You’ve found your dream home. You’re ready to move.
But between making an offer and taking possession are a whole lot of things on your to-do list.
Secure mortgage? Check. Pack boxes? Check? HVAC checkup?
As a part of the process, most lenders and real estate brokers will have “inspection” as a part of your list. But an inspector’s job is to evaluate the entire house quickly and ensure things work, not dive into the details to determine what kind of shape a system is in.
HVAC systems are one of the most expensive parts to your home. Do you really want to move in, only to discover you’re going to have to invest thousands more to upgrade your furnace, air conditioner, or ventilation system?
That’s why it’s worth your time to have an HVAC technician thoroughly check out the system and give you feedback on the condition. They will check:
Age - An air conditioner can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years, a furnace will last 15 to 20. If you determine how old your current system is, it will be some indication of how many years you have left. Of course, it also depends on maintenance schedules and how well the current owner maintained it. Make and model can also have impact, as some systems have history of having a longer life. Your HVAC technician will know all of this and more.
Maintenance schedule - Some homeowners are better at keeping notes than other. Ask the current owner for a maintenance and repair history for the major systems of your house. Owners that take good care of their systems will be happy to give you the information.
Test - The best way to see if something works is to put it into action. Close up the house and turn each system on. Let it cycle. Pay attention to how efficiently the system works. Walk through each room in the home; does it feel properly conditioned? Do you notice hot or cold spots?
Sometimes the easiest way to find a problem is by looking over the equipment. A trained technician can assess the system and give you pointers to where problems may occur. They can also give you an assessment of what to expect in the future if you decide to make this your new home.
No matter what the outcome, it’ll be nice knowing what to expect from your HVAC system. The fewer surprises you have after moving in, the more you’ll enjoy your new home.