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

Are you currently looking to purchase a new home? If so, congratulations on taking this exciting step in your life! Your local Canal Winchester Heating & Cooling experts understand that buying a new home can be overwhelming due to the many factors you must consider in the decision-making process, but it is important to keep in mind that the HVAC system is a crucial aspect of your new potential abode. We know that choosing the perfect place to call “home sweet home” is a big decision. So, to make the home-searching process a tad easier for you, we have compiled a list of five red flags to look out for in an HVAC system when searching for a new home.  

Red Flag #1: Be Mindful of Older Units 

It can be challenging to know what to look for or what questions to ask, especially if this is your first time buying a home. Age is one thing you want to keep in mind. Most HVAC units will have the manufacturing date written on the label on the side of the unit. But if you have a hard time locating it during your house tour, try to visually examine the HVAC units for signs of proper maintenance, age, etc., instead. Although you will not be able to determine the precise age of the unit just by looking at it, watching out for things like excessive dust or signs of corrosion can be an indication of poor maintenance and an older system. Typically, an HVAC system can last between 15 to 20 years, depending on how well they have been maintained. So, although the age of a unit should most definitely not be a deal breaker, this information will give you an idea of when the system may need to be upgraded in the future. Which ultimately can be a good negotiating point when making an offer on a house. 

Red Flag #2: Be Mindful of Ductwork and Vents   

The second red flag we suggest watching out for is excessive dust and mold. Sounds like a given, right? While this may be true, when you are touring a home, it is easy to get caught up in many other things as you visit each room. You’ll be busy looking at the space, windows, closets, etc. Looking at vents or registers may be the last thing on your mind when browsing your potential home. And that’s why we are here to remind you that you should check for moldy or dusty ducts and vent registers as you walk through the house. Dust is completely normal, but what you want to be wary of is excessive amounts of it overloading the HVAC registers. You should also try to peep through the slats of the registers to scan them for any signs of mold. 

Exposed ductwork is another thing you should be on the watch for, as gaps or holes in the ductwork will mean some repairs will need to be done. Knowing if there are any gaps or tears in the ductwork is another important point for negotiating purposes, as this should be repaired as soon as possible due to air leakage issues. 

Red Flag #3: Be Mindful of Loud, Unusual Noises   

You not only want to keep your eyes on the lookout during your house tour, but you should keep your ears peeled as well. Be on the alert for any loud and disruptive noises that may come from the HVAC system. While there may be many things to visually focus on, it’s important to also listen for any unusual sounds such as clanging, banging, or whirring. These sounds may indicate there is an underlying problem with the HVAC system. 

Red Flag #4: Be Mindful of Stuffy or Drafty Rooms   

When moving through different rooms, try to take your time to notice how the air feels in each space. Is it hot or stuffy in a certain room? Perhaps it’s drafty. Does the temperature change significantly from one room to another? This can indicate that the home has poor temperature control and inconsistent airflow. 

Red Flag #5: Be Mindful of Inconsistent Maintenance Records & Excessive Repairs 

If you are interested in the home after your walk-through, we recommend requesting its HVAC maintenance history to gauge its upkeep. It would be considered a red flag if there was no maintenance history, as annual maintenance is important for the system’s longevity. Maintenance records will also show if an excessive number of repairs have been performed on this system, which is something you will also want to consider. Additionally, asking for the warranty policy, too, couldn’t hurt. 


If you’re feeling unsure about purchasing a home due to uncertainty about the HVAC system, we can help! Even if you know what warning signs or red flags to look for, it can still be daunting. Luckily, we offer an HVAC inspection service. This is where a NATE-certified technician will provide you with a detailed report on the HVAC system in the house. This report will include recommendations for repairs and upgrades, so you’ll have all the information you need. (This usually can be negotiated into the terms and arranged by the homeowner if you decide to move forward with the house.) 

It may seem like an additional hassle during an already stressful time, but having a well-functioning HVAC system is just as important as having a roof over your family’s head. A reliable heating and cooling system is absolutely necessary to keep your family comfortable in all seasons. Therefore, it is crucial to know the condition of the HVAC system of the home you will potentially be staying in. 

As you search for your new home, we hope our information has been helpful. If you have further questions or need a trustworthy HVAC company, consider giving Canal Winchester Heating & Cooling a try. We strive to provide five-star customer service and would be thrilled to assist you! You can contact us at (614) 524-4737 or schedule an appointment online now by clicking here