Buying a home is likely the most expensive purchase most people make in their lifetime, and first time homebuyers often rely on a home inspection to determine whether their dream home is a worthy investment. The problem is that home inspectors aren’t currently regulated in Ontario. Anyone can be a home inspector without any certifications or licenses and there is no requirement on how thoroughly different areas of the home must be inspected. As someone making the biggest investment of your life, you should always ensure that you get a comprehensive HVAC inspection before purchasing a new home.
Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are complex machines and require experience, expert knowledge and specialized tools to inspect. Many home inspectors do not have an extensive background in the heating and cooling field and only turn the furnace and air conditioner on to see if it “works” before marking the system functional.
When you hire a professional to perform an HVAC inspection, they’ll do a thorough inspection and determine the overall condition of the unit. In addition, they can:
- Ensure the system is sufficient for the size for the home.
- Check to ensure the unit was installed correctly and meets current building codes.
- Point out potential problems or repairs that could be costly in the future.
- Explain how the system works and provide recommendations for repair or replacement before purchasing the home.
You’ll also want to make sure you get the following information from the realtor/homeowner:
- Installation Date – HVAC systems have a lifespan of 10-15 years. Knowing when the systems were installed will give you a general idea of when it will need to be replaced.
- Warranty Information/Maintenance Records – Ask about warranties that are on the HVAC system (manufacturer and installation), and ensure they can be transferred to a new owner. Also ask to see the annual maintenance records for all systems, as warranties can be voided without proper, licensed upkeep.
Heating and cooling units are complex machines, and, unfortunately, thorough HVAC inspections are rare during a general home inspection. Failing to properly inspect the home comfort system before purchasing could quickly turn your dream home into a money pit.
If you are looking at your dream home and are unsure what to look for in an HVAC system, contact Team Harding today. We would be happy to answer any questions you have!
Harding Heating & Air Conditioning has been Ottawa’s leading home comfort specialists since 1994. We are a family owned and operated local business and all of our installers and technicians are fully licensed.