The HVAC system is not only the largest appliance in a home but responsible for the lion’s share of the energy that a home uses. Homebuyers who are considering a house should always stop by the HVAC units and check them out so they know what to expect and can look for signs of any problems with heating and cooling. This includes both indoor and outdoor units – and taking a look at ductwork may be a good idea, too. But what, exactly, should homebuyers pay attention to? Let’s go over a few important assessment tips.
Do a Broad Visual Assessment
Just looking at the units can tell you a lot about what condition they are in! Inspect the units and look for the basics. Are there any obvious signs of damage? Any cracks, burnt areas, or other serious warning signs? Is there a lot of dust and debris? This could indicate that the HVAC units aren’t properly maintained, and could mean that drainage lines are blocked.
Take a look at the thermostat, too. How old is it? How well does it work? If the HVAC system isn’t on when you are inspecting, make sure you turn it on and get it running. Listen for any loud noises, rattles, bangs, or other signs that something may be wrong.
Look for the Energy Label
Furnaces and air conditioners should have an energy label that indicates an efficiency rating, like a SEER, HSPF, or AFUE number. The higher these numbers, the more efficient the system is, but they all work a little differently, so we strongly suggest taking a look at how these ratings works, and what currently minimum expected ratings should be. HVAC units with low ratings compared to modern units will cost you a lot of money and probably need to be replaced.
Look for Age and Maintenance Lists
Most HVAC units also have a plate or label that indicates when they were created, along with a sheet where technicians mark off when the last time the system was checked and maintained. Every homebuyer should look for this information. Generally, a unit that 10 to 15 years old will need to be replaced fairly soon. And if it doesn’t look like any maintenance has been done, you should definitely call in an expert if you end up purchasing that house – there could be wear and tear issues you can’t see that are affecting performance.
Pay Attention to How the Rooms Feel
As you explore each room in the house, keep in mind how comfortable that room is. Is one room uncomfortably hot? Is there a spot that’s unpleasant cold? Unlevel heating issues don’t just go away, and they often indicate a problem with ductwork or how the HVAC system operates. Check the vents if you feel like there is a problem and make sure they are open and functioning properly. A deeper ductwork/airflow inspection may also be in order.
Do you want a professional inspection of an HVAC unit after a home purchase? Do you need repairs or assessment that’s beyond a DIY level? Contact Guaranteed Heating & Cooling today and learn more about our services and experienced technicians.