New Home HVAC Questions
For soon-to-be home owners who are used to renter life, it might not come naturally to give careful consideration to your HVAC situation. While AC and heating goes largely unnoticed during apartment living, it can quickly become one of your biggest expenses and headaches as a new home owner.
At Blue Flame, we have years of experience repairing, maintaining and installing HVAC systems in homes like yours. Here are some questions we recommend you ask about every new home HVAC before you make an offer.
1. How old is the HVAC system?
This information is essential for determining whether or not you will soon have to replace your AC or furnace. Most HVAC components last 10-15 years, sometimes even 20 with regular maintenance. Installing a brand-new air conditioner will cost anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000 depending on the size of the unit and whether or not any additional ductwork is needed. Installing a brand-new furnace will cost $2,000 to $12,000. If the HVAC system in your new home is 10 years or older, you may want to negotiate for a lower price on the house since you will have the additional expense of replacing your units soon.
2. Has the HVAC system received regular maintenance?
This is the next component in helping you calculate how much longer the existing HVAC system will last. We recommend that all of our customers have their HVAC systems serviced at least once annually to maximize efficiency and prevent problems that lead to costly repairs. A well-maintained system may last 10-20 years before it goes out or becomes problematic.
3. What type of HVAC system is it?
Believe it or not, not all heating and cooling technology is the same. Is your central heating a gas boiler, a furnace, or a heat pump? Does the home have central AC, or window units? Are the existing products from recognizable brands? Are they ENERGY STAR certified? Knowing this information can help you to get a better picture of your home comfort situation and whether or not you may want to make upgrades in the future.
If your new home HVAC system uses either a heat pump or a window AC unit, adding central heating or cooling later will require ductwork installation, which can become very expensive. If the existing HVAC system is ENERGY STAR certified, that means it will maximize the efficiency of your unit and save you money on your monthly utility bills. Factor all this information in to the price you decide to offer for the house.
4. Is the HVAC system still under manufacturer warranty?
This can become complicated, because warranties differ between manufacturing companies. Sometimes warranties are voided in the absence of annual maintenance (another reason why it is so important to get your yearly HVAC tune up). In other cases, warranties are made for specific customers and are not transferrable to new home owners. If your new home HVAC system is no longer under warranty, you may want to consider including a new one in the closing costs.
5. What are the average heating and cooling bills?
Since your new home may have significantly more square footage to heat and cool, the cost of your monthly utilities may go up as soon as you move in. While this is one of the normal growing pains of moving in to a new house, you will want to plan to make room in your monthly budget accordingly. If the HVAC system guzzles too much energy, you may also want to consider replacing it and investing in an ENERGY STAR product to save money in the long run.
We hope this information helps you make wise inquiries and decisions about your new home HVAC system. From all your friends at Blue Flame, congratulations on home ownership!
At Blue Flame, we are committed to an exceptional and eco-friendly experience every time you use our heating, air conditioning, and electrical services. Call us at (206) 388-5667 and speak to a member of our team.