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The HVAC System is New, But How Can You Tell If It's Any Good?

Posted by Kelly on Mar 12, 2015 10:26:03 AM

Detective Work for Renovated HomesHVAC system is new

If you embarked on the journey of looking for a new home, you’ll have an understanding of how important an inspection is in making sure a house is worth the purchase price. You’ll often see real estate listings that advertise complete renovations or new HVAC systems. Buyers love the safety and security of new products, and they sure look good, but you still have to worry about whether the sellers cut any corners. So how can you tell if the new system they installed is any good? Here is some of the detective work you should do when buying a renovated home.

Determine The Model And Do Your Research

During the inspection process – or even the open house – see if you can determine the HVAC system that was installed by asking the realtor, homeowner, or inspector. Note the brand, model number, and type. Online research will tell you the good, better, and the best options of any brand, particularly if it’s a new system.

 Keith Hill, manager, technical support, at Minnesota Air, says when searching for information online, use the manufacturer’s series number or abbreviated model number the same way that they write it. Look at how the manufacturer designates their product, and document and search accordingly.

 “A little detective work goes a long way to determine whether or not you have a “builder model” furnace or air conditioner,” says Keith.

The term “builder models” refers to HVAC systems that are manufactured with emphasis on low-cost rather than comfort and efficiency in mind. By nature, they have the fewest features available to save on building costs.

Do Your Homework – Negotiate!

If you find that the home you are interested in has a “builder model,” you still have options, Keith says.

 “Use the information as you negotiate with the seller. But realize that there is not much of a market for used HVAC equipment, so don’t think that you can recover significant costs if you intend to upgrade,” he says. “If a better system is a must, negotiate as though you will be paying full price.”

 You never know, you may get a better HVAC system installed, or money taken off the asking price, if you know your stuff!

Trust Your Gut

 Never underestimate the feeling you have about the home and people selling it. Does it seem like a quick house-flipping job? Or does it seem like someone put time into making sure their house sold by making quality decisions? Do the homeowners live there, or is it an investment property? One answer or the other doesn’t necessarily mean that they were cutting corners when they made their renovation choices, but it can help you decide if the choices they made are something you want to buy.


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Topics: Home Maintenance