Buying a home is exciting, and in a competitive market you may want to race through the process and get your hands on your new keys and property but hold up. Before you ink the deal, you always want to know what’s going on with a prospective home’s heating, air conditioning, and ventilation (HVAC). Let’s learn why you need to know about a home’s HVAC and what questions you need answers to before you sign on the dotted line.

Why HVAC Matters

There are many modern conveniences that help keep our homes livable and comfortable, and the home’s HVAC is one of the biggest. A home’s HVAC keeps you cool in the summer and cozy in the winter, without it we might as well still live in huts and tents. It’s no small feat to keep homes comfortable. A home’s HVAC system is a complex network of furnaces, blowers, ducts, and pipes that in most cases touches every room in the home. It’s important.

Here’s the bad part: when something goes wrong with one of those components it could cost you a few hundred dollars to fix, or it could cost you tens of thousands. You don’t want to walk into your new home and be immediately slammed with a $5,000 furnace fix. That’s why you need to know your HVAC.

What You Need to Know About a Home’s HVAC

What Type of HVAC Is Installed?

Get as much information as you can on the make, model, year, and more. If you have the time, look up information about the installed system to see its ratings, if it has probable defects, and if it matches the type of home its installed in. If everything matches up – you’re good to go.

How Old Is It?

Modern HVAC systems can last for multiple decades, but they won’t last forever. If the system is 15 or older, it could be on its last legs. Be careful when dealing with older units.

Are There Any Records on the HVAC?

You want to know if the HVAC has been regularly serviced or had any recent repairs. You may be able to simply connect with the current HVAC service to continue maintenance. You can also use this question to find out what type of warranty the HVAC is under if any.

When to Walk Away

Even if it’s the home of your dreams, in some cases a bad HVAC system could be a deal-breaker. Unless the seller has taken price the down for future HVAC repairs or its integrated into your budget, you should walk away if you experience any of the following situations:

The HVAC system is in poor maintenance, old, or has known issues. A few minor repairs shouldn’t be much of an issue but if you’re dealing with an HVAC that’s decrepit, falling apart, or belching dust – that’s not something you want to contend with.

If you feel drafts or other abnormalities while touring the home. Drafts and rooms that are colder or warmer than others mean there’s a problem. Until it’s investigated, you don’t if that problem is due to poor ductwork, poor insulation, or all the above. Don’t risk it.

If the home is poorly insulated or drafty. A well-insulated home can keep you comfortable and knock down your utility bills. Adding or modifying insulation can be expensive. If you can check for insulation in the attic area or request an inspection by an expert.

A potential home’s HVAC is one of the most important systems to inspect. The HVAC system is important for a comfortable home, but repairs and replacement can cost upwards of tens of thousands of dollars. Before you buy any home, ask the important questions to be certain you’re getting not only a great home but a great HVAC system too.