A home’s location, lot size and design may outweigh the HVAC system’s importance when buying a house. However, it’s worth the time to learn about its heating and cooling system, since it’s the largest energy user in the home and affects your comfort and monthly budget.
What kind is it?
In this region, it’s important to know the type of fuel that the system uses to get an idea of your heating costs. Natural gas is currently the least expensive, followed by propane and fuel oil. More often than not, you’ll find propane and fuel oil furnaces in locations outside of a natural gas delivery area.
How old is it?
As HVAC systems age, they tend to lose efficiency. You can expect a system to last between 12 and 17 years before the cost of repairs outpaces the system’s value.
If the unit has an air conditioning component, it might use R-22, or Freon, which is being phased out as a refrigerant. As a consequence, the cost to refill the unit will be expensive, since R-22’s supply is dwindling.
Do you have proof of maintenance?
Age isn’t the biggest concern surrounding the HVAC system when buying a house. The larger issue is how well the equipment has been maintained.
Ask the seller’s real estate agent, or your own, to provide the maintenance records, receipts, or the name of their HVAC contractor. A system that’s been maintained routinely offers better efficiency and dependability, regardless of its age.
Does it have a transferable warranty?
Nothing relieves the stress associated with home appliances more than valid warranty. Ask the sellers if they can transfer theirs to a new owner. You’ll also need to know how to go about putting it in your name and the conditions for keeping it active.
The age and condition of the HVAC system might give you leverage with the seller when you’re buying a house, especially if it’s older or hasn’t been routinely maintained. To learn more, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. We provide HVAC services for Grand Traverse homeowners and those in the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about common HVAC questions and other topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 231-714-6196.
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