When you’re buying a new home, there’s more than enough boxes to check (and pack) to make sure you’re making the best investment and decision for you and your family. Things like structural integrity, neighborhood and school district often take precedence in your decision early on but there is a myriad of other serious factors that should be investigated before signing the contract. One of the most notable, your HVAC system.
To keep you ahead of the curve, we’ve put together a handy checklist to keep in mind when viewing your perspective new home.
What System Is Currently Installed?
Start by looking at the brand and do your research about what to expect from that brand. We will go into a bit more below but look at how long they usually last for example. Something a lot of home buyers forget to look at is the efficiency degradation over time expected for this brand/model, as another example.
Another idea is to look at the condenser unit’s (the part outside your new home) location. Does it have a potential for buildup from say a tree above it? What about the location relative to inside your home? Will it cause a disturbance from the sound it makes while you’re trying to relax at home?
How Old is the System?
If the HVAC system is approaching close to 10 years old or more, you’re hitting the average lifespan of the system and it will most likely need replaced sooner rather than later. Which obviously will add significantly to the costs of the house. This doesn’t mean the system will break down on the first day of its 10 year anniversary but you can count on needed, costly repairs and even a complete replacement in the near future.
How Efficient Is It?
Efficiency ratings can help you make a decision when it comes to how much you will offer on a house. Coupled with the age of the system, how efficient the system is also plays a huge roll in how much the system will cost you to run. Furnaces or boilers use the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). Heat pumps use the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). Higher-efficiency systems also have advanced features that improve their performance, such as integrated indoor air quality purifiers that can add to the value (and price) of the home.
What’s the Status of the System’s Warranty?
You may think you’re covered based on the age and duration of the warranty but there are key factors that may leave you holding the bill when it comes time for repairs. Definitely check to make sure the system is verified to be under warranty at the time of purchase.
Ask for the Inspection
Inspections are a great way to see what may be giving the system issues and give you a heads up prior to laying any cash down on the house. You can make a sale contingent on an inspection, as well, if a recent (last 12 months) inspection report isn’t available. So cover your bases and protect your investment.
Buying a home is exciting! A new home. A new outlook. Don’t let it get spoiled by surprise HVAC costs. Let the experts at ChillTech help you navigate your way through and help you make an informed decision about your new home.