Are you purchasing a home for the first time? When ticking off the boxes on your “wants and needs” list, be sure to include this first-time home buyers HVAC system checklist. A little work on the front-end can help save you the headache in the long run.
New Home Buyers
Buying a home for the first time is exciting. You’re starting a new chapter in your life. But it’s also a significant investment. Getting a home inspection is a great start to uncovering any hidden problems in the home. However, you’ll want to take an extra step when it comes to the home’s largest and most expensive appliance, the central A/C.
HVAC System Checklist
While the HVAC system may be working at the time of the inspection, there are more questions first-time homebuyers need to ask about the HVAC system.
How old are the furnace and air conditioner?
Determining the age of the heating and cooling equipment is relatively easy. The serial number and the install date will tell you the exact age. However, which one to go with is debatable.
The serial number gives its entire life before installation, which may affect any warranties. Even in a new home, you want to look at the age of the unit because it could’ve spent a significant amount of time in storage before installation. There are a lot of moving parts and others that need lubricated, depending on where the system was stored it can cause a lot of potential problems.
Secondly, check the installation date. The install date will tell you when the unit became functional and the beginning of wear and tear on the internal components.
While neither one of these ages gives you 100% confidence when making a decision, it certainly does help make a quick judgment.
Who installed the HVAC system?
It’s important to know who installed the heating and cooling unit. Was it a quality installation done by a professional? To find out, ask the real estate agent, or homeowner, who installed the air conditioning system. Then, check reviews and make sure that the company is still in business. A quality install will get you the most out of your investment.
The second reason to find out who installed the unit is so that you can call the company and ask for maintenance and service call records. Plus, the system may have transferable warranty coverage.
What is its SEER rating?
The SEER rating is important because it will tell you the efficiency of the unit. Look for the label on the AC unit for the SEER rating. Also, check the furnace for an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating.
Find out more about SEER ratings and energy efficiency here.
What are the average utility costs?
The central heating and cooling system make up the majority of your energy usage. Asking for copies of utility bills in summer and winter seasons can help you understand any energy trends in the home.
High utility bills aren’t always a sign of issues with the central HVAC system. Other factors such as poorly sealed doors, windows, and insulation could also be the culprit.
Get a Second Opinion
Are you unsure about the health of the central HVAC system in the home you’re interested in? Get a second opinion. Many air conditioning installation companies will inspect the unit for free.
Advantage Air & Service is a full-service company with qualified professionals you can rely on for comfort and service. With over 50 years of experience, we have earned the trust of our residential and commercial customers. Contact Advantage Air & Service today. 479.361.8647
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