An HVAC Guidebook for First-Time Home Buyers
First-time home buyers receive overwhelming amounts of information concerning the properties they’re considering, and one of the most important (and complicated) is the HVAC system. The heating and cooling system is the sole appliance dedicated to keeping the home comfortable and healthy year-round. These guidelines can help you discover the condition of this essential appliance.
- Ask its age: The seller’s realtor can tell you the age of the current system and if it’s not readily available, they can find it by contacting the manufacturer with its model number. The average lifetime of an HVAC system is 12 to 18 years. If the current equipment is over 10 years old, you may want to use its age as a negotiating point.
- Find out about the warranty: Some HVAC manufacturers provide a transferable warranty that gives the next owner some protection against any problems that may arise when the house is sold.
- Review the maintenance records: If the current homeowner has kept up with professional maintenance, ask for those records. They will give you an idea of the condition of the equipment and any repairs or part replacements that have been made in recent years.
- Schedule an inspection: Most first-time home buyers use a realtor or property inspector who may not be completely familiar with HVAC equipment. You can ask the seller for permission to have the system inspected by a licensed HVAC contractor to evaluate the system. You’ll learn the condition of the heating components, especially as they relate to safety if the system uses a combustion fuel.
The HVAC technician will tell you the condition of the equipment and estimate its remaining lifetime. Learning the condition of the system gives you leverage during your negotiating process with the seller.
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.