Buying a home is both thrilling and a touch scary. For many potential home buyers in the El Paso market, there’s an extra level of worry, because although the market is currently busy and competitive, there are fewer new homes for sale. Purchasing an older home brings up new questions about how many upgrades the house may need.
A part of an older home that may need an extensive upgrade is its HVAC system. This isn’t a cosmetic part of the house: it’s essential for comfort and energy efficiency. A home can look beautiful but have a money-draining old HVAC system hiding inside. Making upgrades with a new furnace or air conditioner, repairs to aging components, and changes to ductwork can turn into the most expensive part of getting a “fixer-upper.”
We’re here to help you with education about HVAC systems in older homes. You can use this information whether you’re looking to purchase or sell a house in the current market.
What You Need to Know About an Older Home’s HVAC System
Never be afraid to ask questions about the HVAC system when approaching an older home purchase. This isn’t an eye-catching feature of a house, but you need to know important information about it so you’ll understand what kind of upgrades you’ll have to make in the near future.
Here are a few key questions to ask a realtor about the HVAC system:
- How old is the system? This isn’t a case of “they sure built them better in the old days!” An HVAC system that’s more than 15 years old, or getting close to it, will soon need major upgrades. Most central air conditioners last about 15 years, and furnaces around 20, so in this age range you’re already looking at a replacement within the next few years for at least one major part of the system.
- Are the warranties in place? Warranties can be transferred to a new owner, so ask if the warranties still cover the system, which parts they cover, and how much longer the warranties will stay valid.
- Has the equipment been well-maintained? We stress with our customers the importance of annual maintenance for all parts of an HVAC system. Ask a realtor to see maintenance and service records so you’ll know if a home’s system is up-to-date with its inspections and tune-ups. If the system’s maintenance has been neglected, it can end up costing you in repairs and early replacements.
- Does the AC use R-22 refrigerant? Because of an R-22 phaseout, air conditioners that use this refrigerant cannot be repaired in case of refrigerant leaks. An R-22 air conditioning system definitely needs a complete replacement.
All these questions will lead to the overall big question to ask yourself: Will I need to have the HVAC system of this home replaced?
How Peak Home Performance Can Help
Don’t worry if you feel bewildered about what upgrades are necessary for an older home’s HVAC system. This is why you have the local experts at Peak Home Performance around. Whether you’re buying a home or selling one, you can place your full trust in our HVAC knowledge to help you with the diagnostics that will give you the information you need.
- We’re better than relying on a home inspector. An inspector can help with many parts of a house, but few of these inspectors are HVAC professionals.
- We understand the local neighborhood and the current housing market, so we know the struggles you’re going through. We don’t just serve the local community, we’re a part of it.
- We offer a quick response and a fast turnaround time—we understand that whether you’re buying or selling, you need a team that can move quickly.
- We don’t use high-pressure salespeople, and we will always take the time needed to explain what’s necessary.
- We have a reputation for reliability, and we treat all our customers like family. Just check out our customer reviews, like this one from a Palme Lake customer: “Excellent service that went far and above our expectations in every way! From the time that we scheduled our appointment until the last person left our home, Peak Home Performance followed through with professionalism. Highly recommended!”
- We offer 10% off a new AC or HVAC System
We Can Help With Selling a Home as Well
Most of what we talked about above also applies if you’re selling a home, although you may need to take extra steps to help draw buyers. For example, consider the efficiency ratings of the HVAC system (SEER, HSPF, AFUE). High-efficiency systems are very appealing to potential buyers, and if the equipment in the house is already over 10 years old, you may wish to replace it to take advantage of the best in current high-efficiency systems.
If you’re a real estate professional, our team at Peak Home Services has the knowledge of the local market and the skills necessary to get HVAC upgrades, replacements, and retrofits done quickly and affordably. We’re trustworthy, know the area, and are responsive.
Are you a local real estate professional? Contact us to learn more about our referral program!