After months of searching online and meeting a dozen of realtors, you’ve finally managed to find your dream home. And you can think of nothing else other than to quickly finish all the formalities and move in as soon as possible. Not so fast! Buying your first dream home or even a regular house can be daunting process filled with uncertainties and hidden costs…
Costs that are hidden now but may surface after you’ve moved in! Let me tell you that nothing is more frustrating than moving into your own house after paying all that you need to pay and then spending some more to get it fixed. So, it’s better to keep your eyes open while inspecting your soon-to-be first home.
The first and probably the most important thing you should inspect in your future home before putting your foot down is it’s HVAC system. The HVAC system of a house is it’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system and getting it fixed if found faulty can put a pretty big dent in your bank account. On an average, a new furnace can cost you somewhere around $2K-$12K and a brand new AC unit could cost you $3.5K-$10K. Save yourself from spending thousands of extra dollars on HVAC repairs or unit replacements in your new home and enquire beforehand the quality and age of your first home’s HVAC system.
After all, it’s better to be safe than spend your hard earned bucks on house repairs that can easily be evaded. So, here’s a quick checklist of 3 things you must check in your future home’s HVAC system to get an idea of its health –
- Check the obvious
Perform a thorough spot-inspection of the home’s heating and cooling units. Ask the realtor for the home’s HVAC installation and regular maintenance records or look for obvious wear & tear signs on the units such as rust, water marks or any type of decay to get an idea about the age of the system. Or even better, turn the system on and check for odd noises, if there is any, the system may be too old for you.
The average lifespan of an AC unit or heat pump is 10 years and a furnace is 15 years. So, if the records state the system was installed even before that, consider having them replaced from the realtor or ask for a lower price for the house.
- Recognize faults in ductwork
While you are not a pro HVAC technician, checking for faults in the ductwork of the house is a necessity. Check for condensation, leaks or loose connections. Inefficiency in the ductwork can make your HVAC unit work harder, shortening it’s own life span and adding up your electricity bills.
- Leaks in windows and doors
While it may not be linked to your home’s HVAC system directly, air leaks in the house can silently eat up it’s HVAC system and cost you thousands of dollars over time. Check for possible air leaks in windows and doors of your future house with an incense stick (if the smoke stays steady – good, if the smoke flows – bad)
While following this quick checklist will give you a slight idea of the overall health of your future first home’s HVAC system, things can get a little more complicated if you want to know even the finest details of it’s working conditions. We can help as we have been providing professional HVAC health check and HVAC repair in Vancouver, OR, WA and North Poland for more than 70 years.