Many people are looking to buy a house to call their own right now, and if you’re in the market to buy your own, congratulations! It can be an overwhelming time for sure, but whether this is your first home purchase or not, it’s still definitely a cause for celebration. With so many details to consider, we are here to remind you it’s important not to overlook the HVAC system when you’re visiting potential houses. As your trusted heating and cooling professionals, we want to make sure you don’t forget about this important aspect. Why is that?
It’s important to know the condition of your HVAC system to ensure your family’s comfort and safety throughout the year. However, it can be difficult to identify issues if you’re not an HVAC professional. That’s why Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling has compiled a list of five red flags that ANYONE can easily look for during a house walkthrough to get a general idea of the HVAC system’s condition.
HOW IS THE AGE OF THE HVAC SYSTEM A RED FLAG?
First of all, if you are looking at an older house, it’s important to check if it still has its original HVAC system before buying it. Older systems tend to be less energy-efficient and more likely to have issues. Similar to a car, HVAC systems also lose their efficiency over time. And even if it’s not the original system, you should still be cautious. So, it’s important to check the age and physical condition of the HVAC system when you can. Most house listings will contain the appropriate information, but if the one you are looking at doesn’t have this information immediately available to you, just take a quick look over the HVAC units during your home tour to get a rough idea of the system’s age and condition.
We know that doesn’t sound like a completely accurate method, but a swift once-over should at least give you a rough estimate of its age and how well a unit was maintained. This is because an excessive amount of dust or corrosion on the HVAC unit is a clear sign that a unit likely has not been appropriately maintained over the years as well as indicates that the system is older. Properly maintained systems usually last 15-20 years. Even though an older HVAC system isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s good to be aware of its age ahead of time so you use this as a bargaining chip for negotiations, as the system will likely need replacing in the foreseeable future.
HOW IS UNREGULATED AIR A RED FLAG?
Take your time while touring the house and carefully observe each room. Apart from looking at things like the room size, windows, and closet space, also pay attention to the temperature and how it feels in each room. You might notice that one room in the house feels much stuffier or draftier than the others. There could be several reasons behind this, but inconsistent air regulation is one of them. If you choose to live in this house, this issue may become annoying, and it will probably require attention in the future.
HOW ARE ODD ODORS A RED FLAG?
Secondly, it is important to pay attention to any unpleasant or musty odors as they can indicate issues with the ductwork or other system-related problems. Thus, it is crucial to not ignore any strange smells you may notice. Negotiating a duct cleaning for the HVAC system could be an option to consider.
HOW IS A LOUD HVAC SYSTEM A RED FLAG?
You should pay attention to any strange noises that may come from your HVAC system, as they may indicate equipment issues like loose parts or worn-out components, etc. Examples of these unusual sounds include loud rattling, banging, or buzzing noises, so be alert for this warning sign as well. With an underlying issue possibly going on, you will want to be mentally prepared to plan a diagnostic appointment for this potential HVAC problem to be assessed by a licensed professional.
HOW IS NO HVAC HISTORY/DOCUMENTATION A RED FLAG?
If you’re still considering buying the house after your tour, congrats on hopefully finding “the one.” Next, we highly recommend that you ask for the records of the HVAC system. These records will include information about maintenance and past repairs. If there are no records available, this is a red flag that may indicate the system hasn’t been well-maintained. Per industry standards, a heating and cooling unit should both be serviced at least once a year for maintenance purposes. Additionally, be careful if a particular unit has had a lot of repairs done, as this is also a warning sign.
CONCLUSION: HOW WOULD REQUESTING AN HVAC INSPECTION BENEFIT YOU?
It’s important to note that the red flags mentioned here should not necessarily discourage you from pursuing your dream home. These flags are not ultimate deal breakers but rather factors to be cautious of and consider before making a decision so that you are not blindsided down the road. It is recommended that you consult with a licensed HVAC professional to assess the system’s condition and identify any potential issues.
Fortunately, we offer an HVAC inspection service where one of our NATE-certified technicians will thoroughly examine the system and provide a detailed report on the system’s condition as well as suggest any necessary 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.)
Although it may seem like an extra unnecessary step, it’s crucial to know the state of the HVAC system before moving into a new home to avoid surprises and huge headaches later. Buying a house is a big commitment, so being well-prepared is key.
Newark-Heath Heating & Cooling is a trustworthy local company that can provide all your required HVAC services. We’re here to assist you as needed! You can reach us at (740) 212-5849 or schedule an appointment now by clicking here!