Important HVAC Requirements When Purchasing Commercial Property
Commercial property transfers involve several complex steps to ensure both buyers and sellers are protected in the transaction. HVAC requirements in the sale of commercial buildings can vary from state-to-state and city-to-city. When buying or selling commercial property, consult closely with your real estate agent or attorney to ensure all requirements are met and that the obligations of both buyers and sellers are properly discharged.
The following information can help you understand HVAC requirements and other needs that may be involved in a commercial property transaction.
- Conduct due diligence: HVAC inspections can be a significant part of due diligence before buying a piece of commercial property. If problems with HVAC equipment, safety systems, or other elements are not uncovered before the transaction is completed, the buyer will have little or no recourse for correction. Paying for corrections or upgrades could add thousands of dollars to the cost of a commercial building. Consider it part of your obligation as an informed buyer to make sure HVAC requirements are met and that systems are in good condition before finalizing a purchase.
- Inspect and verify HVAC system performance: HVAC systems should be inspected by a qualified HVAC professional. Whether the commercial property uses a heat pump, furnace, air conditioner, or boiler for seasonal comfort, the equipment should be checked thoroughly and tested to make sure it works properly. Your HVAC consultant should make all of the same inspections involved in a regular preventive maintenance check. However, they should also be augmented by additional tests and observations that are relevant to determining the HVAC system’s condition, performance, efficiency and expected service lifespan from the point of purchase.
- Check maintenance records: The seller of the commercial property should be able to provide written maintenance records that indicate when preventive maintenance and repairs were made on the HVAC system. A lack of these records, or records that indicate little attention to maintenance, could indicate that the HVAC system is in poor condition, which may require more repairs than a comparable well-maintained system.
- Inspect and verify condition of HVAC ductwork: Air leaks, damages and other problems in the ductwork system can cause significant energy loss, drive up your monthly heating and cooling bills and allow particulates and other contaminants to enter your indoor air. Make sure the ductwork is in good repair and that there are no missing, damaged, or loose sections. All sections should be fitted tightly together and secured with mechanical fasteners, such as bolts, screws, or rivets. They should also be sealed with mastic, a specialized rubbery material used to stop air leaks at ductwork connections. The ductwork system should be properly insulated to prevent any energy loss.
- Evaluate HVAC system efficiency: Older HVAC systems are likely less efficient, using more energy for operation and costing more to run every month. As a seller, you may want to install new, high-efficiency HVAC equipment. This will make your commercial facility more appealing to potential buyers and boost the value of your property. If you’re buying a commercial facility, ask the seller if he is willing to upgrade or replace the HVAC system to make them more efficient before you make the purchase. A commercial load calculation should also be performed to show you how much heating and cooling the building needs and whether the existing HVAC equipment is sized properly to provide the proper level of indoor comfort.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about Plumbing, HVACR, Fire Protection, and Alarm Systems in Mechanical, Commercial, and Residential settings. For more information on HVAC requirements and other important issues regarding the selling of commercial property, and to view projects we’ve worked on, visit our website!