Informed home buying includes knowing a few things about important systems in the home, such as electrical and plumbing. Most significant among these are heating, cooling, and associated components. In many residences, these units represent the single most expensive system components in the house. Therefore, when considering buying a home, it’s good to know as much as you can about the home’s HVAC system before you make an offer.
Here are some examples of issues to clear up before making a home purchase:
How old are the air conditioner and furnace?
It’s good to know if these units are approaching the end of their expected service life and will soon require replacement. It’s also helpful to know if the units are still under warranty. If the present owner of the house can’t provide this info, you may take down the serial numbers of the AC and furnace and contact the manufacturer to find out how old the units are.
What are the efficiency ratings of installed HVAC units?
The manufacturer’s efficiency rating — SEER rating for the air conditioner and AFUE rating for a gas furnace — can help you know before buying a home whether you can expect average monthly operating costs typical with standard efficiency units or lower costs from a high-efficiency AC or furnace.
Have the AC and furnace received regular annual preventative maintenance?
Yearly professional maintenanceon both units is associated with longer expected service life, fewer required repairs and lower operating costs. It’s usually required under the terms of the component’s warranty as well. If you’re serious about home buying, ask the present owner if they can supply records of annual maintenance.
What is the condition of the HVAC ductwork?
Leaky ductwork is common in homes, particularly in older houses. Conditioned air leakage from ductwork wastes energy, reduces indoor comfort, and degrades air quality. If the home is more than 10 years old, find out if the ductwork has been recently inspected and tested for leakage by a qualified HVAC contractor.
For more HVAC questions to ask while home buying — and the answers you should expect — contact the heating and cooling professionals at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc.