When you first step foot in a potential home, what do you look for? Granite countertops, a remodeled bathroom and…the furnace? While the heating and air conditioning units may not be the most luxurious aspects of a house, a faulty piece of equipment can cost you a pretty penny. Before you fall in love with the house with the awesome deck or the spacious living room, make sure you know what you’re looking for in your heating and cooling system.
How to Check a Heating and Cooling System During a Home Walkthrough
An important aspect of a quality furnace is good airflow. Make sure to turn on the heat or air if it’s not already running when you walkthrough a home. You can check the airflow by putting your hand over the register to see how much air is coming through. Check the filter as well, as a clean, regularly changed filter can dramatically increase your air quality and airflow. Not sure how to find the filter? Check out this video for a quick and easy tutorial:
Rust, especially on pipes, can be more than a sign of an old furnace. In some cases, rusty pipes could mean that the furnace is creating carbon monoxide. If you notice rusty pipes and decide to move forward with the house, be sure to point this out to your inspector.
The average life of a furnace is anywhere from 16 to 20 years old. A furnace older than that could mean repairs shortly down the road. Be sure to ask about the age of the furnace before making any buying decisions.
When you’re thinking about buying a new house, it never hurts to ask questions about anything. Ask the current owners about any recent repairs completed on the furnace. If they’ve repaired it several times recently, it could be a warning sign.
Before you buy a home, you’ll get a home inspection and a quality inspector will thoroughly check your furnace and many other aspects of your potential home, but it’s always good to be an informed buyer. Learn as much as you can about what to look for in a home before you decide to buy.
Got any more tips about what to look for in a furnace? Got a home-hunting experience you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!