3 Things to Ask About the HVAC System Before Buying a New Home

By Four Seasons Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electric - July 14, 2015
Person giving keys to a man and a woman

Spring and summer are the best times of the year to purchase a home. The weather is great for going to open houses, driving around different neighborhoods, and moving into a new home.

If you’re searching for a new home, you probably have a list of questions ready to ask your realtor, such as:

  • How old is the home?
  • How many owners did it have?
  • Is it on a septic or sewer system?
  • When was it last painted?
  • How old is the roof?

One area of the home that should never be overlooked during a tour is the HVAC system. If you purchase a home with old or malfunctioning HVAC equipment, you could be on the line for repairs or replacement costs down the road. Here are the top three questions you should ask to avoid an HVAC disaster when buying a home:

How Old Is the Equipment?

When properly maintained, furnaces can last between 20-25 years and air conditioners can last between 10-15 years. Ask your realtor how old the HVAC equipment is when you’re on your tour. If it’s nearing the end of its life or looks a little rough, factor in potential repair and replacement costs as part of the overall price of the home.

What Are the SEER and AFUE Ratings?

Furnaces and air conditioners have ratings that assess how efficient they are in comparison to other units. Ask your realtor about the SEER and AFUE ratings for the home’s HVAC system.

SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio” and applies to air conditioners. Modern air conditioners are required to have a SEER rating of at least 13, but some models can have ratings as high as 25. The higher the score is the better.

AFUE, on the other hand, stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency” and applies to furnaces. It calculates what percentage of fuel from your furnace is used to produce heat. For example, a furnace with an 80% AFUE rating will turn 80% of the fuel it uses into heat for your home. Modern furnaces are required to have a rating of at least 80%, but some models can go as high as 98%. Again, the higher the rating is the better.

How Often Was the System Maintained?

Annual maintenance is crucial to keeping an HVAC system running efficiently. Ask the realtor if both the furnace and A/C have received yearly maintenance throughout their lifetimes. If they weren’t properly maintained, you might end up discovering a failing blower motor or unwanted Freon leak in a few months.

things to ask hvac while buying new home

If you recently purchased a new home and want to make sure your HVAC system is in good condition, give us a call. Our trained technicians can perform both anA/C Tune-upand aFurnace Tune-upto pinpoint any existing issues with the equipment. It’s never too late to give your HVAC system the attention it deserves!

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