If you are entering the market for a new home, you probably have a good idea of how much work is involved in a buying a new home – or at least you will find out very quickly! While gourmet kitchens, his and her sinks in the master bath and a pool in the backyard are all at the top of your list, don’t neglect the not-so-glamorous, yet crucial, features like the AC system. No, it won’t be your proudest feature to show off in the new home, but it is the most important for your comfort. It’s easy to get caught up in the aesthetic features of the house – after all, often times, that is what your purchase decision comes down to. However, the homes air conditioning system is not something to ignore. We’ve combined all of the most important AC components that home buyers often forget to check before signing on the dotted line.
Just as you look for signs of upkeep on the carpets, wood floors and structural components, check out the overall upkeep of the home’s AC system. This will let you know generally how well the system was maintained by the previous tenants. If it looks bad from the start, chances are it has other internal maintenance issues lingering.
Start by turning on both the air and the heat and check that both are blowing air at their respective temperatures. If you have any hesitation about the system, check the manufacture’s date on the outside unit to see how old it is, keeping in mind that systems have a lifespan of ten to twelve years. The technology in AC units has become significantly better in recent years so it is recommended to update the unit if it is nearing the end of its lifecycle. An updated unit will provide better efficiency and lowers electric bills for the home. Of course, if you still aren’t sure about the condition of the system, we recommend calling in an HVAC expert to assess and advise on the situation.
A home inspector can also help you thoroughly check this, as well, as every other aspect of the home such as the plumbing, electric, and roofing. Be sure to pay attention to any unfamiliar smells and investigate to figure out the culprit. The last thing you want is to take on a house with a potential mold problem. Florida is known for its humid weather and if the house has sat empty for some time it is possible that mold has grown in the vents. If you do discover mold, it needs to be taken care of right away. The current homeowner should be responsible for ensuring corrective steps are taken before transferring ownership. If not, walk away.
If you love the house but the AC system is not up to your standards, or even the manufacturers’ standards, try negotiating with the owner to include a new system in the price of the home. The last thing you want is a beautiful, yet inefficient house with tons of costly maintenance issues to be addressed.
If the home’s unit is in good shape ask the seller if they have an extended warranty on their AC system that will transfer with the home ownership. If their warranty is with Snyder, transferring the extended warranty is typically a onetime $25 fee for the new owners to enjoy the benefits of the units’ warranty.
Switching gears, if you are putting your house on the market there are several steps to take to get the most return on your investment. When you put your home on the market you are up against some stiff competition. Completing small fix-her-uppers such as a bathroom remodels or kitchen appliance upgrades can significantly increase the value of your home. A new AC system, or at least one in excellent shape, can do the same.
The first and easiest step is to make sure that you have a clean air filter in place. This is the quickest and easiest thing for buyers to check and if it is dirty they will instantly question the condition and upkeep of the rest of your homes fundamental features. Filters are inexpensive and should be changed every 1-3 months depending on your homes indoor environment. Other housekeeping musts are to dust the interior air vent grills on the walls and ceilings and clean the debris from around the outside AC unit. While you are improving the landscaping for curb appeal, cut back the bushes from the unit and clear out any leaves that are stuck in the grill.
Call in your local HVAC servicing company to do a maintenance run through of your entire system so that you are aware of any issues and the potential buyer doesn’t find them first. At Snyder, a maintenance check includes a 25-point cleaning and troubleshooting system analysis. Since this winter has been especially rainy and humid you want to check the vents for mold or mildew growth. Many types of mold can cause serious health problems. Oftentimes, a UV light will kill it however, be sure to call in the HVAC experts if you are suspicious of mold growth.
We recommend calling in a professional from Snyder to inspect the duct work for hidden issues that you won’t be able to see on your own. Once they give you the green light, your AC unit should be in perfect selling condition. A house on the market with the combination of remodeled bathrooms, updated kitchen appliances, fresh backyard landscaping, new paint on the walls and a perfectly running AC unit will be the jackpot for homebuyers. Get the most money for your home knowing that you did the right thing and left the house in great shape for its next owner to enjoy and make new memories in. For any further questions about the best steps to take before buying or selling a house or any AC maintenance questions, contact us here.