If you are in the market to buy a house, congrats! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or not, it’s an achievement worth celebrating. While searching for a home can be exciting, it can also be overwhelming with all the details to find something that will meet your family’s needs. However, we want to remind you not to forget about the HVAC system when visiting potential homes on your list. As your faithful heating and cooling professionals, we believe it’s an important detail to consider. 

It’s crucial to check the condition of the HVAC system before buying a house, as it’s responsible for your family’s comfort and safety throughout the year. However, identifying problems in an HVAC system can be difficult if you’re not an HVAC expert. How will you know what to look for? Luckily, Mount Washington Heating & Cooling has compiled a list of five red flags that are easy enough for ANYONE to watch out for during a house tour. 


When considering purchasing an older house, it is important to check if it still has its original HVAC system. Typically, older systems are less energy-efficient and more likely to experience issues. HVAC systems can deteriorate over time, much like a car. So, keep in mind that even if the system has been replaced, caution should still be taken with older systems. Most HVAC units will have the manufacturing date written on a label on the side of the unit. But if you have a hard time locating it, try to visually examine the HVAC units for signs of proper maintenance, age, etc., instead. A quick examination should give you a very rough estimate of its age and overall state. What does this mean exactly? 

For example, should you find excessive dust or corrosion buildup on the HVAC unit, this would suggest poor maintenance and a potentially older HVAC system. Although an older HVAC system isn’t necessarily a bad thing, keep in mind that a well-maintained one will usually last 15-20 years. So, if you decide to buy a house with an older unit, just bear in mind that you may need to replace either the heating or cooling unit, or both, soon. Knowing this in advance can help you negotiate with the seller.  


As you go around the house, make sure to enter and observe each room carefully. Aside from checking the size of the room, windows, and closets, take a moment to feel the temperature. This way, you can determine if one room feels stuffy or drafty compared to the others. There could be various reasons as to why, but inconsistent air regulation is something that may require attention at a later time. 


It is important to pay attention to unpleasant or musty odors as they may indicate issues with the ductwork or HVAC system. For this reason, it is equally important to not write off any odd smells you may happen to notice. A duct cleaning may be in the cards for the HVAC system, which is another thing you could potentially factor into the negotiations. 


To identify equipment problems like loose parts or worn-out components, listen for odd sounds like loud rattling, banging, or buzzing noises coming from the HVAC system. Keep an ear out for these unusual sounds. 


If you are interested in purchasing the house after the tour, it’s advisable to ask for the HVAC system’s maintenance and repair records. These records should include all the maintenance and repairs made in the past. If there are no records available, it could be an indication that the system was not well maintained. It is also important to be careful about a specific unit that has undergone too many repairs, which can be another warning sign. 


It’s important to note that the red flags mentioned should not be the sole reason for giving up on your dream home. Instead, view them as warning signs that can help you weigh your options, negotiate, and plan accordingly. Moreover, seeking the advice of a licensed HVAC professional to evaluate the system’s condition and identify any potential issues is highly recommended. 

We offer an HVAC inspection service that sends a NATE-certified technician to inspect the HVAC system of the home and give a detailed report on its condition. The technician will also suggest any necessary repairs or upgrades. (This usually can be negotiated into the terms and arranged by the homeowner if you decide to move forward with the house.) Although it may seem unnecessary, knowing the condition of the HVAC system in a potential new home is crucial before moving in. Why? Because buying a house is a big commitment, and being well-prepared can help avoid unexpected surprises and problems later. 

Mount Washington Heating & Cooling is a reliable local company that can help you with all your HVAC services. Whatever your HVAC needs are, we are here to assist you. You can reach us at (513) 655-5115 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here

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