Know what you’re getting into before you sign on the dotted line
If you’re considering buying a home, you should have the heating, venting and cooling systems inspected by a professional. While you may have lived in numerous homes, you are probably not a professional HVAC expert. Buying a home with defective cooling or heating equipment is an unfortunately common problem that many new or experienced homeowners face each year.
Here are several reasons why having a thorough HVAC home inspection is essential:
Reason #1: Safety
A homeowner may think about the safety precautions for the dangers from fire or smoke, but hundreds of people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. This odorless and invisible gas is deadly because it causes respiratory distress.
In many cases, a faulty furnace or venting system is responsible for the buildup of carbon monoxide. People are frequently poisoned at night while they are sleeping, but during the day, the individuals may think that they only have influenza. The early symptoms from carbon monoxide poisoning can include feeling dizzy or mentally confused, but the poisoning continues until a person dies from respiratory failure.
After someone dies from carbon monoxide, experts inspect the home to determine what caused the problem, and it’s often due to blocked air ducts or ancient heating equipment.
Reason #2: Asset protection
As a new homeowner, you want to protect your big investment. A common malfunctioning air conditioner or furnace can cause a fire that destroys your home and all of your possessions.
With a professional HVAC inspection, you can learn if the electrical wires and natural gas lines of climate-control equipment is in the proper conditions for heating or cooling your home without overheating or breaking down.
While you can see the exterior of the cooling and heating devices, most homeowners don’t have the diagnostic tools required for checking hidden components. Protect your investment in a home by having a complete home inspection before you make an offer on a property.
Reason #3: Saving money
There are usually unexpected expenses after buying a house, but you can save money down the road by requesting a professional HVAC inspection before you make an offer. An inspector knows what to look at to identify problems on the exterior or the interior of the home.
In addition to checking the visible components, the technician can perform tests on the ductwork to make sure that it isn’t blocked or damaged. Having damaged ductwork in a new home can be a major expense for a new homeowner, and it can take several weeks to have the venting system replaced. The replacement process is invasive, requiring the removal of drywall from the walls and ceilings, making it impossible to live in your new home.
Reason #4: Code violations
You won’t want to buy a home that has safety code violations. The previous homeowner may have made illegal adjustments to the venting, heating or cooling systems, and this can lead to multiple problems. If the home that you plan to buy has had remodeling or additions, then the furnace, air conditioner and vents must meet the current safety codes.
A knowledgeable HVAC inspector can determine if changes have been made to a home’s climate-control systems, and they can also check your local region’s government offices to find the permits for the changes. If you buy a home with safety code violations, then you must repair the problems right away to avoid financial penalties. In some cases, you aren’t even allowed to live in the home until it is repaired.