It can be quite a daunting task to buy a house. Still, you are surely also thrilled to be looking for your very own home. You need to ensure that the property you will purchase is in good condition so that you won’t have to go through many unnecessary hassles and stress. An aspect you need to think about is buying a house with an old HVAC.
5 Things To Check On The HVAC System When Buying A New Home
- 1 5 Things To Check On The HVAC System When Buying A New Home
- 1.1 #1 Inspect The HVAC Equipment
- 1.2 #2 Inspect The HVAC Ductwork
- 1.3 #3 Inquire About Insulation
- 1.4 #4 Consider The Refrigerant
- 1.5 #5 Weigh The Cost Of Replacement & Ongoing Energy Costs
- 1.6 Additional Items To Consider
- 1.7 Conclusion
- 2 Call R.F. Ohl For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
Read on to learn more about what you need to check about the HVAC equipment when buying a home.
#1 Inspect The HVAC Equipment
Assess the state of the heating and cooling unit when conducting a walkthrough on the house. See if it has any cracks, dents, rust, or water stains. Try turning the air conditioner and furnace on. You should also listen if there are any unusual noises from the HVAC equipment.
Determine the age of each unit. Many HVAC systems have a 15-year lifespan before they need replacing. Some can last up to 20 years or longer as long as they are properly maintained. Check any maintenance records they might have for the units. Consider how the cost of replacement can affect your budget if the HVAC unit is over 15 years old. You can ask the technicians at R.F. Ohl to conduct a professional assessment as well.
#2 Inspect The HVAC Ductwork
The ductwork will not last forever, much like the HVAC unit. Therefore, you should also inspect the ducts wherever possible. Search for gaps in the duct runs if you can get to a crawl space or the attic. Inspect all vents to ensure that the ductwork is connected securely.
Look at the ducts’ interior to determine if dust has accumulated or to check if there is mold growth. Dust accumulation is a sign of neglect, but it can be removed. On the other hand, mold is a sign of excessive water in the duct, which can point to its potential failure.
#3 Inquire About Insulation
It is essential to know the amount of insulation the house has and its installation date. An insufficient amount of insulation means that the house uses energy inefficiently, and you will have higher energy costs. Insulation that was installed some years ago has likely settled and requires adding more insulation. If your real estate agent isn’t in the know about this information, ask them to inquire about it to the seller.
Moreover, assess the comfortability as you walk around the house. Do some rooms feel colder or hotter than others? Are there drafts as you walk past doors or windows? Does the air smell stale or musty?
#4 Consider The Refrigerant
The type of refrigerant your HVAC uses should be considered as well. Older systems may still be using R-22, a common refrigerant for many years. However, the EPA has banned its use in new heating and cooling units. Existing systems that still use R-22 can replace their refrigerant, but it is more difficult to find and even costlier to buy. It was banned entirely in 2020. Therefore, existing units need to be retrofitted with a new refrigerant or replace the HVAC system completely.
#5 Weigh The Cost Of Replacement & Ongoing Energy Costs
Assess whether you have the cash reserves in case you buy a home that suddenly requires an HVAC system replacement. Keep in mind that buying a house fitted with an old system means this scenario can happen.
Consider the operational cost of the system as well. The homeowner shouldn’t have any qualms about showing you their energy bills for the last two years. Abnormally high power bills typically mean that the HVAC system is poorly maintained and/or close to the end of its lifespan.
These tips will help you decide if a house’s HVAC system should keep you from buying the home. You can also have a reputable HVAC company provide you with a professional assessment during the home buying process. Contact R.F. Ohl today if you want to set an appointment.
Additional Items To Consider
Listed below are several more factors to check around the home that are linked to its HVAC system:
Room to Room
Pay attention to the temperature and moisture level as you walk through different rooms. See if there are any significant changes in particular rooms around the house. Several of the usual reasons that cause uneven temperatures in homes are leaky or blocked air ducts, blocked vents, poor insulation, wrong-sized HVAC units, or an aging system.
Physical HVAC Unit Inspection
Take note of any rust, dust, or noises in the HVAC system. The slightest sound or tiniest speck can be indicative of a developing issue with the system. If you are seriously considering making a purchase, it is best to have your local, trusted HVAC technician conduct a full unit inspection.
Thermostats & Detectors
Inspection includes checking the thermostats and carbon monoxide/smoke detectors. However, it is better if you know their model, age, and capability. Choose whether you want to replace them immediately or wait until they live out their expected lifespan.
Does the home have multiple heating and cooling zones? If it doesn’t, check to see if the current system is capable of zoning should you wish to set it up in the future. Ask your realtor this question so they can find out for you.
HVAC Vent Flow
Take note of the location of the outflow and intake vents. Check if there is constant airflow coming from these vents. Does the force of the air change from room to room or vent to vent? Some of the usual culprits behind low airflow in some or all of the vents in the house are duct leakages, dirty or clogged ductwork, HVAC filter is too restrictive for the unit, dirty air filters, vents that are too small, or ducts that are too large.
Heating & Cooling Unit Age
Research on how old the HVAC system’s make and model is. You should also inquire about when it was installed. Get information on the specific model, so you know how long the average lifespan that these HVAC units have. At times, the HVAC system might seem old when it still has several years left in its service life. On average, furnaces typically last for 15 to 20 years, while air conditioners last for around 15 years.
HVAC Maintenance History
Ask the current homeowner to tell you as much repair and maintenance history as possible. This will help let you know its maintenance interval standing and how well the system upkeep has been. Older HVAC units that weren’t properly maintained are more likely to break down and usually need premature replacement than well-maintained units.
Heating & Air Conditioning Equipment Manuals
Ensure that you get all the manuals for the HVAC machinery equipment. If physical manuals are unavailable, use the model or serial numbers of the HVAC unit to look them up online, as most manuals are available for digital download. Manuals can provide helpful insight in case of an emergency.
HVAC Warranties & Service Plans
Ask about any active warranties or service plans the HVAC system might have. Even more important, ask if they can be transferred to you or if you can use them as long as they are in place. Inquire about this crucial info to the current homeowner. You can also ask the current homeowner to include a one-year home warranty for your heating and cooling system and other appliances in case of failure.
Ask yourself if the system is worth keeping or if it is better to do away with it altogether. Do you need a system replacement and install a brand new HVAC system? It can be quite costly, so it is something you should try to negotiate to be included as part of the cost of the house or set aside the money for system replacement.
Call R.F. Ohl For All Of Your HVAC Requirements
R.F. Ohl provides high-quality heating and cooling services in the Poconos and the Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania. We have only the best professionally certified technicians on staff who can conduct superior HVAC services, including boiler repairs, air conditioner maintenance, furnace installations, and more. Our friendly techs are equipped with the knowledge and experience to service your HVAC system correctly.
Our company has the most competitive HVAC service prices in the locality. Our tune-ups can increase your energy efficiency and improve your comfort while lowering your energy bills. We can recommend the most suitable HVAC repair or replacement system for your home while staying within your budget. All of our work is guaranteed because your satisfaction is our priority. To schedule a service appointment, call R.F. Ohl today. We offer free, in-home estimates.