Homeowner HVAC questions.

What HVAC Questions To Ask When Buying A Home In Iowa

July 30, 2021

Buying a house is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in your lifetime. That's why it’s important to be prepared when you begin the house hunting process. Don’t just focus on cosmetic features that are easy to see and appraise — remember the things that are behind-the-scenes, such as the furnace, air conditioner, thermostat and other HVAC equipment and appliances.

As you view different houses, be sure to closely inspect each HVAC system and ask questions about its age and condition. It may not be the prettiest feature you're looking at, but it's one of the most important — especially in states like Iowa, where we experience extreme heat and extreme cold and rely on our HVAC systems to keep us comfortable.

Here are some key home buying questions we suggest you ask about the HVAC system before you buy.

Iowa HVAC Home Buying Questions

1. How old is the HVAC system?

One of the first questions to ask when buying a home is how old the HVAC system is. This information may even be viewable before you attend a showing if it is included on the real estate listing page.

Why does HVAC system age matter?

An older HVAC system may last a few more years, but you can probably count on having significant repairs performed on older models as the years go by. There's also the issue of changing technology and the challenge of finding replacement parts for older units.

An older unit could also fail suddenly, which could mean dealing with the expense of replacing the whole system without much notice. If your unit needs major repairs, you’ll need to weigh the benefits of repairing versus replacing the whole unit.

What is a good HVAC system age?

Experts estimate that most HVAC systems last 10-15 years. Some may last longer than that, but once your unit reaches 10-12 years, it's smart to begin saving for a new one. If your 15-year-old HVAC equipment needs a major repair, it may make more sense to replace it.

What is a bad HVAC system age?

If the house you're viewing has an HVAC system older than 13-15 years, you should be prepared to replace it soon after you move in. It could end up lasting longer than you think, but it's good to be aware of the risks of owning an older HVAC system.

There’s no reason to avoid houses with older HVAC systems altogether, but Iowa homebuyers should always consider the age of the A/C and furnace when looking at houses to buy.

2. Is there a transferable HVAC warranty on the system?

Most HVAC systems come with a warranty of some kind, and many are transferable. Always ask about the HVAC warranty when house hunting.

Why does a transferable HVAC warranty matter?

HVAC warranties vary depending on the manufacturer. A warranty can provide protection from defects in materials and workmanship and provide. A transferable warranty essentially allows you to inherit the previous homeowner's protection when you buy their house and their HVAC system.

If you don’t receive a transferable warranty, you may need to pay out-of-pocket for all repairs, even when manufacturing defects or workmanship issues are at fault.

What is a good response?

Obviously, it’s nice to have a valid warranty on any expensive piece of equipment. If a seller does have a transferable warranty on their HVAC system, be sure to find out what the warranty covers and how long it lasts.

What is a bad response?

If an HVAC warranty is not transferable, that simply means you won't receive any warranty benefits when you move into the new house. You'll need to be prepared to pay for replacement parts and repairs — even if there is a manufacturer's defect at fault.

3. What type of HVAC system is installed?

You'll want to know what type of technology has been installed to cool and heat the home. While certain types of HVAC equipment are more common, there are a wide variety of options for heating and cooling systems.

What are the various HVAC system types and why does it matter?

Different HVAC systems can differently impact your utility bills, and the cost of repairs and replacement parts can vary as well. Common HVAC system types include:

What is a good HVAC system type?

The best HVAC system types are the ones that are in good repair, keep your home comfortable and are affordable to run and maintain. A system with a gas furnace and central air conditioning is common for most modern homes.

What is a bad HVAC system type?

There are pros and cons for all types of heating and cooling systems, with many contributing factors. For example, any type of electrical heating can be expensive to run in places with very cold winters.

Another thing to consider beyond the different HVAC system types is the size of each system and whether it is the correct size to keep your home comfortable.

Do You Still Have Questions? Lozier Is Here To Help!

If you’re still looking for more answers to your home buying questions, reach out to the experts at Lozier Heating & Cooling! Our team of expert technicians would love to help you navigate the complex world of HVAC warranties, HVAC system types and figuring out the most important questions to ask when buying a home. Contact us online today, or give us a call at 515-267-1000.