5 HVAC Things to Think About When Buying a House
When you’re buying a house, the HVAC system probably doesn’t top your list of features you’re concerned about. However, your comfort and energy bills primarily depend on HVAC system quality and features installed. Use these HVAC fact-finding tips to help you make a more informed home-buying decision.
When buying a house in the Mid-Atlantic region, you certainly want to know the type of heating system in the home. Gas furnaces are the most common heating systems, and gas connections are most places nowadays.
Don’t overlook the cooling unit. Does the home have a rooftop packaged A/C system or a split system with a large cabinet next to the foundation? With older homes, you always have the option of installing ductless mini-split units if no cooling system is installed.
Ask your realtor or homeowner the age of the cooling and heating systems and any accompanying documentation and maintenance records. If the furnace and/or the A/C are older than 10 years, factor the replacement cost into your purchase decision.
Consider the energy sources for the heating and cooling units. Does the heating system use natural gas, oil, or propane? If the home has a heat pump, is the backup heating source natural gas or electricity? Furnaces that use natural gas tend to save energy costs over the long haul.
Newer HVAC systems deliver substantially greater energy efficiency than those manufactured just 15 or 20 years ago. Check the AFUE (furnace and boiler) and SEER (A/C) ratings. An AFUE of 90 or greater is exceptional, and look for at least a SEER 16 for the A/C unit.
Add-on systems substantially increase your comfort and lower energy bills. For example, a whole-home humidifier makes your home more comfortable during winter. Whole-home ventilation helps improve comfort and energy savings throughout the year.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues — especially HVAC and plumbing issues — so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.