When you’re purchasing your first home, there are many different aspects to consider, including the entire home-buying process in itself. However, one thing that is often overlooked is the HVAC system in the home. 

Having a reliable HVAC system in your home brings your family comfort during the hot and cold seasons. If you make sure the unit in your future home is in proper shape, you will save money in the long run; not only on bills but also repair costs. This blog post can be your guide to the HVAC unit in your first home.

Efficiency of the unit

When determining the efficiency of a HVAC unit, there are multiple things to examine. The easiest way to see the efficiency is to check the efficiency ratings. For efficiency ratings of your air conditioning unit and furnace, you want to have a higher number. A higher number means your system will cost less.

Another indicator of its efficiency will be its age. As you would expect, an older unit will be less efficient than a newer unit. Typically, a HVAC unit lasts from 15 to 25 years. If the unit in a house you’re looking at 10 to 12 years old, you should expect some repairs in your future.

Insulation and air leaks

The efficiency of the unit in the home can be affected by the insulation and possibility of leaks in the windows and doors. The average home loses up to 30% of its heating and cooling energy through these leaks. Those air leaks cause a huge waste of money, and drafts through the house due to lack of insulation can do the same thing. Insulation is a costly service, but is worth it if you are feeling drafts around the place.

How the system is serviced

Depending on the previous homeowners, it may be difficult to find the documentation on who installed the HVAC unit. However, you should try to find out. You should verify if the company is trustworthy and installed the system properly. 

It’s also recommended to check the status of the warranty on the unit. Some companies do not allow the warranty to be transferred. Having a reliable HVAC company to service your system is extremely helpful if any problems arise.

If you want to learn more about servicing your HVAC system, check out our blog post about HVAC repair.

Maintenance history

Speaking of maintenance and repair, you want access to the unit’s repair history. If the system is routinely serviced, it will determine how much you will be putting into it for repairs. It can also help you determine if you are better off replacing the unit due to recurring issues.

Examining the ducts and learning the history of inspections on it are important, too. If the ductwork in the home contains any dirt, dust, debris, mold, or mildew, it can result in poor air quality or damage to the unit.

Annual costs of the systems

First, you should do research on what kind of system is in the home. There are several types of HVAC: furnaces; boilers; split heating/cooling; ductless. They can also be fueled by electricity, natural gas, oil, or something else. In most cases, the seller of the home will tell you what kind of HVAC system is in the home.

Learning about the type of system will help you determine the costs. Consider the aforementioned points, like efficiency and age, along with the type to determine how much your system will cost you annually.


When shopping for your first home, it’s likely that the seller can help you with information on the HVAC unit. But don’t forget to also inspect it with your own eyes! If the seller doesn’t have proper information and you’re unsure, you can always try to get an inspection from a reliable HVAC company.