Buying a new home or property for your business is a huge investment, so you’ll want to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want and need. One thing many people have in common is that they really don’t want to buy a home with already-existing HVAC system problems. Whether the air conditioner simply needs to be fixed, is showing signs of age or doesn’t work at all, you’ll want to know about the problems and what you can expect to need if you want to get your HVAC system working again.
Here is a comprehensive checklist for before you buy and for after your sale closes so you can know what to look for and what to expect.
Before You Buy
How Old Is the Current System?
When you’re looking at a new home, you probably take stock of a number of different features. What kind of flooring does the property have? What is the layout? Does the kitchen have a number of perks and benefits that appeal to you?
However, one thing you shouldn’t overlook is the air conditioning and heating system.
Head outside and find the condenser or locate where the indoor unit might be while seeing a property for the first time and look for the manufacture date. If the date is 20 years or more in the past, be prepared for the system to need significant work or to be entirely replaced within a few years’ time. Don’t let that dissuade you from buying a property if everything else is perfect but instead, prepare to negotiate around this, as you should probably keep the major expense of a replacement in mind when coming to an agreement.
What SEER Rating Is the System?
Similar to your system’s age, the information label on each system should have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating printed on it. This tells you how energy-efficient a system is. The higher the number, the better. A number of 14 or higher is generally pretty good and adheres to modern standards. A number of 13 or below is fairly old and it doesn’t adhere to modern energy efficiency requirements. You don’t have to immediately purchase a new system, but be warned that this system might consume more energy and cost more as a result.
What Type of Heater Does the System Use?
There are several different types of heaters found commonly throughout the state of California. Many older homes might depend on an electric furnace to provide heat. Many modern homes utilize a gas-burning furnace. Still other more modern HVAC systems use an electric heat pump to keep their home comfortable. While none of these systems should dissuade you, keep in mind that older technologies like electric furnaces are not efficient and require a pretty large amount of energy to keep you warm.
Are There Other HVAC Equipment Pieces (Dehumidifiers, Air Scrubbers)?
Does the property have another additional piece of HVAC equipment, such as a smart thermostat, dehumidifier or UV air scrubber installed? This is good information to know and they can even add to a home’s value. Take stock of them and note their condition. A dehumidifier doesn’t do a lot of good if it doesn’t work, and you’ll have to pay to have it fixed if you don’t have the sellers do it for you.
Once the property sale is complete, we can send in our technician to take a good look at the entire system as well as tune it up so it’s running at its best. This will give you the opportunity to repair small problems that may exist and to enjoy your new HVAC system at its most effective.
Change the Air Filter
Changing the air filter helps improve indoor air quality, which in turn helps remove odors, remove the dust and debris floating around from your move and, in general, provides a more comfortable home. You should check your air filter every two to three months and replace it as necessary. Be sure to always keep spare filters on hand.
Request Any Warranty and Purchase Paperwork
It is extremely helpful to get any warranty and purchase paperwork from your home’s previous owners. Most new system warranties are transferrable if the house sells and you’ll want to keep yourself protected should something go wrong with your otherwise, brand-new system. This generally means having a copy of the system installation and sale paperwork as well as previous maintenance records and a copy of the warranty itself. You should also notify the manufacturer of your system that you are now the owner of the system and update your information accordingly.
Elsewhere on the Blog
Elsewhere on our blog this month, we take a close look at a couple of issues that are extremely important to us here in California at the moment. First, we took a look at how solar technology could be the key to helping our state battle wildfires. Solar helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which can help directly reduce the number of wildfires long-term. However, in the meantime, it can also help us survive wildfire season by keeping our homes powered during outages in dangerous conditions.
We also take a closer look at electrical remodels and how these gigantic services are so important to our homes. If you have an older property, there’s a good chance it may have electrical features that could be dangerous, simply because they weren’t known to be dangerous when your property was built. We take a closer look at what an electrical remodel service can include and help you figure out if it’s time to remodel your electrical system.
Get help from the pros at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Solar today! Dial (408) 868-5500 to speak with a member of our team or fill out our online contact form to get started.