Buying a home on Florida’s beautiful Gulf Coast is an exciting adventure. You’re eagerly looking forward to finding a house and starting a new life filled with sun-drenched beaches, stimulating cultural attractions, and engaging leisure activities.
If you are considering a move to New Port Richey or the surrounding areas, you’ll need to carefully examine potential houses’ HVAC systems before you take the plunge. Here are common issues to notice while searching for your dream home.
Determine the Age of the System
If you’re considering an older home, the HVAC unit may have already reached or surpassed its life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. You can specifically determine the unit’s age by requesting the seller’s purchasing and servicing record. This will let you know how much longer it will be functional. It will also let you know whether the HVAC received routine checkups or was only serviced when it malfunctioned.
Is it Making Strange Sounds?
It’s normal for an HVAC to make a quiet, humming sound. If you hear squealing, grinding, knocking, or banging, however, the system’s components may have broken down or are on the brink of failing. These noises could indicate everything from refrigerant leaks to a broken part to dangerously high pressure in the compressor.
Is There a Valid Warranty?
If the system has a warranty, ask whether it will still be valid after you purchase the home. This is important to know because some warranties end when the house is transferred to a new owner. If the warranty stays in place after a sale, make sure that you’re familiar with what is and isn’t covered.
Some sellers provide a home warranty plan at no additional cost. However, even though you won’t be paying any premiums, you’ll still have to foot the bill for service for each repair or replacement. Usually, this is $50 – $75 per incident.
Examine the Ductwork
Much of an HVAC’s proper functioning relies on ductwork. If ductwork is cracked, rusted, gaping, or clogged, the system’s efficiency may become strained. When this happens, rooms will never be properly heated or cooled, no matter how new or well-serviced the furnace or air conditioner may be. Speak with your realtor to find out whether the owners can correct these problems.
Check the Thermostat
It may seem like a small thing, but a properly functioning thermostat is crucial for the comfort of your home. Even if the HVAC is completely operational, a broken thermostat can undercut its efficiency. Its poor condition could be caused by old or faulty wiring, which makes it unable to send signals to the rest of the system. The thermostat may also be mismatched with the HVAC unit.
Is the HVAC the Proper Size?
An improperly sized HVAC system doesn’t efficiently do its job. If a system is too small, it may run incessantly and struggle to cool or heat the home. An oversized unit may not run long enough to properly dehumidify the space, spawning mold, and mildew. One of the experts from Progressive Air can inspect the system to determine whether the HVAC unit is the right size before you sign anything.
Is the Condenser Unit Working Correctly?
The condenser unit is located on the outside of the house and removes heat from the refrigerant to cool the space. Before committing to a house purchase, make sure to have the condenser inspected. A faulty condenser will be unable to remove heat and diminishes the air conditioner’s cooling ability.
Also, make sure the unit is raised high enough to resist flooding and that there are no indications of damage caused by animals, debris, or weather.
The condenser cabinet should indicate the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of the cooling system, and the air handler should have an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating inside the cabinet. High numbers indicate greater efficiency.
What is the Power Source?
When you know your HVAC’s power source, you can gauge its specific costs. Does it require heating oil? Electricity? Gas? Before you sign on the dotted line, take time to research this.
Does the House Have Sufficient Insulation?
Even if your prospective home’s HVAC runs immaculately, improper insulation or leaks can allow all of that wonderful warm or cool air to escape. Find out what type of insulation is in the house and when it was installed. Over time, insulation settles in, and if new insulation isn’t installed, the house can develop leaks or drafts. In turn, this puts undue stress on the HVAC system.
Before you sign on the dotted line, it’s important to know whether the house you have your eye on has a properly functioning HVAC. Call the professionals at Progressive Air to provide a thorough and accurate HVAC inspection before you commit to a purchase. And after you move in, we’ll help you feel safe and comfortable in your new Gulf Coast home for many, many years to come!