12 Sep HVAC Tips for First-Time Home Buyers
With everything that’s involved in choosing a new home, it’s easy for first-time home buyers to overlook features that aren’t easily visible, including the heating and cooling system. Given Indianapolis’ humid summers and chilly winter, though, it’s important to know what kind of HVAC system you’re getting.
- Determine the system type – While most homes in our area use furnaces, some use boilers or heat pumps. The energy source used will affect your heating bills. If a furnace or boiler is used, find out if it’s fueled by natural gas, oil, propane, or another fuel.
- Learn the system’s age – After 10 years, most systems are nearing the end of their lifespan. While a system may continue to perform for years longer, it’s also at high risk for requiring major repairs or even complete replacement.
- Find out the system’s efficiency rating – Although older systems are generally less efficient, you’ll save more with a high-efficiency system than with a mid-efficiency one, regardless of its age. For a furnace or boiler, check the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). For a heat pump, ask for the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). Higher-efficiency systems also include advanced features that improve their performance, such as variable-speed blower motors.
- Check the warranty – Even if the system was under warranty when installed, the warranty may have expired or been voided by improper maintenance, such as skipping annual inspections. Without a warranty, unsuspecting first-time home buyers are on the hook for the full cost of any repairs or parts replacements.
- Request the results of the last inspection – The heating and air conditioning system each require annual professional inspections to keep running at top efficiency and to prevent normal wear and tear from damaging the components. At the end of each inspection, the technician provides a report detailing any issues with the system. This report can alert you to potential problems.
If you’re among the many first-time home buyers confused about your HVAC system choices and maintenance requirements, contact us for help at Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning in Indianapolis.