Buying a house is a big decision. Along with considering the home’s location, features, and neighborhood amenities, be sure to check the HVAC system as well. After all, you don’t want to end up replacing the air conditioner, furnace, or heat pump unexpectedly mere months after moving in.
Follow these tips to make sure the seller can’t hide rundown HVAC equipment from you. Then, contact Scott’s One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating at (813) 651-3485 for help keeping your new home comfortable.
Inspect the HVAC Equipment
When touring a home for sale, be sure to stop by the utility room. Check the thermostat and any outdoor HVAC components as well. Here’s what to include in your inspection:
- Listen for any strange sounds while the furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump is running.
- Look for water stains, rust, or dents in the equipment.
- Check the yellow EnergyGuide label, if present, to get an idea of the operating costs. If you see the Energy Star logo, this means the equipment is more efficient than average.
- See what thermostat is installed. If you plan to upgrade to a smart thermostat, find out if the house has the necessary wiring.
- Ask when the HVAC equipment was installed and what company performed the work.
- Find out what refrigerant the air conditioner or heat pump uses. You want the answer to be R-410A (Puron), not the recently phased-out R-22 (Freon).
Ask About Maintenance History
If the homeowner has kept up with preventive maintenance over the years, they should have no difficulty producing HVAC maintenance records. This tells you the equipment has been cared for properly.
If you don’t have records to look over, you’re gambling on an HVAC system that could have a scarce maintenance history. After all, skipping routine tune-ups can lead to higher-than-necessary energy costs and premature equipment failure. It can even void the warranty, leaving you high and dry if you end up needing to replace a part.
Check the Ductwork & Indoor Air Quality Add-Ons
In addition to ensuring the integrity of the HVAC equipment itself, you should also inspect the ductwork. Exposed sections may be visible in the attic, crawlspace, unfinished basement, or garage. The home may also feature indoor air quality add-ons, which you should inspect as well. Here’s what your assessment should include:
- Look for gaps or loose connections in the ductwork.
- Check the condition of the ductwork insulation. If there is none, look into adding some.
- Inspect return and supply registers for dust or condensation.
- If a UV germicidal light, air sanitation device, attic fan, or other add-on is present, make sure it works correctly.
- Ask what type of insulation is present in the attic, walls, floors, and elsewhere. Also, find out when it was installed.
Negotiate a Discounted Sale Price if Appropriate
Once heating and cooling equipment reaches 10 to 15 years old, it could be due for an upgrade at any time. If you’re interested in buying a home with an aging HVAC system, consider asking the seller for a lower price. This should give you some extra cash once it’s time to replace your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump.
Take Good Care of Your HVAC System
You’ll feel more confident moving into a new house if you can determine that the heating and cooling equipment is in excellent condition. Of course, it’s easy enough to replace the HVAC system if you plan for it. Either way, be sure to prioritize maintenance visits and efficient operating techniques to maximize performance and equipment life span.
Scott’s One Hour Air can help! Contact us at (813) 651-3485 to schedule HVAC services in the Tampa area, including heating and cooling installation, replacement, repair, and maintenance.