Buying a New Home? Here’s a Checklist For HVAC Evaluation
It is always exciting to buy a new home. There is a lot of thinking that goes into making a decision. You would need to pick a safe neighborhood which has convenient amenities, good schools, and other features. The HVAC system is a feature that is usually overlooked. These are a few tips for evaluating the HVAC system before you buy a new Bay Area home:
Assess the HVAC System
You should take out the time to evaluate the HVAC system when touring a prospective home. You should listen for strange sounds, such as hissing or clanging. You should also look for cracks, water stains, dents, rust and any other damage on the equipment.
You should request for maintenance records of the HVAC equipment if possible. Owners should not have any trouble producing the maintenance records if they kept up with maintenance appointments. HVAC systems older than a decade are usually up for an upgrade.
You can always negotiate on the selling price if the home you are thinking of buying has an older system. This way you get increased wiggle room to schedule a new HVAC system installation.
You may also want to examine the ducting besides examining the HVAC unit. This is to ensure the home is in good shape. Look for loose connections, gaps, and signs of condensation throughout the ductwork. Ductwork that looks particularly dusty is indicative of the homeowner not staying true to the annual maintenance regimen. Dusty ductworks may necessitate an upgradation when you move in.
Several homeowners install add-on for improving the quality of indoor air. This can be in the form of an air purifier or a whole-home dehumidifier. You may need to invest in HVAC additions and duct cleaning if the indoor air quality is poor. These additions would be required to boost air flow when you purchase the house.
Ask About House Insulation
Insulation of the home is another thing to consider. You need to ask the homeowner the type of insulation it has. You should also ask when the homeowner added the insulation. It’s fundamental to understand that insulation can settle down over the years. If new insulation is not added, it can result in the home developing a draft and leaking issues.
Drafty rooms do not allow for even cooling or heating of the house. This can cause the HVAC equipment to work harder, which can consequently raise the energy bills. While checking the HVAC equipment it is recommended that you pay due attention to the insulation as well or you could end up investing a lot of money on repairs and additions.
Type of Refrigerant Used
Generally, older HVAC systems have a refrigerant known as R-22. This is an older toxic substance which is banned by the EPA or Environmental Protection Agency. While homeowners with older HVAC models using R-22 refrigerant can still use it, they may have difficulty in finding regular supply for the same. This is because R-22 is now completely illegal to produce.
In 2020, the EPA put a blanket ban on the substance. You would either need to retrofit the HVAC system or replace it with a new one. Retrofitting the HVAC system will involve utilizing a safer refrigerant type.