Your first home should meet all of your needs and help you build equity. Unfortunately, many first-time homeowners are unfamiliar with what features to check first when shopping around. Getting a home inspection seems like doing due diligence, but a basic inspection from a single professional is often not enough.
Secondary inspections of certain critical home systems, such as the heating and cooling equipment, can pay off tremendously. These five benefits of a separate HVAC inspection will convince you to invest in one for any house you’re considering buying.
1. Hidden Damage
First, an experienced HVAC technician goes deeper into the system during the inspection than any general home inspector. Since the HVAC technician is familiar with the repair steps necessary for all types of furnaces and air conditioners, they can open up every part of the system without concerns about damaging anything or failing to put the equipment back together.
A cursory inspection from a general home inspector won’t reveal serious forms of hidden damage like a cracked heat exchanger or a worn-out air handler bearing. Any quality HVAC technician can spot these problems with an in-depth check, and since big repairs can cost thousands of dollars, you need this information before making a final decision.
2. Maintenance History
Many home sellers advertise a history of routine and timely maintenance on all major home systems, including HVAC equipment. Don’t just take a seller’s word for it when you’re spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home.
Request a copy of the maintenance records from the current owner, and ask the HVAC inspector to compare the records to the actual condition of the equipment. If a furnace shows signs of not being cleaned or adjusted for years on end despite what the seller claims, you need to double-check the other essential details about the home.
3. Negotiation Power
Knowing the exact condition of the HVAC equipment in a home, including any repairs or replacements needed, allows you to bargain successfully with the seller over the final closing price. When you have a detailed report from an HVAC technician including a quote on the necessary work, negotiating a decrease in price is much easier than when you’re simply making a claim with little hard evidence.
4. Home Warranty
Some older HVAC systems may seem like a liability but actually need no real repairs. If an HVAC technician advises you that the existing systems are still running smoothly but are near the end of the usual life span, ask the seller to include a home warranty in the sale to back up the equipment.
A warranty that covers at least the first few years after you move in can prevent you from spending the last of your savings on an unexpected or unnecessary furnace or A/C replacement. This way, you can give the existing equipment a chance to keep working without having to gamble on paying for repairs out of pocket.
5. System Design
Finally, an in-depth HVAC specialty inspection also gives you a lot of information about the design and layout of the system. Design flaws like excessive long ducts, undersized or oversized equipment, and a lack of insulation around the ducts can all increase the long-term costs of heating and cooling the home.
If you’re still narrowing down your choices during the inspection stage, the expected energy costs may help you narrow down your options to a home that is easier to keep comfortable than the rest.
Hire one of our skilled technicians here at Service 1 Plumbing, Heating & AC, Inc., to inspect the HVAC equipment of any home you might buy. We’ll provide a complete report of the condition of the furnace, air conditioner, heat pump, and more.