When purchasing a new home, checking the HVAC system isn’t something that’s at the top of everyone’s home buying checklist. But ignoring this important asset could cost homeowners thousands of dollars in the long run, so make sure you ask key questions before making an offer on a new place to call home.
Here are five questions to ask about the new home’s HVAC system.
1. How Old Is the HVAC System?
If the system is less than five years old, it’s likely to work efficiently and will last for many years. If the system is much older than that, it could mean that the seller isn’t updating to a more efficient system or that it’s in poor condition. Ask what problems, if any, the seller has had with the system and how often the system has needed repairs. You don’t want to make an investment in a new home only to find that you have to pay constantly for repairs to the HVAC system.
2. What Type of HVAC System Do You Have?
For example, is the system a heat pump or a furnace? If the seller doesn’t know, learn the answer. This can give you an idea of the age of the system and what type of efficiency it has. Most systems are either A/C or heat pumps. A heat pump can be either gas or electric, but if it’s gas, there is an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning with a gas leak. If the system is electric, it’s a good idea to ask whether it is powered by a generator or the main power grid. If it’s on the main power grid, ask how often they have power outages in the area.
3. What Kind of Warranty Do You Have on the HVAC System?
Most HVAC systems have a 12-year warranty on the compressor, but the air handler may only have a 5-year warranty. If the system is more than five years old, the chances of replacement parts becoming more expensive and harder to find increases. Ask if the system has LED lights and whether or not they are included in the warranty. You may want to ask to see a copy of the warranty to see what is and isn’t covered.
4. How Often Do You Replace the HVAC Filters?
The HVAC system should have a few stages of filtration. Dirty cooling coils can drag the system down and cause higher energy costs, so it’s important to ask how often the filters are replaced. Ideally, the filters should be checked and replaced whenever the system is turned on and off, but most people don’t do this. If the filters are more than a year old, the air quality in the home could be suffering, and your heating and cooling costs could be higher than they should be.
5. How Much Is the Utility Bill for the House?
If you don’t know how much the utility bill is, ask how much it has averaged in the past year. You want to make sure that the cost of your utilities doesn’t spike after the HVAC system is installed. If the seller doesn’t know how much the utility bill is or hasn’t paid the bill in the past year, ask them to call and inquire with the utility company to find out. You don’t want to be stuck with a large utility bill due to a poorly performing HVAC system.
If you are seriously considering purchasing a new home, it’s a good idea to have a professional do a thorough inspection of the HVAC system. A professional can give you a detailed report of the age and condition of the system, its repair history and what type of efficiency it has.
Looking for an HVAC maintenance and repair expert you can trust? Consider Legacy Heating & Cooling, an established heating and cooling company serving Edmonton and Calgary. Our team provides 24/7 repair services to help you keep your heating and cooling systems in top condition. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians.
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