Snell Heating & Air Conditioning

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Check the HVAC System Before Buying a Home

Check the HVAC System Before Buying a Home

Spring is just around the corner, and soon more houses in Northern Virginia will be popping up for sale. If you plan to start searching for a new home soon, remember to consider the big picture when making your wish list: Great neighborhood, good school district, nice curb appeal….and a quality air conditioner or furnace.

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Most likely, you have a budget in mind for your new home. If you haven’t included a new furnace, air conditioning or ducts in that budget, you’ll want to be sure the home you choose isn’t going to break the bank if any of those stop working.

So here’s what to look for:

Air Conditioning and Furnace Equipment

If you can see rust, water stains, dents or other damage on the HVAC equipment, ask the owner about it. You should also request to turn the AC and furnace on to listen for strange noises that indicate problems. If the owners kept maintenance records, request to see them (if you end up buying the house they should pass these along to you). Check for dates on all of the units and if you see that they are older than 10-15 years, you’ll need to plan on purchasing new units soon.

Energy Bills

Current owners should be able to tell you what their monthly energy bills have been so you can add that amount to the mortgage payment you’ve been figuring. Keep in mind that if you do have to purchase new equipment, a more modern Energy-Star recommended furnace, AC or boiler will be more efficient so you’ll have lower bills.

Ducts and Insulation

The ductwork in a home is just as important as the HVAC units since they carry the hot and cold air through the house. You will want to make sure there is no condensation, loose connections, and gaps on any visible ductwork. This is one area where it’s best to have an HVAC technician along to check for issues.

Another issue that you’ll want to consider is the quality of the insulation the home has. Be aware of any drafts you feel while looking at the home and if it’s worth mentioning, ask about it. If you feel comfortable doing so, check out the attic to see if you can see adequate insulation.

Snell Heating and Air Conditioning Can Help With Your HVAC Home Inspection

If you think you’ve found your dream home in Sterling or a nearby city, let Snell take a look first. That way you’ll be going into the purchase knowing you won’t be dealing with any surprises. Good luck on your home search! We hope to hear from you soon.