Buying a home is an exciting time. The anticipation of a new house can sometimes be a bit overwhelming, especially with all the necessary steps needed to be taken in order to get the keys handed over for the first time. Many of these steps are mandatory—set in place by government or bank regulations before loans can be approved or sales can be finalized. It’s very easy to get caught up in these mandatory process points. Unfortunately, many important aspects of buying a home sometimes get lost if home buyers do, in fact, get caught up in those items.

One such common oversight on the part of homebuyers, as well as home builders, is the HVAC system (and other “hidden” mechanical systems in the home.) Especially with new homes, we often see much of the available budget going to upgraded finishes and visually appealing features. Many builders and their clients often think that just having a “new” HVAC system is good enough. They often don’t leave enough money in the budget for important items such as a high-quality duct system or high efficiency furnace. We even see this problem in extremely expensive new builds. Not enough money is set aside initially and the homeowner ends up with a cheap HVAC system. This results in poor home comfort almost immediately, which almost always leaves the homeowner frustrated and wondering why their new house is so uncomfortable given the huge amount of money they paid.

The same can be said for homes on the existing market. Similarly to the problem stated above with new builds, homebuyers often tend to ignore some of the most important questions when it comes to home buying, or simply don’t have the knowledge to make an informed inquiry and decision. Most people rely on just the simple, required home inspection. While this inspection can certainly point out some great things to alert the homeowner, there are some items that may go overlooked. Depending on the quality of the inspector, they may just go down the “required” checklist in order to satisfy all parties and approve the sale. As long as things are in decent working order, the inspection will pass. Unfortunately, when it comes to things such as the quality of the HVAC system, homebuyers are often left in the dark before making that ultimately huge decision. They understandably don’t have the knowledge to predict and know the comfort level of the home without help and guidance from a trained professional.

For these reasons, it’s always a great idea to spend some money during the home buying process to have a full comfort and safety audit done on a home before making the purchase. As a homeowner, you have every right to contract this home audit before making a decision one way or another. With a comprehensive set of tests, a quality contractor will be able to determine where the system could use improvements and where focus should be placed in order to maximize comfort and efficiency in your new home.

While it may add a little bit of money to your home buying budget, it’s likely an extremely small fraction of the overall cost, and can save a great deal of money and frustration in the long run. A full home energy audit can give you peace of mind and provide you comfort both during and after your home purchase process. 

Tags: , , , ,