HVAC Issues to Check When Buying a Home
It is a rewarding but overwhelming process to purchase a new Bay Area home. It can be easy for important things to get missed with so much to get done. HVAC system is one of the most expensive equipment in a house. You shouldn’t probably rely on the home inspection to give you all the facts. The home inspector may not have the necessary knowledge to notice or spot potential inefficiencies or hazards in the system. Instead, you should consider working with a certified heating and cooling technician.
These are a few important HVAC issues to look out for when purchasing a new home.
Discrepancy in Cooling
You need to move from room to room and observe for any temperature or moisture level changes. Find out possible changes for drastic changes in room temperature and humidity levels. Uneven temperature can be because of leaky air ducts, blocked air ducts, blocked vents, incorrectly sized air conditioner, aging HVAC system or poor insulation.
Air Flowing Through Vents
The next thing you need to locate are the vents. Check for both intake and outflow. Check whether the force of air changes from room to room. Low airflow can be because of dirty, leaked, or blocked air ducts. It can also happen because of clogged air filters, undersized vents, and oversized ducts.
Ask the realtor whether there are multiple cooling and heating zones in the home. If not, ask them whether there is any provision or potential to install one if you choose to in the future.
Age of the Unit
Ask when the unit was installed and how old is the make and model. You should research the model online or by calling experienced and certified technician to understand how long such models typically last. You may think the HVAC unit is too old, when it may only need a thorough servicing. Air conditioners generally last for 15 years while furnaces last for 15 – 20 years.
You should ask the current homeowner to give you as much history regarding repair and maintenance as possible. This will help you know the maintenance interval and whether the system was well-maintained or not. Older HVAC units that are not properly maintained are more prone to breakdowns.
Service Plans and Warranties
Check whether there are any active service plans or warranties on the system. You should also check whether the plans are transferable to you. You may be able to get the homeowner include a 12-month home warranty for covering appliances, such as the HVAC system in case of a breakdown.
Collect Equipment Manuals
You should collect all machinery equipment manuals of the HVAC unit. Make sure you get the serial numbers and model if the physical manual is not available. You may be able to get digitally downloaded ones.
Check the Thermostats & Detectors
Many HVAC units have carbon monoxide/smoke detectors and thermostats that should be inspected. You should know their model, capability, and age as well. You may need to replace the detectors if their lifespan is about to come to an end.
Look for signs of rust, dust, and any noises. Slightest noise can be an indicator of a major problem. You should also have a certified HVAC professional perform a full inspection.