If you just so happen to be in the market to buy a house, whether it’s your first time or not, congratulations! While the search can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming with all the details to consider and must-haves on your list to ensure the house you find meets your family’s needs. Amidst the chaos of home searching, our heating and cooling experts want to remind you not to overlook the HVAC system when visiting potential houses.
Why’s this? It is crucial to be aware of the condition of the HVAC system in a home you are considering moving into in order to ensure the year-round comfort and safety of your family. However, it can be difficult to know what to watch out for unless you are a trained, licensed professional. Thankfully, your Springfield Heating & Cooling family has compiled a list of five easy-to-spot red flags that anyone searching for a house can keep an eye out for during a walkthrough.
RED FLAG ONE: WHAT IS THE AGE OF THE HVAC SYSTEM?
When considering purchasing an older house, it’s important to know if it has the original or an older HVAC system. Typically, older systems are less efficient and have more issues. Like a car, HVAC systems also deteriorate with age. It’s important to be cautious of old systems, even if they aren’t the original ones. So, it’s necessary to assess the age and physical state of the HVAC system when possible. Now keep in mind that most house listings will briefly describe the HVAC system’s status, but if it does not, you should aim to sneak in a quick once-over during your walk-through. How do you do this? Well, a quick once-over during your home tour should, at the least, provide you with a general idea of the system’s age and condition.
For instance, just a quick inspection of an HVAC unit should give you a rough idea of the system’s age and perhaps condition. So. if you notice excessive dust or corrosion on the HVAC unit, this could indicate that it hasn’t been maintained properly. Although an older HVAC system isn’t necessarily a problem, it’s wise to note that a well-maintained one typically lasts 15-20 years. Therefore, if you decide to buy an older house, you may need to replace the heating or cooling unit, or the whole system, soon. Knowing this before purchasing the house can help you negotiate better with the seller – not to mention keep you from any unwelcome surprises.
RED FLAG TWO: ARE THERE DRAFTS OR SPACES WITH UNREGULATED AIR?
As you go through the house, make sure to take your time entering each room and observing its features thoroughly. You’ll be looking at the normal stuff like room size, window placement, closet space, and anything else that may be required to fit your needs. Also, don’t forget to pay attention to the room’s temperature. Sounds silly, but you might be surprised to notice that one room in the house is either too stuffy or drafty compared to the other rooms. There could be several reasons for this, but poor air regulation is something you should be aware of regarding an HVAC system – that way, you are well prepared to have it assessed and handled in the future.
RED FLAG THREE: IS AN UNPLEASANT ODOR COMING FROM THE HVAC SYSTEM?
Another thing you want to take note of is any unpleasant or musty smells, as they may indicate issues with the ductwork or HVAC system. So, be prepared not to write off any unusual smells you notice coming from the HVAC system. You could potentially negotiate a duct cleaning as part of your agreement.
RED FLAG FOUR: ARE THERE ABNORMAL SOUNDS COMING FROM THE HVAC SYSTEM?
Next, you should also pay attention to any strange sounds that may come from the HVAC system, as they might indicate equipment problems such as loose parts or worn-out components. Examples of such unusual noises include loud rattling, banging, or buzzing sounds. Therefore, be alert and listen for these warning signs as well. This will likely be something that requires a professional’s attention later on down the road.
RED FLAG FIVE: IS THERE A HISTORY OF HVAC MAINTENANCE?
If you’re still considering purchasing the house after the tour, requesting the HVAC system’s records is advisable. These records should include maintenance and repair history. If there are no records available, it could indicate poor to no maintenance at all – a significant red flag, in our opinion. Additionally, be cautious if a particular unit has had numerous repairs, as this is also a warning sign of a particularly faulty unit.
CONCLUSION: WHY DO WE SUGGEST REQUESTING AN HVAC INSPECTION?
Remember that the red flags mentioned above do not necessarily mean you should reject your dream home outright. They are merely factors to be aware of so that you can weigh your options, negotiate terms and plan accordingly. It is strongly recommended that you seek a professional evaluation of the HVAC system’s condition and any potential issues from a licensed expert.
We offer an HVAC inspection service with a NATE-certified technician who will inspect the HVAC system in the house and provide a detailed report on its condition. Included will be suggested repairs or upgrades. (This usually can be negotiated into the terms and arranged by the homeowner if you decide to move forward with the house.)
Remember, knowing your HVAC system’s condition in a potential new home is necessary before moving in. Buying a house is a big commitment, and it’s important to be well-prepared to avoid unexpected surprises and headaches later.
If you’re looking for a reliable local company to help you with HVAC services, you’ve come to the right place. Springfield Heating & Cooling is here to assist you with whatever HVAC needs you may have. You can reach us at (937) 350-1881 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!