An HVAC Checklist When Buying An Older Home

A house is one of the most important purchases you can make in your life! Older homes are great because they are filled with character and memories left by previous owners, however, older homes that are not recently renovated can also come with some baggage. This could mean aging or worn-out HVAC equipment that can cost you quite a lot down the line. To avoid any unexpected hefty bills, here is a checklist on what to look out for when thinking about buying an old home! 

Indoor HVAC Equipment Checklist: 

Having the furnace checked by a certified technician during the home inspection will provide you with the necessary information to know what kind of condition the furnace is in. If there are issues with the furnace, the realtor may be able to help you by subtracting the costs of the furnace from the seller’s asking price.  

All indoor HVAC units must be assessed for the following: 

  • Unusual sounds or odours 
  • Presence and condition of the air filters  
  • Cleanliness of evaporators coils, drain pans and any other drain lines 
  • Cleanliness of blower assembly and blower housing  
  • Presence of potential gas leaks in the furnaces 
  • Condition of the fan belt  
  • Properly maintained ventilation 
  • Temperatures of wet and dry bulbs 
  • Signs of any corrosion  
  • And other items that a certified HVAC technician will look out for.  

Check the Ductwork 

It could be possible that the older home you are looking to purchase has electric or steam radiant heat. If that is the case, your home has no ductwork and from there you have two options: 

1. Install Ductwork throughout your home: while this can be invasive and expensive, you can work with your contractor to minimize the ductwork visibility, while efficiently moving air to all parts of the house. 

2. Opt for a ductless system: These systems do not require ducts; however, you must run small refrigerant and drainage lines from an outdoor unit to one or more indoor units 

If you are interested in learning more about ductless HVAC systems, please read our blog post “An Introduction To Ductless Heating and Cooling Systems” for more information!

Outdoor Unit Checklist 

The outdoor HVAC units are just as important to inspect before purchasing a home. When determining the unit’s condition use this checklist:  

  • Clean away debris from the unit 
  • Inspect all drains and openings and remove any impediments 
  • Inspect the fan blades and motor units for any issues 
  • Check the cabinet and any coils 
  • Make sure the unit has the necessary levels of refrigerant  

Even if your HVAC equipment passes inspection, it’s important to remember how important regular maintenance is for keeping your older units in good condition. To learn more about the importance of maintenance on your unit, here are some of our previous blog posts which talk about the importance of maintenance: “A guide to Furnace Maintenance” & “Reasons to Cover Your AC Unit In The Off-Season“.  

For the average person, inspecting HVAC equipment is tricky and for such an important step in purchasing a home, it is crucial that you have a qualified HVAC technician to take this burden off your shoulders. Here at Energy Clean, we have friendly technicians that will work with you to assess the unit’s condition and recommend a plan for moving forward. To get more information about HVAC inspections, and maintenance or to schedule an appointment click the button below!  

Share This Post


Scott Tizzard

President & Founder

Since 2013 I have been helping Canadians by providing the best in class heating and cooling solutions for their homes and businesses. I am hands on with my business and take pride in our work and craftsmanship. We look forward to taking care of your needs. Feel free to contact me directly.