Buying a house is probably the biggest investment you’ll ever make, and a home’s HVAC system is among the most valuable components of that investment. It’s imperative that you ask the right questions about a home’s cooling and heating system before pulling the trigger on buying a house.
Among those questions are the following:
- How old is the HVAC system that provides cooling and heating in the home you’re thinking about buying? If the house has a central HVAC system that’s nearing the end of its service life, you should reconsider buying the house, or at least use that factor as a negotiating point. The seller should provide documentation showing when the HVAC system was installed.
- How much does it cost to cool and heat the home on a monthly basis? The seller should produce past utility bills showing the monthly cost of electricity and/or natural gas or other fuel. If the amount seems unusually high, find out why.
- What sort of service and maintenance history does the HVAC equipment have? Well-maintained cooling and heating equipment, with few if any repair calls, obviously is preferable to equipment that has been neglected and/or required a lot of repair over the years. Find out if the HVAC systems are still covered by warranty.
- How energy efficient is the HVAC equipment in the house you’re considering? Cooling and heating systems that consume energy inefficiently will cost more to operate. Over time, that will accumulate into a significant cost. Ideally, the A/C, heat pump or furnace should be less than 10 years old, and have relatively high cooling and heating efficiency. In our South Texas climate, cooling is more important than heating.
- Is the home properly weatherized? The home inspector should ascertain whether the house is tightly sealed and has sufficient insulation. If it’s not airtight or properly insulated, you’ll spend a lot to cool and heat the house, and the HVAC equipment will work a lot harder than it would have to otherwise.
For more tips on HVAC-related questions to ask when buying a house, please contact us at Beyer Boys.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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