Everyone knows that buying a home is a complicated process with many steps, and hidden costs can be a pitfall in the Decatur area, just as it can be anywhere else. The average home price in Decatur is around 170,000 (as if March 2022,) which is below average for the US at the same time. This makes Decatur a less expensive place to live.

However, it’s important to ensure there will be no extra maintenance costs after purchasing your home. Replacing an entire HVAC system can cost up to five figures, so checking its condition will help to keep your costs down in the long run.

Here are several things to check before purchasing a home.

Look at How Old the System Is

Some furnaces can last for a long time—decades even—but it’s still important to check a furnace’s age. Find the furnace’s serial number, which is typically on the side of the unit.

From there, you can look up the number to determine the age of the furnace.

A rule of thumb is that furnaces need replacing every 15 to 20 years, though some can work for longer with proper maintenance.

Check the Maintenance History

This might not always be available, but whether an HVAC system has been well-maintained also factors into how long it works properly. Sometimes, a sticker will be available on the unit itself with dates of past cleanings and inspections. If you’re lucky, the homeowner has kept a log of receipts pertaining to HVAC system repairs and inspections.

A well-maintained system will last longer than those that have never been maintained.

Find the Make and Model

This can also be found on the furnace and the AC unit (which is often outdoors.) The make and model can determine not only how long your furnace is set to last, but it can also determine how efficient your system is with energy use.

Once you have this information, you can look up your make and model online to view reviews, or you can view the unit’s AFUE percentage. This is how much energy your unit actually uses to heat or cool your home. The higher the percentage, the better. The best furnaces have an AFUE of over 90%. These furnaces can lead to the best savings.

Make Sure It’s the Right Size

Usually, an HVAC system is the right size for the home it’s in, but sometimes, installers choose improper furnaces, which can lead to energy loss and shorten the life of a unit.

Once you have a unit’s serial number, you can look up how many BTU’s it produces. This should match the home’s square footage, and if it does not, the furnace may not last as long or waste too much energy trying to heat your home.

Get a Professional Opinion

You can get an HVAC inspection on a home you’re thinking of buying in the Decatur area, and this will go a long way towards telling you about any potential issues that may arise after you purchase the home. On the other side, having a professional inspection may also ease your mind and make the homebuying process a bit less stressful.

Schedule an Inspection Today

At Southeastern Mechanical Services, we’re ready to help ensure you have the right HVAC system for your needs. Reach out today with any questions or services you may need.