Are you one of the thousands of Floridians purchasing a home this year? If you’re buying an existing home instead of new construction, you’ll likely be inspecting the big ticket items in the house – the foundation, electrical, plumbing, HVAC and roof.
Wear and tear is normal for any house, and it’s typical for issues to come up on the home inspection. But some items in your home require more of an investment to repair or replace, and deserve a closer look before signing on the dotted line.
Don’t close on your new home in Green Cove Springs without asking these questions about the HVAC system and roof.
1. What is it?
First things first, you need to know what you’re looking at. Being familiar with your HVAC system and roof provides insight on what potential issues to look for and how to best care for your home in the future.
Is your HVAC ducted or ductless? Is it a split system or zoned? How many units are in the house? Do you have a furnace or a heat pump?
Is your roof pitched or flat? Determine what type it is – gable, hip, butterfly, mansard, or one of many other designs? Was it roofed with shingles, tiles, metal panels, or slate?
2. How old is it?
Determining the age of your HVAC and roof will let you know if or when they need to be replaced.
- Look for the nameplate on your unit, typically located on the main cabinet. The manufacturing date is usually listed directly on the nameplate.
- If the nameplate doesn’t list the manufacturing date, use the model and serial numbers to determine your unit’s age. A quick internet search of your model and serial numbers can usually provide an answer. You can also try the Building Intelligence Center to look up your specific unit.
- If you cannot find the nameplate on your AC unit, contact an HVAC technician to inspect the unit. The tech will help you determine the age and approximate installation date of your unit.
- Ask the previous owners, as they might have replaced the roof during their residence. If so, they can provide you with the date of replacement and the name of the installer.
- Check for permits with your county’s building authority, and look for the issuing date. Permits are required for the installation of a new roof or the repair of an existing roof for work exceeding 500 square feet. Keep in mind that minor repairs, like shingle replacement, do not require a permit.
- Get an estimate from a licensed roofing professional. They can usually give an approximate age of a roof.
3. Has it been maintained?
Regular maintenance is the #1 way to extend the life of both HVACs and roofs. Ask about the maintenance schedule for your HVAC and roof to determine their condition and remaining lifespan.
- Request contact information of the HVAC company that has maintained the unit. This tech is likely the most familiar with the home’s unit and can provide details and maintenance records.
- Depending on the age of the unit, it might still be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Ask the seller for warranty details, if any. Remember, many warranties require proof of regular system maintenance to file a claim.
- Look for signs of deferred maintenance – dirty air filters; debris on the outdoor condenser; a loud, constantly-cycling system; humidity inside the house; or foul odors coming from vents.
- Ask the sellers if any repairs or maintenance work has been performed on the roof, and request copies of the receipts. Be specific – if you know the date of a large storm that hit the area, ask if any repairs were needed afterward.
- Visually inspect your roof for signs of damage or neglect, such as missing shingles, holes, or sags in the roofline. All of these indicate the roof has been neglected, and it could be time for a new roof.
Call DDI to inspect your home’s HVAC and roof.
Our HVAC and roofing divisions have the experience and know-how to help you determine the age and condition of your assets. Contact us to schedule an inspection, and set up a maintenance schedule to protect your new investment.