08 Dec HVAC Help for First-Time Home Buyers
With all that’s involved in purchasing a new home, it’s easy for first-time home buyers to overlook such features that aren’t easily visible, including a heating and cooling system. Given Maryland’s humid summers and chilly winters, though, it’s very important to know what kind of HVAC system you’re getting. See our tips:
- Determine the system type – While most homes in the Frederick area use furnaces, some have boilers or heat pumps. The energy source used can greatly affect your heating bills. If a furnace or boiler is used, ask if it’s fueled by natural gas, oil, propane, or another fuel.
- Learn the system’s age – After 10 years, most heating and cooling systems are nearing the end of their lifespan. While a system could perform for years longer, it’s also at a high risk for requiring major repairs or a complete replacement.
- Find out the system’s efficiency rating – Although older systems are generally less efficient, you’ll save much more with a high-efficiency system over a mid-efficiency one, regardless of its age. For a furnace or boiler, check on the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). For a heat pump, ask about the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). Higher-efficiency systems also have 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 likely have expired or even been voided by improper maintenance, such as skipping annual inspections. Without a warranty, unsuspecting first-time home buyers will have to 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 annual professional inspections to keep operating at top efficiency and to prevent normal wear and tear from damaging the components. At the end of each inspection, the technician hands over a report detailing any problems with the system. This report can alert you to possible problems.
If you’re fit in with 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 Frederick.