Whether you’re local or moving to Charleston from another city or state there is no arguing that the late Summer temps are BRUTAL. Air conditioning is a must and it’s important to know what to ask and look for when you’re buying a new home in the south in regards to HVAC units. No one wants to be stuck in the heat without Air Conditioning OR have to move in and replace a whole unit.
How Old Is the System?
The average HVAC system, including furnaces and outdoor AC units, lasts 10 to 15 years. If it is nearing the end of its life and will need to be replaced in a few years, that’s a cost that will become your responsibility. If it needs to be replaced now, we will try to negotiate a new HVAC system into your offer deal or ask for a reduction in the asking price to make up for the cost. Most sellers will be upfront about this, however we always do our due-diligence to double check any large systems or mechanics of a home before our buyers make an offer.
Has it been well Maintained?
System age is only one factor affecting how well the AC and furnace will operate. If the seller has performed regular HVAC maintenance, then even an older AC or furnace will provide better performance. You’ll also have to replace the unit sooner, even if you get on a strict maintenance schedule as soon as you move in. If the previous owners neglected routine maintenance, your inspector will be able to tell. Rattling compressors, dirty vents, and other problems crop up relatively frequently in neglected HVAC systems and are always noted on the inspection list.
What Kind of System Is It?
Is the brand reputable and innovative or one not as common? Older systems that don’t have an ENERGY STAR rating will cost you more in energy expenses each month than a new ENERGY STAR AC and furnace would. We always check the thermostat, too. During a showing we will see what the temp is set to, see how the house feels, do we hear it kick on/off? It’s easy to spot concerns pretty quickly. If the thermostat is the old mercury variety, we will ask the sellers to replace it before you sign the deal.
What’s the Warranty?
If the system is still under warranty we will verify that it can transfer to the new home owner. If not we can consider the cost of buying your own warranty on the HVAC system. If any problems do crop up after you’ve moved in, you’ll be glad you have the warranty to cover your costs especially on a newer unit that checks out during inspection.
Having a knowledgeable realtor who is on your side when searching for a home in Charleston, S.C. is a valuable resource. At Front Porch Properties S.C. I will make sure you have all the answers to your questions and have a deal negotiated in your best interest.