Conduct a Basic Cost-Benefit Analysis
The last thing you want to do is purchase a new HVAC system after buying a new home. It’s one thing if you’ve set your resources aside for this possibility. However, a lot of homebuyers don’t want to put down more money after already having to take care of their down payment. Central air conditioners can cost thousands of dollars in purchase and installation fees. If you have to purchase a new HVAC system, that can be a stressful financial strain that you don’t need.
On the other hand, there are some exceptions to this rule. Older homes may offer an incredible deal that you may not be able to pass up. Although you may need to upgrade the HVAC system on an older home, you could save more money than if you were to purchase a newer home. Therefore, you need to weigh the value against the costs of upgrading the HVAC system to see if it financially makes sense to purchase it.
Evaluate the HVAC Equipment
You must inspect the HVAC system when touring a prospective home. Listen for any weird noises such as clanging or hissing that could indicate problems. You will also want to look for water stains, cracks, rust, dents, and other damages on the HVAC equipment itself. If you can, request HVAC maintenance records from the homeowners. The majority of the time, previous owners don’t have a problem providing the records if they have kept up with their annual maintenance appointments.
HVAC systems that are more than 10 to 15 years old are typically due for an upgrade. If the home you’re considering has an older system, you can try and negotiate a discount on the home’s selling price. Therefore, you will have more time after you move in to schedule a new HVAC installation with the professionals at Ambrose Air, Inc.
Inspect the Ductwork
Aside from inspecting the HVAC unit, you will also want to examine the ductwork throughout the home to ensure it’s in good condition. Look for any gaps, loose connections, or signs of condensation in the ductwork. If the ductwork looks dusty, then the homeowner didn’t keep up with their maintenance.
If the homeowner has invested in indoor air quality add-ons like a whole-home dehumidifier or an air purifier, you’re in luck. When air quality is poor, you will need to invest in duct cleaning and HVAC additions to help boost your airflow.
Ask About the Installation
Another issue to consider is the home’s insulation. Make sure you ask the homeowner what type of insulation the house has and when they added it. Insulation tends to settle over the years, and when new insulation isn’t added, the home can develop leaks or drafts. Drafty rooms can make it more challenging to heat and cool the house evenly. This can cause the HVAC system to work harder, which will result in higher energy bills.
Consider the Refrigerant Being Used
Older HVAC systems may use a refrigerant called R-22, which is now banned by the Environmental Protection Agency. If the home’s system still runs on R-22, you can still use the refrigerant. However, you might have difficulty finding a regular supply. At this point, it would be better for you to replace your HVAC system to utilize a safer type of refrigerant.
When in doubt, have the professionals at Ambrose Air, Inc. come and inspect the home’s HVAC system before you put in an offer. Contact Ambrose Air, Inc. at 407-857-0889 to speak with us and schedule an appointment.