When buying a new home, one of the crucial aspects to consider is the HVAC system. An efficient and well-maintained HVAC system ensures your comfort and safety through all the seasons of the year. Now, when you are in the market to buy a new home, it can be a bit overwhelming. Of course, there are many factors to consider when you’re searching for your dream home. But unless you’re a trained HVAC technician, how will you know what to look for? Fortunately, your professionals at Five Star Heating & Cooling Group have pieced together five red flags that every potential home buyer can be on the alert for when walking through a prospective home.
RED FLAG ONE: AN OLDER OR ORIGINAL HVAC SYSTEM
First of all, if you’re looking at an older home, you will want to be cautious if the home still has the original HVAC system. Generally, older systems are less energy-efficient and more prone to acting up. So, the age and condition of the HVAC system are vital factors you should be on the watch for, even if the system is not the original one.
Most HVAC units will have the manufacturing date written on a label on the side of the unit. But if you have a hard time locating it, try to visually examine the HVAC units for signs of proper maintenance, age, etc., instead. Although you won’t be able to accurately determine 100% the exact age of the system just by looking at it, visually inspecting the unit with a quick once-over should give you a general idea. Furthermore, doing so should also give you insight into how well the unit has been maintained.
For example, if the unit is laden heavily with dust buildup or has signs of excessive corrosion, these would be red flags that may indicate the system has not been well taken care of over the years. Keep in mind that an older system is not necessarily a bad thing, but based on the fact that an HVAC unit typically lasts between 15-20 years, you may be looking at needing a heating or cooling unit (or both) replaced in the near future, which could mean this is a great negotiating point if you choose to move forward with the house.
RED FLAG TWO: INCONSISTENT AIR REGULATION
If you notice significant temperature variations from room to room, this could be another red flag due to inconsistent air regulation throughout the home. So, as you move from room to room, assessing each space and deciding if the house is sufficient for your family’s needs, try to take a moment to analyze the temperature in each room. Is one room rather stuffy? Or is there a bone-chilling draft? Inconsistent air regulation can happen due to various reasons, but it is definitely something you should look out for ahead of time.
RED FLAG THREE: UNPLEASANT ODORS
Unpleasant or musty odors may indicate ventilation issues or inadequate filtration within the HVAC system. Poor air quality can affect your health and require additional expenses for remediation. So, be sure to keep your nose on the alert for this red flag as well.
RED FLAG FOUR: UNUSUAL NOISE
You’ll also want to pay attention to any irregular sounds produced by the HVAC system. Unusually loud or rattling noises may indicate underlying issues with the equipment, such as loose parts or worn-out components, etc.
RED FLAG FIVE: INADEQUATE HVAC DOCUMENTATION
Last of all, if after you complete your tour of the home, you are still interested and want to move forward with the home-buying process, it is advisable that you request the home’s HVAC history regarding the installation, maintenance, and repairs of the HVAC system. The lack of proper records suggests a lack of attention to the system’s care, making it difficult to assess its history and potential issues – which is another huge red flag, in our opinion. On top of that, another thing to consider is that sometimes, excessive repairs to a particular unit are also considered a red flag.
WHY SHOULD YOU GET AN HVAC INSPECTION?
Remember, these red flags should not necessarily be deal-breakers but rather factors that warrant careful consideration or negotiation that will better benefit you. It’s always wise to consult with a licensed HVAC professional who can provide an expert opinion on the system’s condition and potential concerns.
Fortunately, we offer what is called an HVAC inspection. This inspection entails scheduling one of our NATE-certified technicians to come out to the house to perform a thorough inspection of its HVAC system. We will then provide a comprehensive audit of the system’s condition and recommend repairs or suggested upgrades as necessary. (This usually can be negotiated into the terms and arranged by the homeowner if you decide to move forward with the house.)
Although this may seem like an unnecessary extra step in what can already be a stressful ordeal, try to remember that the HVAC system comes second in line to having a roof over your family’s head. So, ultimately, knowing the condition of the HVAC system of a house you may be moving into will help you to prepare as needed.
If you still have questions or concerns or perhaps need a local HVAC company you can rely on, give us a chance to show you what the five-star difference means! We’d be ecstatic to serve you! You can reach Five Star Heating & Cooling Group at (614) 490-7550 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here!