Buying a new home in Illinios is a thrilling process, and there is no doubt about that. Every step brings a dose of excitement, from looking for properties trying to pinpoint the perfect home, envisioning your family in it, and daydreaming about your new life there to the signing of all the paperwork. However, there is also a different side of the medal. Some things in the home-buying process are not that enchanting. Still, you must get to them to ensure a successful purchase. For instance, you must inspect the property you are interested in so you know the house is in good condition. And the HVAC system is one of the points on the list of things to pay special attention to. Therefore, here is why it’s crucial to do it and how to inspect the HVAC system when buying a new house.
REASONS TO INSPECT THE HVAC SYSTEM WHEN BUYING A NEW HOUSE
A considerable chunk of your energy bill goes to heating and cooling your house. Thus, it’s essential to make sure everything functions properly, so you don’t have to pay more than necessary. So, if you want to reduce your future energy bills, inspect the HVAC system in the house. You may discover some issues that affect its energy efficiency. Such things could also allow you to negotiate a lower price as you would have to repair the problem should you decide to purchase. Alternatively, you can arrange with the owner to fix the issue for you.
Furthermore, during the regular home inspection, the inspector doesn’t thoroughly inspect the HVAC system. Instead, they will turn it on and off to check if it works and that it is. Thus, they may miss some underlying issues that will cause you problems later. Knowing that purchasing a new residential HVAC system is costly and how a faulty system can affect your energy bills, proper inspection is essential. Also, it may be best to hire specialists to handle this for you, as they have the skill and expertise to uncover all possible pitfalls.
TIPS FOR INSPECTING THE HVAC SYSTEM WHEN BUYING A NEW HOUSE
Here are some suggestions for examining the HVAC system in the home you like. You can do these yourself, but be advised that professional assistance is highly advisable.
VISUALLY EVALUATE THE HVAC EQUIPMENT
Furnaces, boilers, and air conditioning units are typically hidden away from sight. Thus, you have to remember to take a look at them. First, check if the equipment looks good, although the appearance itself may not unravel any underlying problems. Look for cracks, water stains, rust, dents, and other damage. Then, pay special attention to any strange noises. Clanking and hissing often indicate there is an issue.
ASK THE OWNER ABOUT THE HVAC SYSTEM’S AGE
Like everything else, HVAC equipment, too, has a limited lifespan. Systems that are about 15 years old are due for replacement. So, you can negotiate a discount if you are still interested in the house.
Know that heat pumps, furnaces, boilers, and air condition units can often work even longer than 15 years, especially if they have undergone regular maintenance. However, there are always new energy regulations, and we all know how quickly technology advances. So, more modern equipment will be more energy-efficient and more cost-efficient.
ASK TO SEE MAINTENANCE RECORDS TOO
Regular maintenance for this type of equipment is essential. It keeps it functioning correctly. So, if you like the house, request the HVAC maintenance records. The owner shouldn’t have trouble showing them to you if they have performed regular check-ups.
Pay special attention to the work that has been done. See if there have been any frequent repairs. Also, some extensive repairs like compressors and blower motors can indicate more serious problems in the future, especially if it’s an older system. The team behind verifiedmovers.com argues that this is a common oversight people make when moving into a new home.
CHECK THE DUCTWORK
Aside from the equipment, you should also inspect the ductwork and make sure it’s in good shape. Gaps, condensation, and loose connections are a sign of trouble. Also, this may sound a little nitpicky, but if you notice a fair amount of dust on the ductwork, it is a pretty clear sign that the owner hasn’t maintained it properly and regularly. So, it may mean you will have to upgrade the system shortly after you have moved in.
Moreover, if you notice that the air quality is good inside the house, it probably means that the owner has invested in some air-quality add-ons. For example, these can be an air purifier or a dehumidifier. And that is a very good sign. However, if the indoor air quality is less than great, you are in for HVAC cleaning, and you will likely have to invest in some additions to increase airflow.
CHECK WHICH REFRIGERANT THE SYSTEM USES
Older HVAC systems may use R-22. But, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned this substance, and since 2020, it’s been illegal to produce it. So, even if the system operates well, you will have to upgrade it pretty soon.
PAY ATTENTION TO COMFORT LEVEL THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE
As you tour the house, notice how comfortable you feel in every room. You will know there is a problem if the house feels stuffy and hot even with the AC working or if it feels chilly and the heating is on. But, if you notice that only some rooms feel uncomfortable, that is also a sign of trouble. There could be an issue with the delivery system. For instance, there could be a leak, or the ducts are not insulated.
INSPECT THE HVAC SYSTEM BEFORE YOU PURCHASE A NEW HOUSE, EVEN IF YOU ARE MOVING LONG-DISTANCE
It may be tricky to inspect the HVAC system before purchasing a new house if you live far away. However, long-distance moves are challenging enough, and you don’t need any unpleasant surprises when you arrive and start settling in. If you have found reliable and reputable help to get you to your new Illinois home, the whole relocation process will go smoothly. But to ensure the settling-in process goes just as well, make sure you check everything thoroughly.
It’s essential to inspect the HVAC system when buying a new house. It will save you a lot of trouble later, both in terms of your nerves and finances. And again, if in doubt, or if you notice something that concerns you, you will be better off contacting professionals to inspect everything for you.
Meta: Learn how to inspect the HVAC system when buying a new house, so you can move in and start settling in without any unpleasant surprises.
Guest Contributor: Sophia Perry