Monday, September 17, 2018

Homebuyer's Guide to Inspecting an HVAC System

When shopping for a new home, buyers often worry that something will break as soon as they receive the keys—which is why the professional inspection is so important. However, there are a few things potential buyers should look for to know the condition of their new HVAC system.

Do a Quick Visual Inspection 
The front entrance to a home

When considering a house, buyers are usually most focused on the practical aspects, such as the layout of the kitchen or the number of bedrooms. As with many things, the HVAC system can be out of sight and out of mind—making it the last thing most people think about. Taking a peek at the system won’t give the buyer too much information, but it may be a good way to raise a few initial red flags if needed, especially if there are any signs of age or unusual noises. An older system will need replacement sooner and will likely lack the energy efficiency of newer ones, while unusual noises could indicate a serious problem within the system. These are concerns to raise during the professional inspection.

Note the Energy Label

While giving the heating and cooling equipment a quick once-over, the buyer should look for the yellow energy label, which lists the unit’s energy efficiency and operating costs as compared to similar units. Boilers and furnaces also show ratings based on several factors, including annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). The most important thing to note here is that the rating assumes the unit is brand new, and unless it was properly maintained, it’s probably not as efficient as it states, which is something to consider as you think about your comfort in a new home.

Look for Clues

Buyers can ask the seller directly about any past maintenance work, repairs made to the system, and existing warranties, but sometimes clues are visible around the units. Often, repair technicians leave tickets attached to or near the unit to show when they’ve serviced it, noting the date and what service was performed. If it appears that the machine has had frequent repairs, especially in areas like the compressor or blower motor, then the unit may be getting close to its operational age limit.

If you live in or around Middletown and have encountered issues with your HVAC system in a newly purchased home, or if you’re selling and want to replace the system with a different HVAC product, Larson’s Heating & Cooling, Inc can repair or replace your unit at a fair price, with financing available. Give us a call at 845-344-3030 or fill out our contact form for a free, no-obligation estimate.