Shopping for a home in Mt. Pleasant, Texas, can be exciting. For most of us, a home is the biggest purchase we make. It’s important to make sure you have the home inspected carefully for issues that may develop into significant problems once you’ve moved in. Sellers are sometimes unaware of lurking trouble, such as HVAC issues. So as a buyer, you’ll need to know how to look for clues. HVAC systems can always be upgraded or repaired, but it’s better to know what the situation is ahead of time. Here are three home-buying warning signs concerning HVAC:

Age of the HVAC System

Vintage home styles such as Mid-Century Modern and Craftsman are popular with home buyers. But the HVAC systems in these homes are often outdated. If you’re looking at older homes, pay attention to the age of the HVAC system and check into its maintenance history. You can sometimes find dates written on tags attached to HVAC components that’ll give you a record of repairs and maintenance.

Central air conditioning units have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years. Furnaces can generally last 15 to 20 years. Components can wear out sooner than that, depending on usage and whether the present homeowner is following recommended maintenance routines.

If the unit is nearing the end of its expected lifespan, factor the replacement cost into your home buying budget. It may be wise to have HVAC equipment replaced before the system fails, since you wouldn’t want to be without heating or cooling when your family’s comfort is at risk.

In addition, older HVAC systems are less efficient. You can save a lot on your energy costs by upgrading the equipment.

Biological Growth and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

If you notice a musty smell in the home, it could be coming from the AC unit or ductwork. Moisture can collect in air conditioning systems, creating a perfect environment for biological growth to occur. VOCs can come from a variety of sources in the home, including building materials and consumer products. Along with the unpleasant odor, these can also cause serious respiratory symptoms and illnesses.

Presence of Space Heaters, Window AC Units or Fans

Another clue that something may be amiss with the HVAC system is when you see that the sellers have fans, window AC units or space heaters in several locations. This could mean that the HVAC system is failing and doesn’t properly heat or cool the home. There could be an issue with the ducts or vents. Or it could mean that the HVAC system isn’t sufficient for the size of the home.

Make sure the HVAC equipment is appropriate for the home’s square footage. For example, the recommended AC unit for a 2500-square-foot home is 2.5 tons. The recommended furnace size for the same house has an output range of 65,000 BTU/hr to 90,000 BTU/hr.

If the AC unit size is less than the recommendation, there won’t be enough cooling power to cool the home to an ideal temperature. In addition to inadequate cooling, an undersized unit will be forced to work harder. As a result, it’ll strain components and cause them to wear out faster.

Supplemental appliances like window AC units or space heaters can also be a sign of an inefficient HVAC system that’s expensive to run. Additional heating or cooling units are not always a sign of trouble. But you should investigate further so you can avoid surprises.

When you’re in the market for a home in Titus County, Texas, pay attention to these HVAC warning signs so you know what to expect once you make the purchase. Unlike some other issues homeowners face, you can address HVAC problems relatively easily. Wood Air Conditioning can help by providing a home performance evaluation and making recommendations for attaining the highest efficiency for the HVAC system in your new home. Call us today at 903-285-6550.

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