Buying a home can be overwhelming when you start to think about all of the things you need to check before you sign on the dotted line. The last thing that you want is to move forward with a home purchase only to find out an HVAC system has major damage. This is why it is so important to schedule thorough inspections of the home you want to buy.
We know how easy it is to get excited about how a home looks, but how a home’s HVAC system functions is just as important. Continue reading for what you should look for when buying a new home.
If you are ready to schedule a home HVAC inspection, call our professional technicians at Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating at (972) 291-0740.
HVAC Considerations When Buying A New Home
It can be difficult to try to figure out what to look for in an HVAC system when buying a new home. While of course you want a home with a newer model, sometimes that’s just not on the table. To help you discern how an HVAC system should factor into your home purchase, take a look at these five considerations:
1. Evaluate Equipment
Even if you don’t hire a professional HVAC inspector, you can complete a quick inspection yourself. Look for any visual signs of age or damage such as cracks, rust, water stains or dents. You should also listen for any strange noises like screeching, banging or bubbling. Be sure to check both indoor and outdoor units. A professional technician will be able to complete a more thorough inspection where they will look at the internal condition of the system.
You can also ask for any maintenance or repair records, as well as the age of the unit. If the unit is over 15 years old and has received little to no maintenance, it may break down soon or cause you expensive issues. Doing this evaluation you can help you determine the condition of a unit before you even schedule an inspection.
2. Inspect Ductwork
While you can’t necessarily crawl into the ducts of a home you are purchasing, you can schedule a ductwork inspection. The ductwork of a home is just as important as the system itself. If there are any leaks or other issues in the ductwork then it could make the HVAC system work twice as hard and cause even further damage.
When the technician inspects the ductwork they will look for leaks, condensation, loose connections and other issues. The technician will also check for cleanliness. Ducts should be cleaned out of any dust, debris and mold at least once every year or two. Checking the ductwork will give you a better idea as to how the previous owners have taken care of their HVAC system.
It’s important that you ask what kind of insulation the house has. If it isn’t well insulated, then you will be paying higher energy bills than you may be used to. If the attic is accessible, ask if you can take a look. Typically the attic, and maybe some basements or closets, are the only parts of a home with exposed insulation.
You can also get an idea of the insulation condition as you walk around the house by feeling for drafts. Understanding what the insulation condition of the house is can help you understand what you may have to pay in energy bills if you purchase it.
To get an idea of the efficiency of the HVAC system, all you have to do is look at the following:
- SEER rating, for air conditioning systems
- AFUE rating, for furnaces
- HSPF rating, for heat pumps
These may be displayed on the systems themselves. If they aren’t, you can look up the model and the rating.
For all three ratings, the higher the number, the more efficient the system is. Keep in mind that the number that is displayed is usually the highest efficiency rating it will produce, which means that those numbers are not accurate for older systems.
You should also take a look at the refrigerant in the air conditioner. R-22 refrigerant has been banned by the EPA and, starting 2020, is now illegal to produce. This means that if the air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant then you will need to replace the system.
The replacement will be required because you can’t switch out refrigerants from one type to another in an air conditioner. Understanding what kind of refrigerant your HVAC system uses is a great way to figure out whether or not it will need to be replaced.
Once you have taken a look at all of the above factors, you can complete a cost-benefit analysis. For example, if the house is under your budget and will require minimal renovations other than replacing the HVAC, it may be a good choice.
But if the house itself will need many renovations and it’s already over budget, then an older air conditioner may mean it’s time to move on. Talk to your HVAC technician to find out if it’s worth it or not to take on the existing system in the house.
Schedule HVAC Service Midlothian
Scheduling an HVAC inspection for a new house is a great idea to learn if it’s the right investment. For excellent Midlothian heating and air inspections and service, contact Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Cooling and Heating. Our team has the advanced tools and experience necessary to provide only the best service.
With over 50 years in the industry, you can trust Dial One Johnson with any of your Midlothian heating and air needs. Our technicians are dedicated to superior customer service and quality workmanship.
To schedule an appointment with Dial One Johnson Plumbing, Heating and Cooling, give us a call at (972) 291-0740 or contact us online.