Buying a home and inspecting the AC unit

Learn how to avoid costly AC repairs when buying a home

If you're planning on buying a home this summer, then it's always a good idea to have a thorough inspection done on a house before you purchase it. With most home inspections, an assessment of the HVAC system will be included, but it's also smart to take a look at the AC unit for yourself. After all, there could be potential problems missed during a full-home inspection, and the last thing you want is a hefty AC repair or replacement bill shortly after you move in.

Avoid costly AC repairs when buying a home
  • Ask for details on the AC unit

  • Your real estate agent or the seller's agent should be able to give you some basic information on the home's existing air conditioning unit, such as how long ago it was installed and what kind of maintenance/repairs have been done on it since. Ideally, the current homeowners will have proof of having annual inspections and tune-ups done, which can give you added peace of mind. If the AC unit is nearing 10 years old or if it has needed extensive repairs in the past, there's a good chance it will need replacing soon. This is especially important to consider while moving during the summer months, as you don't want to be left without a working air conditioner during the hottest days of the year.

  • Watch out for red flags

  • In addition to finding out about the age of the AC unit and the type of maintenance/repairs that have been done on it in the past, there are some potential "red flags" to watch out for. For instance, as you're walking through the home, does it seem like some rooms are warmer or cooler than others? If so, this could be a sign of a problem with the AC unit's blower motor or even the duct work.

  • Some other possible warning signs to watch out for include

  • 1. - Odd noises coming from the unit while in operation

  • 2. - Cracks, dents, or rust on the unit itself

  • 3. - Foliage or large obstructions to the unit

  • 4. - Musty smells around the unit

  • If you spot any of these problems, it may be worth it to get an HVAC professional out to perform an inspection and tune-up on the unit before you move forward. If it's likely that the unit will need replaced soon, you may be able to negotiate a credit or some other compensation in your buying agreement with the seller.

  • A note about air filters

  • Even if your new home's AC unit seems to be in great condition, it's important that you continue with regular inspections and maintenance, which includes changing AC air filters every 45-90 days. Doing so will not only improve the quality of your indoor air, but will ensure more efficient operation of your air conditioner and possibly save you on your cooling costs this summer as well! You can find a wide range of air filters at Factory Direct Filters, so browse our selection today and enjoy the convenience of having them delivered to your door.


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