HVAC Advice for First-Time Home Buyers

HVAC Advice for First-Time Home Buyers


ThinkstockPhotos-78778479With all that’s involved in buying a new home, it’s easy for first-time home buyers to overlook features that aren’t so visible, including the heating and cooling system. Given Dayton’s humid summers and chilly winter, though, it is important to know what kind of HVAC system you’re getting with your new home. Here are some tips:

  • Determine the system type – While many homes in the Dayton area operate with furnaces, some use boilers or heat pumps. The energy source used will also affect your heating bills. If a furnace or boiler is used, check out if it’s fueled by natural gas, oil, propane, or another fuel.
  • Learn the system’s age – After 10 years, most HVAC systems are nearing the end of their lifespan. While a system can continue to perform for many more years, it is at high risk for requiring major repairs or even a complete replacement.
  • Find out the system’s efficiency rating – Although older systems are often less efficient, you’ll save more with a high-efficiency system than with a mid-efficiency one, no matter its age. For a furnace or boiler, check out 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 may include advanced features that improve their performance, such as variable-speed blower motors.
  • Check the warranty – Even if the system was under a warranty when installed, the warranty could very likely have expired or been voided by improper maintenance, such as skipping annual inspections. Without a warranty, unsuspecting first-time home buyers could pay the full cost of any repairs or parts replacements.
  • Request the results of the last inspection – The heating and air conditioning system each require professional inspections annually to keep running at top efficiency and to prevent normal use from damaging the components. At the end of each inspection, the technician provides a report outlining any issues with the system. This report can alert you to potential problems.

If you’re among many first-time home buyers confused about your HVAC system choices and maintenance requirements, contact us for help at Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning in Dayton.


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