVAC units. Begin from the time of installation and have repairs and replacements included. You’ll find out both the company name and when it was installed so you get the exact age of the HVAC system. Take note whether they previous owners consistently stuck with a certain HVAC maintenance company or switched often. The latter would give cause for concern as a new technician would be unfamiliar with the machine’s history. This often results in a different level of care. Research on the companies who’ve previously serviced the HVAC units and ductwork, including repairs and replacements. Find out whether these were trusted names in their respective areas. Lack of regular maintenance would be cause for concern but provides leverage in negotiating the price of the home.
How effective and efficient is the system?
You can easily judge its effectiveness by the temperature levels of the different rooms. Inconsistency would tell you otherwise but be clear if there are rooms that require a different temperature than the rest. As a rule of thumb, older models are less efficient than newer ones. Take into account the brand name, too. Also, check for the Energy Efficiency Rating and the Energy Star rating. The former rates the performance of the machine at its best while the latter indicates the overall energy efficiency of the machine. The monthly utility costs would also indicate how much you’d be spending regularly to keep ideal temperatures in your home.
Is the warranty still effective and transferable?
Newer units are given lifetime warranties but are limited to only the original purchasers. Once the house is sold, the warranty ends as well. Others continue for just a short time after the transfer of ownership. If warranty does continue beyond the sale, request to have the documentation verifying this. Study the terms and conditions of the warranty carefully to prevent voiding it.
While these are questions you could ask and research on yourself, always have an inspector to help you properly evaluate the HVAC system’s condition and effectiveness. They’d be able to point out certain details only a trained eye would identify. With their years of experience, an inspector would also know what else to look for. For advice and service of reliable HVAC technicians, reach out to Johnny On The Spot at (725) 977-9461.