Heating & Cooling Advice for First-Time Home Buyers

With everything that’s involved in purchasing a new house, it’s easy for first-time home buyers to overlook features that aren’t so easily visible, such as the heating and cooling system. Given San Antonio’s humid summers and cool winters, it’s important to know what kind of HVAC system you are getting. Review our tips:

  • Determine the system type – While most homes in the San Antonio area use furnaces, some do use boilers or heat pumps. The energy source for the system will affect your heating bills. If a furnace or boiler is operated, find out if it’s fueled by natural gas, oil, propane, or another fuel.
  • Learn the system’s age – After 10 years, HVAC systems are nearing the end of their lifespan. While a system could very well continue to perform for years longer, it’s operating at high risk for requiring major repairs or even complete replacement.
  • Find out the system’s efficiency rating – Although older systems are known to be less efficient, you’ll save more with a high-efficiency system over a mid-efficiency one, regardless of its age. For a furnace or boiler, review the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). For a heat pump, ask about the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF). Higher-efficiency systems usually include advanced features that improve their performance, such as variable-speed blower motors.
  • Check the warranty – Even if the HVAC system was under a warranty program when installed, the warranty may have expired or been voided due to improper maintenance, such as skipping annual inspections. Without a guaranteed warranty, unsuspecting first-time home buyers will have to pay for the full cost of any repairs or parts replacements.
  • Request the results of the last inspection – Heating and air conditioning systems each require annual professional inspections to keep running at peak efficiency and to prevent normal wear and tear from damaging the components. At the end of every inspection, the technician provides a report detailing any issues with the system. This report can pop up any potential problems.

If you’re among the many first-time home buyers confused about your HVAC system choices and maintenance requirements, contact us for help at Airtron Heating & Air Conditioning in San Antonio.

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