First-time home buyers may overlook features of the home that aren’t clearly visible. These can often include the heating and cooling system. Whether you’ll be experiencing humid summers or chilly winters throughout the year, it’s necessary to know what kind of HVAC system you are getting.
Unfortunately, the average home inspection doesn’t include HVAC testing. All you can do is turn on the furnace and air conditioner to see if it is working. Even if the AC and furnace are in working condition, there could be underlying problems that you may not be able to detect at first.
Visually Inspect the Equipment
While you cannot fully analyze the HVAC system by just looking at the equipment, you can deduce some ideas about its condition. Furnaces, air conditioner units, and boilers are usually present in the basement or utility area. You have to go there to see the condition of this equipment.
See if the equipment suffers from any major rust. Check that the wires and units look functional. Also, check to see if mice and other pests have caused any damage. Look at each part or unit of the equipment carefully, and keep an eye out for anything that looks concerning or broken.
About the System’s Age
HVAC systems works efficiently for a certain time period. Once the system is around 15 years old, it may be time to consider a replacement depending on how well it still functions. Although not ideal, it does happen where people move into a house with an old HVAC system. Overall performance and output may suffer due to the age of the system. It can also consume a high amount of energy because it’s not as efficient, which will hike up your gas and electricity bills.
You should ask the seller or the estate agent how old is the HVAC system is. The Department of Energy estimates that replacing a 12- year-old AC with a new ENERGY STAR® model will save a lot of energy. Doing this can reduce the AC bill by 30%.
Check the Energy Type and Label
The source of energy of an HVAC system greatly affects your bills. For furnaces and boiler, see if they are fueled by natural gas, propane, oil, or other fuel. Natural gas and propane are typically the cleanest and most cost-effective sources of fuel. If the HVAC system runs on another type of fuel, you may want to change it.
Also, make sure that all the heating and cooling equipment have yellow energy labels. The yellow energy label ensures durability and cost-effectiveness.
Ask About Repairs and Maintenance History
Heating and cooling equipment requires regular maintenance for long-lasting efficiency. You want to make sure that the previous owners have maintained the HVAC system of the house. If you’re showing interest in a house, I recommend you ask about the past repairs and maintenance of the HVAC system.
Sometimes HVAC technicians leave a dated job ticket when they service a furnace, boiler, or air conditioner. These tickets are attached to the back of the equipment. These tickets are mini-maintenance records. If you see too many of these on equipment, that could indicate the HVAC system has undergone multiple repairs and services. Large repairs on items like a blower, motor, or compressor could mean that you may need to get future items also replaced.
Get a Professional HVAC Inspection
You may have found the perfect house in terms of price, design, and locality but are unsure about its HVAC system. If you have the slightest doubt about the HVAC system, calling an inspector is the best thing to do.
HVAC inspections take a bit of time and money at first, but it will save you from the trouble later. HVAC inspections will help determine the exact condition of the home’s heating and cooling system, and how much longer it will last until a replacement is necessary. The inspector should highlight any initial repairs needed, along with the overall status.