When you purchase a new home, it can be a stressful and exciting time. If it’s your first home purchase, it can be challenging to know what factors to prioritize during the decision-making process. If you’re like most homebuyers, you’re looking for a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms or a good school system. Regardless of which combination of factors contributes to your perfect home, it’s important to ensure your new place has an HVAC system that’s in good condition. If you’re not sure what to look for when assessing the HVAC system in a potential new home, here are a few tips to get you started:
Evaluate the HVAC Equipment
Before signing on the dotted line to purchase your new home, make sure the HVAC system has been inspected and checked for any problems. You want to ensure the system is operational and problem-free. When checking the system for damage or problems, you should specifically look for rusting, staining, or cracks. It can also be helpful to ask the current homeowner for service records. It could give you insight into the care and maintenance of the system. When evaluating the HVAC system in a home, check the age of the system. If your system is more than a decade old, you should start considering whether it’s time to upgrade. You may be able to negotiate the price of the home to cover repair or replacement costs.
Compare Repair or Replacement Costs to the Home’s Purchase Price
Purchasing a new home is a major financial commitment, and using your savings to put a down payment on a new home can mean there’s not much left for other things. You want to make certain the major systems in your home are in good condition before purchasing so you aren’t left trying to replace an HVAC system after closing. If you buy a home knowing you need a new heating and cooling systems, you have time to find the perfect products for your home. However, if you are faced with a surprise replacement, it can leave you scrambling to find the right combination of products to meet your needs. A new heater and air conditioning system can range in price based on product choice and installation costs, but it could set you back thousands of dollars.
So, you may be asking: Is there any scenario where it would be worth it to buy a home knowing it needs a new HVAC system? The answer is yes; there are circumstances where purchasing a new system would be a wise financial choice. If you are purchasing a home “as-is” in a great neighborhood or a home with historical significance, it’s likely those types of homes would need a new system or ductwork repair or replacement. It’s important to consider the value of any home purchase against the cost of a system repair or replacement.
Check for Outdated Parts and Products
When inspecting a home before purchase, be sure to check the age of the system. Older units may utilize obsolete or difficult to source parts or hazardous fluids. Depending on the age of your HVAC system, you may want to work with the home’s seller to negotiate the sale price to factor in a system upgrade. Banned fluids, like the refrigerant R-22, are a perfect example of hazardous and difficult-to-source replacement material. If the system in the home you’re considering still uses this product, you would be faced with years of difficulty servicing the system because it’s illegal to make additional R-22 refrigerant. Service providers can use what they have in supply, so you would ultimately find a situation like this one a frustrating problem you wouldn’t want to sign up for long-term.
Inspect Connected or Associated Systems
Your HVAC system may be in good shape, but if the associating systems are in poor condition, it can lead to problems. Your HVAC system can become overworked if your home isn’t properly insulated or if the air quality in your home is poor. When you check the condition of the HVAC system, don’t forget about the ductwork. The best HVAC system in the world is only as useful as the network used to ferry the air throughout your home. Ductwork can be snagged or disconnected, which can lead to air loss and inefficiency. Well-cared-for ductwork should be free of dust, dirt, and imperfections. The air filters in your home protect your HVAC system from being infiltrated by dirty air, pollutants, and dust. Similarly, insulation helps by keeping your air inside the house. When you have openings and gaps near windows or doors, you can lose energy and increase the toil on your HVAC system.
If you are still worried about a home you want to purchase, reach out to a qualified service technician to inspect the home’s HVAC system before you put in an offer. The team at Blazer Heating, Air, and Plumbing can inspect the home and give you a complete assessment! Call us today at (804) 277-2458 to schedule an appointment.