Are you in the process of searching for a house to buy? If so, congratulations. Buying a home is undoubtedly an exciting event, but it’s also a challenging one.
When you pick a home to buy, one of the most important things to include on the offer is a home inspection contingency. With this contingency, you have the right to get the home inspected. You also have the right to renegotiate afterward.
One vital part of a home inspection is locating HVAC problems. The HVAC system is an integral part of a home, yet it can have many issues. It’s always vital to make sure the HVAC system operates properly and efficiently before buying a home.
HVAC systems can experience many issues, and a home inspection can reveal them. Here are nine common HVAC problems systems often have.
1. Dirty Air Filter
Many homeowners fail to perform routine maintenance on their HVAC systems, including changing the air filter. Changing this filter is necessary, though, as it keeps the system clean.
When an inspector checks a home’s HVAC system, they might find a dirty air filter. While this is a simple fix, it can be a sign of lack of maintenance by the homeowner. The inspector will look for other signs of poor maintenance while inspecting it.
2. Restriction of Airflow
Airflow problems are also common with HVAC systems. While a dirty filter can lead to airflow issues, other problems can also cause airflow restrictions.
An inspector will examine all the parts of the system to determine if there is an airflow restriction. If so, they will aim to determine why this is occurring.
Airflow issues prevent a system from cooling and heating a home efficiently, and they can be the result of worn-out parts or issues with parts.
3. Uneven Heating in the Home
Many homes also have heating issues related to the uneven distribution of air. If one area of the home is much warmer than other areas, it could result from improper ventilation or ductwork.
Ductwork issues can lead to an uneven distribution of air, as the ducts transfer air from the furnace to the rooms in the home. Uneven heating might also be the result of poor insulation in the house.
If you discover that the system is not evenly heating the home, you’ll want to investigate this issue further. This issue is something you’ll want to remedy before buying the home.
4. Thermostat Issues
Some heating issues stem from a bad thermostat. If the thermostat is old, for example, it might not be accurate. If the thermostat is not calibrated properly, it might also cause issues.
In some homes, thermostat issues occur from their location. If a home’s thermostat is located right next to the front door, it might cause the heat to come on too often. If it is too close to the oven, it might prevent the heat from coming on often enough.
5. Strange Sounds
An HVAC system that makes strange sounds is also alarming to an inspector. HVAC systems shouldn’t make loud, strange sounds. If it does, it indicates a problem of some kind.
The inspector will examine the system and listen for noises. If they hear unusual noise coming from the system, it might require further analysis to determine the cause of the strange sounds.
6. Age Problems
You might not realize that an HVAC system’s age and condition can affect property values. An HVAC system generally lasts for 20 to 30 years. If you’re buying a home with a system this old, you might want to negotiate.
A system that is this old will probably wear out quickly and need to be replaced. In fact, if the system is at least 15 years old, you might want to negotiate on the home’s price.
During a home inspection, you’ll learn the age of the system. You’ll also learn its condition.
7. Pilot Light Won’t Stay Lit
Many HVAC systems operate with a pilot light. The pilot light stays lit all the time, and this light is what causes the furnace to produce heat.
Pilot lights are known for issues, though. One of the main issues is problems staying lit. If a pilot light will not stay lit, there is an issue. Typically, this is something an HVAC company can fix by replacing the part.
8. Inefficient Operations
Another issue to be aware of is inefficiency with an HVAC system. An inefficient system results in the system running more than necessary. It might run and run and never heat or cool the home to the desired temperature.
An inefficient system uses more energy than it should, leading to higher utility bills. Inefficient systems might also leave you uncomfortable in your homes, as they might not be able to keep up with the temperature on the thermostat.
A system might be inefficient due to its age or condition. It might also be inefficient from a poor design.
9. System Won’t Turn On
The last common issue you might experience with an HVAC system is the system not turning on. If you set the thermostat to a temperature that should cause the furnace to come on, there is a problem if the system won’t turn on.
Systems that are not working could have various problems stopping them from running. If an inspector finds this issue, you’ll need to negotiate with the seller.
Negotiating with the seller is something you can do if you add an inspection contingency to your purchase offer. You can use the home inspection report when negotiating.
Negotiate on the HVAC Problems Before You Close
If you move into a new house, you won’t want to experience HVAC problems right away. Fortunately, you can discover the HVAC system’s condition before you close on the house.
By hiring a home inspector, you’ll know the system’s age, condition, and problems, and you can negotiate with the seller if you’re buying a house in the Northeast Ohio area and need a home inspection, schedule one with us today.