When you’re buying a house, it’s only human nature to pay attention to the look and feel of the home. It’s just as important to explore the HVAC system as well, since it’s likely the most expensive appliance in the home and the one that keeps you comfortable year-round.
- Find out its age. Like all mechanical systems, HVAC systems age over time. As you inspect the home, write down the brand and model number if the homeowner can’t tell you its age. Any system that’s over 12 years old may need replacing sooner rather than later.
- What kind is it? In our region, homes might have a gas-pack HVAC system, which means it has a gas furnace and an air conditioner. Heat pumps are becoming more common and provide both cooling and heating by means of heat transfer. It’s important to know which type the home has.
- What’s the configuration and condition of the ductwork? The ductwork for the home may reveal some efficiency aspects of the home. Ductwork configurations that are simple and direct provide better efficiency, as do insulated ducts.
Duct leakage is a common energy waster that can be fixed. Look for areas of dust around the registers to spot potential leakage. Have the HVAC system and its ductwork inspected by a licensed HVAC contractor if you’re serious about buying a house in particular.
- What’s its efficiency? The outdoor condenser’s cabinet may state the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) of the cooling system, and the air handler indoors should have an AFUE (annual fuel utilization efficiency) rating inside the cabinet if the home has a gas furnace. Higher ratings for both indicate better efficiency.
- Has it been adequately serviced? Ask the homeowners for their receipts and records of professional HVAC maintenance and repairs. Routine maintenance increases the longevity and efficiency of all HVAC systems.
Paying attention to the HVAC system when buying a house will help you avoid surprises as you go forward, since this system is a crucial home appliance. To learn more, contact Air Assurance, providing HVAC services for Broken Arrow homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about TOPIC and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 918-217-8273.
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