You usually don’t think about the major systems in your house, but when you are buying or selling your home it can be an important fact financially.

You are purchasing a property in “as is” condition according to the purchase contracts adopted by the NC Bar and Realtors Associations a couple of years ago. While some repairs may still be negotiated, it is no longer a requirement for the seller to fix the major systems- like heating, plumbing, electrical and roof.

The only way to have a serious assessment of the heating and cooling system is to have an inspection by a licensed HVAC professional.  The home inspector that you hire to do the general inspection will only give the HVAC a basic pass/fail. Is it currently heating or cooling the home depending on the season, and is there anything grossly visible?

What you can’t see can kill you. One of the things you will look for are whether or not the heat exchanger is cracked – a condition which can allow carbon monoxide to leak into the home. This is a life-threatening situation.

Another thing to check for is gas leaks. These are hard to detect without a “sniffer” and again are a serious situation. I had a brand new construction home and persuaded the buyer to order an Inspection. He discovered a gas leak in the attic that could easily have caused an explosion!

Another thing to watch is challenges created by federal law on energy efficiency. The requirements for HVAC systems changed in 2006 from a 10 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) minimum to a 13 SEER minimum.  We are at the point where large numbers of the 10 SEER systems have needed repair or replacement. You need to know what your system is to evaluate how much life it has left. Many systems have a 12 to 15 year life span. Also, if part of the system needed replacement already, does the repair component match the rest of the old 10 SEER system? A mismatch can void the warranty on the new portion.

Also, be aware of whether the ducts also were replaced if the system itself was replaced. Not only will an older duct be more likely to be dirty, if it is torn, it can be leaking your heated and cooled air into your crawlspace, attic or outside. Even worse is that the higher the efficiency rating of your system, the more likely it is to actually decrease the total efficiency if mismatched. You could pay a higher utility bill due to the lack of suction.

Be sure to ask your Broker about the components of the home and how that will affect you financially and more. To find out about this more ask us today!