The Next Time You Buy a Home, Ask These HVAC Questions

If you’re in the home-buying market, knowing all you can about a prospective house before you sign the papers is important. While critical items such as the condition of the roof and foundation are typically included in a standard home inspection that occurs before closing, the condition of HVAC components often gets short shrift: If the system merely turns on and blows cooled or heated air, it passes the inspection.

Since the HVAC system is among the most expensive components installed in a house, informed home buying should also include asking more in-depth questions about the AC and the furnace. Here are some things you ought to know about the HVAC system before making any home-buying decisions.

How old are the units?

Central air conditioners last for 15 years on average, while gas-fired furnaces may exceed 20 years. The age of these components is important so you’ll know if replacement is likely to be required soon after home buying. If the present owner doesn’t know the age of the units, write down unit serial numbers and contact customer service on the manufacturer’s website.

Are the warranties still valid and can they be transferred?

Most HVAC warranties are transferrable to the new homeowner, but the exact policy varies according to the manufacturer. Also, if the present owner has not complied with warranty terms, such as scheduling regular annual preventative maintenance, the warranty may no longer be valid.

What recent repairs have been required?

Have major components like the furnace heat exchanger or the AC compressor been replaced?  If the HVAC system has a history of many service calls and parts replacements, professional maintenance may have been neglected and/or the system may be approaching the end of its service life.

What are typical winter and summer HVAC costs?

If the seller can show a few recent utility bills, you’ll get a better idea of both the condition and efficiency of the installed units. This helps estimate what monthly living expenses might be after home buying.

Avoid surprises and ask Paitson Bros. about a professional HVAC inspection before home buying. We’ve been helping new homeowners get comfortable since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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