Jul 6, 2023 | HVAC System, Age, Centerville, Cooling, Corrosion, Drafty, Ductwork, Dust, Heating, HVAC History, HVAC Inspection, Inconsistent, Maintenance, Noises, Odors, Older System, Registers, Regulation, Rust, Stuffy, Temperature, Unit, Vents

If you are currently in the market to buy a house, congratulations on this next chapter in your life! We understand that looking for the right home can be a daunting process, but Centerville Heating & Cooling is here to help ease the load. When looking for a new home, there are many factors to consider in your overall decision. But it’s important not to forget the house’s HVAC system as well. After all, it’s a crucial component of every house. So, to make your home-searching journey easier, we’ve compiled a list of five red flags to watch out for in your home-searching endeavors concerning HVAC systems. This can be particularly helpful if you’re not familiar with what to look for or what questions to ask about the HVAC system, especially if this is your first time buying a home! 

#1 Red Flag: An Older HVAC System  

First, let’s talk about the age of the system. Most HVAC units will have the manufacturing date written on a label on the side of the HVAC unit. But if you have a hard time locating it (it can be tricky) during your house tour, try to visually examine the HVAC units for signs of proper maintenance, age, etc. instead. Look for signs of a well-maintained furnace and AC unit, such as cleanliness and lack of corrosion. Conversely, large amounts of dust or signs of neglect could indicate that the units have not been regularly cared for.  

Keep in mind that while these factors can be a clue to the age of the unit, this does not determine the precise age of the HVAC system. It can, however, give you a rough idea. It’s important to know the age of the HVAC system in a house you want to buy because, normally, a well-cared-for system can last up to 15-20 years, depending on its maintenance routine. However, we don’t believe an older HVAC system should necessarily stop you from considering a home, but it is a significant factor to keep in mind as it could be used as a negotiation point for the house’s asking price in the future when you would need to upgrade the system. 

#2 Red Flag: Ductwork or Registers with Excessive Dust or Mold  

While walking through the house, make sure to check for moldy or dusty ducts and vent registers in every room. You should check the registers for excessive dust buildup or signs of mold by peeking through their slats, if possible. This may seem unnecessary, but again it will give you some insight into how well the system was taken care of, if it will require a duct cleaning, etc. In addition, checking for wear and tear on any exposed ductwork is important, as gaps or tears can lead to air leakage. Knowing about this beforehand can once again be helpful for negotiating reasons. 

#3 Red Flag: Loud, Unusual Noises Coming from the HVAC System   

During the house tour, please be attentive to any unusual noises coming from the HVAC system. While there are many things to look out for visually, you should be alert to any irregular audible noises as well. So, remember to “keep an ear” out for any loud clanging, banging, or whirring noises, as they may indicate an underlying issue. 

#4 Red Flag: Inconsistent Temperatures with Stuffy or Drafty Rooms   

To gauge the temperature consistency in a home, while you tour and move between rooms slowly, pay attention to how the air feels. Is it hot or stuffy? Does the temperature vary significantly from the previous room? Inconsistent air patches may indicate poor temperature regulation in the home. 

#5 Red Flag: Inconsistent Maintenance Records and Excessive Repairs    

If you’re interested in a house, we recommend asking for a copy of its HVAC maintenance history. This will help you understand how the system was maintained over time. If there’s no maintenance history available, we’d consider this a red flag (especially if the HVAC system is older), as regular checkups are necessary to keep the HVAC system functioning properly. In addition, it wouldn’t hurt to request the warranty policy too. 


If you’re feeling unsure about the HVAC system in a home you’re considering buying; we can help! Our NATE-certified technicians can perform what we call an HVAC inspection and provide a comprehensive report on the system’s condition, including necessary repairs and upgrades. (This usually can be negotiated into the terms and arranged by the homeowner if you decide to move forward with the house.) 

Please keep in mind that even though it may seem like an extra hassle during an already stressful time, having a reliable HVAC system is crucial to ensure your family’s comfort in all seasons. While having a roof over your head is obviously the top priority, a properly operating heating and cooling system comes in second place. Therefore, it is essential to know about the condition of the HVAC system of your new potential home! 

We hope you found our information helpful as you continue your search for your new home. If you have any additional questions or need a trusted HVAC company for your new home, please consider Centerville Heating & Cooling. We are committed to providing exceptional customer service and would be delighted to assist you! You can contact us at 937) 353-1169 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here