The last thing you need is to move into a new house in the middle of a Corpus Christi summer just for the AC or heat pump cooling to fail. A home inspection should catch some problems before you decide to buy, but what exactly does one cover? Learn the HVAC checks you should do when you move in, especially if you opt to skip a home inspection.
What an HVAC Inspection for Home Purchase Covers
First, it’s important to know what an inspector will look at—if you choose to hire one. Here’s what a professional inspection will tell you about your HVAC:
If there are any visible signs of damage.
The age of the units, if able to be determined.
Whether the cooling, heat, thermostat, ducts, air handler, and other parts of your system function properly.
The service records for your system, if available.
Things to Know About Your HVAC When You Move In
The more you know about your HVAC, the easier it will be to keep it running smoothly and get repairs when needed. You should know:
Where your units are located and how to access them.
The age and brand of your units.
Whether your home cools and heats with electricity or gas.
The cooling and heating capacity of your system, especially if you plan to add rooms to your new home.
Whether the system has been regularly maintained.
Any major repair requirements reported by your inspector.
The HVAC filter dimensions and MERV rating you need.
How to Check Your HVAC System for Potential Problems
If you choose to forego an inspection (or just want to double-check), you can take your own look at the system to make sure there’s no visible damage. Check that your heating and cooling turn on when you set the thermostat.
For the most in-depth information about your HVAC system, schedule an inspection with One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Corpus Christi. Our routine air conditioner or heater maintenance inspections ensure that your equipment is in top form for the next cooling or heating season.
Schedule twice-a-year HVAC maintenance, or keep an eye out for these signs that your system needs maintenance or repairs:
Uneven cooling or heating.
Unusual smells when air blows from your vents.
Energy bills that jump for seemingly no reason.
Short cycling (your air conditioner or heater running, turning off, and running again in very short intervals).
Unusual noises such as banging, whistling, or screeching.
How to Tell How Old an AC Unit Is
Find out how old your air conditioner (or air source heat pump) is by checking the nameplate. You can usually find it on the back side of the outdoor condenser. You’re looking for the manufacture date, which may also be printed as “MFG” or “MFR date.” If the unit doesn’t have a manufacture date printed, take note of the model and serial numbers instead. A quick online search of your air conditioner’s brand, model number, and serial number should tell you how old the unit is. Air conditioners typically last 15 years while air source heat pumps can last up to 20 years.
How to Tell How Old a Furnace Is
A furnace or heater’s manufacture date may be printed on its side, on the interior of the small door on the front of the unit, or on a fan blade. Just make sure the heater is off before checking that last one!
You can also find your heater’s age using the serial number. The serial number may be printed in any of the same places as the manufacture date. Note the first four digits. The first two correspond to the factory where the unit was made, and the second two stand for the year of manufacture. For example, a heater whose serial number starts with 1209 would have been built in 2009.
The nine-digit model number can also tell you the manufacture date. After the first digit (always a letter), the first and second numbers tell you the year of manufacture while the third and fourth tell you which week in that year. For example, a model number beginning F1305 would have been made in the fifth week of 2013.
Do I Need a New Home HVAC System?
If an HVAC unit is older than 15 years, consider having it replaced. Even if it still functions, older air conditioners and heaters are far less efficient than modern units. This is also the perfect opportunity to switch from gas to more environmentally-friendly electric units or to install an efficient heat pump instead of a classic heater.
If you’re looking to upgrade to more modern, efficient air conditioning or heating, you may want to schedule installation before you move in. That way, you avoid being without air conditioning in the Corpus Christi heat. Heat pumps even come with federal incentives and can replace your old AC and old heater in one go.
Quick HVAC Repairs and Installation for Your New Home
We want you to be comfortable in your new home. That’s why One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Corpus Christi offers quick and effective service to all parts of your HVAC system. We can correct damage noticed by an inspector, provide regular maintenance check-ups, or replace an old unit that’s on its way out.