We cannot tell you how many times we have seen someone move into a new home and Wham! 6 months later are faced with an epic repair bill on the home’s comfort system. Or even stuck with having to buy a whole new furnace or AC!
When asked, every time they say, “We had a home inspection and they said the system works fine.” There is a good chance it probably did.
Like anything mechanical, it is tough to predict when something will eventually fail. This is the reason why qualified, licensed technicians go to school and spend countless hours training how to diagnose and fix home comfort systems: to have the expertise to correctly diagnose if there are pre-existing issues that need to be addressed. Or at least factored into your home purchasing decision.
Here’s why you should always have a qualified technician inspect the HVAC system before buying a new home:
Your HVAC system makes up nearly 50% of your energy bill.
Energy Star reports that almost half of the energy you use in your home goes towards heating and cooling. With your HVAC system having such a heavy impact, wouldn’t you like to know how efficient it is?
Ensuring that the home’s HVAC system is in good condition will allow you to maintain reasonable utility costs, which keeps more money in your pocket.
50% of home warranty claims are for HVAC systems
Home Warranty reports that half of the claims they pay are for HVAC systems, yet these two systems rarely get a detailed professional inspection during a home inspection.
Most homebuyers assume that the inspector takes a look at the HVAC system; however, that’s rarely the case. The term “inspect” is used loosely with this system, as it could mean he/she simply turned on the furnace or air conditioner to see that it worked. But an HVAC system inspection includes so much more than that. Even if these systems turn on, they could still have underlying problems.
When you receive your inspection report, look closely. You will often see a disclaimer stating the home inspector is not an HVAC expert and that you should have a certified professional take a look at it. Sadly, more than half of all HVAC systems installed do not live up to the manufacturer’s efficiency ratings. This is mostly due to improper installation.
You can expect a system that has been poorly maintained to function at a very inefficient rate. Between forgoing regular maintenance and not changing the air filters every 1-3 months, your potentially “new” HVAC system is in need of some serious TLC, which you might not have accounted for previously.
HVAC systems are the most expensive appliances you own
Out of all the appliances in your home, your heating and air conditioning systems hold the title for most expensive. As you already know, buying a home is quite an investment; and it will always be one of your most valuable assets. Buying a home comes with various other costs that you might not have considered, such as your HVAC system.
A new furnace or air conditioner can cost thousands of dollars, an expense that you didn’t originally plan for. That can be an eye opening surprise when you are thinking about new furniture, window coverings or other cosmetic updates to the home.
Do yourself a favor and get a thorough, professional inspection from a licensed HVAC professional on your Home Comfort System prior to purchasing your dream home. It might keep your dream from becoming a nightmare.