The central heating, air conditioning and ventilation system is a major system of any home. When buying a new home, particularly an older home, you want to ensure the duct systems, and it’s HVAC equipment, are in fine working order and capable of continuing to work properly without major repairs.
Replacing just one part of this system could cost you thousands so it’s really important to take a good look at it. This article will just provide an overview of what to be aware of, you should of course have a professional home inspector take a look at the property you are considering buying. They’ll go over all the homes structural, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems and provide a report listing any deficiencies that need immediate attention as well as those that may need addressing in the near future.
Having an inspector look at these things is a must, your mortgage lender will likely insist on one anyways. This guide will just point out a few basics to look out for. Frank Schulte-Ladbeck, a Houston based home inspector has some more info on inspecting Air Conditioning systems here.
- How old are the HVAC units (furnace, a/c, heat pump)? Old units may mean more maintenance issues or energy efficiency limitations.
- How do the fans and motors sound? And are fan blades in good shape?
- Are the air filters clean? Air there filters in place keeping dust out of the system?
- How does wiring entering and leaving units look?
- Is the exterior central A/C unit, or heat pump, raised off the ground at least 3 inches?
- Does the furnace burn a nice blue flame?
Should the inspection report reveal potential problems then having an HVAC contractor, like us, give recommendations and price quotes is a good idea. You can use this information when negotiating a purchase price.
Do take note of the age of the system. An older unit in good shape, and obviously well maintained, may still last for years to come. But replacing it may be a long term cost savings due to the increased energy efficiency of modern a/c units. In a case like that you likely won’t have much negotiation room in the homes price.
Should the units be older, maintenance a little questionable, some obvious immediate repairs, needed, etc. Then replacement costs could factor into your purchase price on the property.
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