When purchasing a new home, there are a lot of factors to consider and address with your real estate agent. You should ask your agent if there were any previous owners, how old the home is, when the last time the roof was painted, how the windows function, and how long ago the homeowners updated the HVAC system.

Investigating the quality of a home’s HVAC system is a major part of the home buying process, as it could represent a significant additional cost to the homebuyer. However, first-time homeowners often forget to ask about the home’s HVAC system before closing the deal.

We are here to make sure you get the answers to all of the important questions about a home’s HVAC system before you close. Here are Warner Service’s top five questions to ask about your potential new home’s HVAC system:

What is the HVAC system’s history? This home may be new to you, but its HVAC system could have some history of repairs and replacements from previous homeowners. If you get the chance, talk to the past owners about the maintenance routine of the HVAC system (changing the air filters, cleaning the components, etc.) and ask if the unit was professionally examined at least twice per year.

During this conversation, you should also ask if there were any serious problems that occurred due to age, faulty machinery or overuse. Noting these answers can become part of your home bid negotiation, and could also save you lots of money in the long run.

Is the HVAC system properly sized? Having an improperly sized HVAC system can lead to heat loss, which can cost you extra money on your energy bills and repairs. To find out if the home’s HVAC system is improperly sized, call a professional to perform a maintenance check-up. Upon request, they can also give you suggestions and details on purchasing a new, energy-efficient system.

Can I test the thermostat? Whether the home’s thermostat is automatic or manual, it is important for new homeowners to test the control buttons and the indoor temperature. If you experience a cooler setting at a high temperature and/or vice versa, you should call a professional to examine the ducts.

While they are checking the ducts, ask the expert if they notice any water damage, loose fittings around the seams, denting, or other problems.

Is the furnace’s pilot light blue? Make sure you check the color of the furnace’s pilot light before you close the deal. This step is often overlooked, but it is an essential requirement for a safe and healthy home. If the pilot light is flickering yellow or orange, there could be combustion problems that could lead to carbon monoxide leakage. This requires professional assistance, so check the pilot light early and often.

Is there an outdoor air conditioning unit? If so, it is fully functional? If the home comes with an outdoor air conditioning unit, make sure that all of its components, especially the blades, are unobstructed by branches, shrubs, garden beds, and leaves. The condenser unit should be straight and undamaged. (Use a level to determine if the unit is tilted.) If any part of the outdoor air conditioning unit is damaged, rusted or non-functional, call a professional for a replacement part.

Talking about HVAC needs and expectations can be an overlooked aspect when checking out a new home. It is important that potential homeowners ask the previous homeowners, the real estate agent and the listing agent about the history and performance of the home’s HVAC system and its components. Make sure you get at least all five of the questions above answered before you sign any paperwork.

If you need any assistance in checking your new home’s HVAC system, contact Warner Service today.