A home inspection is a matter of course in most closing deals before you sign on a new house. Including a home inspection contingency is crucial when you make an offer on a house because it not only reveals repairs that may not be visible to the buyer on a walk-through, but also includes analysis of upcoming repairs and potential problems. However, in addition to the standard home inspection, it is also wise to schedule a separate inspection focused on the home’s HVAC systems, performed by a qualified HVAC professional.
Why? While general home inspections cover a lot of ground—the foundation, structural elements, exterior and roofing, plumbing, electrical, and more—most home inspectors are not HVAC experts. They don’t have the knowledge or equipment to fully evaluate the condition of these systems, and even include disclaimers on many home inspection forms attesting to that fact.
Here are 4 good reasons why it’s important to have an HVAC expert inspect your potential new home:
- Your HVAC systems are the costliest month-to-month expense in your home. Heating and cooling accounts for nearly half your annual energy bill, on average. With that much money at stake, you want to make sure your new home’s HVAC systems are in good shape. An inefficient system can be a huge drain on monthly budgets.
- According to Home Warranty, 50% of the claims they pay are on HVAC systems. This happens because buyers assume that if a home inspector indicates that the air conditioning unit is functional, it must be in good condition. However, an HVAC unit can still be functional while hiding underlying flaws that may become a serious problem in the near future. General home inspectors don’t investigate for these underlying issues, they just verify that the system is operative.
- HVAC repairs and replacements are highly expensive. More so even than other home appliances—in the kitchen or the laundry room, for example—replacing air conditioning or heating units is a major financial investment. Whereas a dishwasher that suddenly goes caput will put you out just several hundred dollars, replacing a broken furnace can cost several thousand. Knowledge is savings.
- The seller’s disclosure may not be accurate. Sellers are required to complete what is called “seller’s disclosure report,” which outlines all problems and defects that the seller is aware of. However, if the seller has not kept up with routine HVAC maintenance, this report may not be an accurate depiction of the current age and condition of the home’s heating and cooling systems. They’re probably not trying to mislead you, but it’s still wise to let a qualified professional give the final word.
Scheduling an HVAC inspection as part of your buying process is well worth the small amount of extra time and money. Need a qualified HVAC expert to give your potential new home the thumbs-up? Contact Bonfe to schedule your HVAC buyer’s inspection.