Purchasing a new home is both overwhelming and exciting all at the same time. As an experienced or first time home buyer, you might not be as aware of the potential problems that can arise in a home. Just because the HVAC system worked during the inspection doesn’t mean it will last.
To save yourself the headache of replacing or repairing an HVAC system in the long run, here are a few things to look out for.
How Old Are the Furnace and Air Conditioner?
The serial number and the install date will tell you the exact age of your HVAC equipment. The serial number gives its entire life before installation, which may affect any warranties. The installation date tells you when the unit became operative. Since an HVAC system has a lot of moving parts, a significant amount of time spent in storage before installation might be a cause of some potential problems.
While you shouldn’t base the decision on age along, these two numbers can help you make a quick assessment. Depending on maintenance and other factors, HVAC units can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years.
Look for the SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, on the AC unit and an AFUE, Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, percentage somewhere on the furnace. The higher the rating or percentage, the more efficiently the system should operate. But just like the age of the system, the energy rating should not be the sole factor in making the decision. Maintenance, ductwork sizing, air leakage, and air duct blockage can all affect the efficiency of your unit.
Average Utility Bills
Ask the previous owners for copies of utility bills during the summer and winter seasons. These can not only help you understand any energy trends in the home but also give you signs of potential issues and inefficiencies.
High utility bills can also be the result of poorly sealed doors, windows, and insulation. So be sure to get a second option from a professional to better analyze your energy bill trends.
Who Installed the HVAC system?
An HVAC system installed by a qualified professional will last longer and get you the most out of your investment. Ask the current homeowner about who installed the HVAC unit. Check the company reviews and make sure that the company is still in business.
Knowing the installer will additionally help you locate the maintenance and service call records, and help transfer any warranty coverage.
Get a Second Opinion
Still unsure about the health of the HVAC system in the home you’re interested in? A. Borrelli’s can help. Contact us today.