Tips and Tricks for New Homeowners
May 24, 2018
There is a lot to be excited about when purchasing a home, especially if it’s your first! Making decisions based upon your wants, needs, and must-haves can shape what neighborhood you end up in, what school your children attend or even how big your yard is. But throughout the selection process, be sure not to neglect the things which can impact your pocketbook the most.
Before the Purchase:
Consider the type of home you purchase as it can have a significant effect on your family’s comfort once you’re all moved in. For example, two-story homes most often have one HVAC system to condition the entire house. This can lead to the 2nd floor staying warmer than desired in the summer months. It forces homeowners to crank down the temperature at the thermostat just to stay cool enough to sleep upstairs. Ideally, a two story home will have an independent heating and air conditioning system for the 2nd floor or a zoned duct system which can deliver airflow to each floor separately for better comfort control.
Additionally, slab homes don’t have basements where mechanical equipment and ductwork is most often located. For this reason, most slab homes have a mechanical closet in the middle of the house and ductwork running to each room either in the attic or through soffits. Make a point to test the HVAC equipment to discover how loud it might be. While some white noise is tolerable, you don’t want to be forced to turn up the TV in the living room just to hear your favorite show. If this is the case, the proper furnace can significantly reduce the noise in your new home.
General home inspections are always considered a best practice because they disclose any issues that might be hiding below the surface. But a general home inspection covers the entire house, so the depth of the inspection may not tell you much about the HVAC equipment beyond the age. We recommend getting a more detailed inspection on the furnace and air conditioner which can determine its current condition, expected life, and even uncover hidden issues before they become your problem.
Likewise, a gas inspection will ensure there are no dangerous leaks in the system. Beyond the obvious reasons of avoiding a gas leak, it’s important to discover if the lines hold pressure before the home sale is completed because the Spire Energy gas company will test the system before transferring the service into your name. So any leaks that were not previously discovered during the general inspection period are now your problem to resolve. Furthermore, a gas inspection will test the additional gas appliances in the home including the fireplace, range, and water heater to assure their function and safety.
Your New Home:
Now that you’ve jumped all the hurdles it’s time to enjoy your new life! To help extend your peace of mind, consider a few additional pointers. Maintenance for your HVAC equipment is like an oil change for your car as it will help to extend the life of your equipment and keep it running efficiently. Be sure to:
- Change the air filter(s) in your equipment regularly (every 3 months or so)
- Keep the outside air conditioner clear or dirt and debris and hose it off if necessary
- Consider a yearly maintenance agreement so trained professionals can take the guesswork and worry out of your life