As a first-time homebuyer, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of new information you’re faced with, and wondering if you’re asking the right questions. The pros at Seider Heating, Plumbing & Electrical are here to make things easier. Our Carrier® technicians, plumbing pros, and electrical experts are sharing the top heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical tips any homeowner should know before buying.
What to Know About the Furnace and A/C
With home comfort systems, age and maintenance are key. Ask how old each unit is—average lifespans are between 15 and 20 years for furnaces and air conditioners. Find out if the systems have had maintenance performed regularly, which is important for safe, efficient operation and helping the unit run better for longer.
Start by looking at the systems to see if they’re in visibly good condition. Listen for strange noises and pay attention to scents—odd odors may indicate larger issues are at play. You should also read the energy label to review the system’s rating. Finally, pay attention to temperature as you tour the home. Hot and cold spots may indicate a problem with the system, inadequate airflow, or leaking ductwork.
Home Plumbing Hot Topics
Every homeowner fears something will break down right after moving in. To avoid plumbing problems, find out how old your pipes are, test for low pressure and leaky faucets, and look for water stains on the ceiling or floor, which are indicators of bigger issues. Find out the age of your water heater and when maintenance was last performed. Water heaters 10 or more years old may need to be replaced soon. Finally, know if your sewage goes into the city sewer system or a septic tank. If it’s a septic tank, ask for the most recent service report to avoid costly, smelly problems.
How to Address Electrical Concerns
Unlike plumbing, electrical problems aren’t always easy to see. As you’re walking around, test light switches, look for any dark areas on wall outlets, and ask to see the fuse box. Wires should be neat and tidy, without excess slack. A mess of wires can be troublesome down the road. You should also note if the circuit breaker is clearly labeled for your benefit. If homes have wired smoke detectors, find out when they were last replaced, as they should be updated at least every eight years.
Our number one tip to any new homeowner is to always invest in a complete home inspection, performed by a reputable company. Not only can a home inspection protect you against expensive problems in the future, but it can keep your family safe for years to come.
If you have more questions or are looking for a professional recommendation, call the pros at Seider—we’re here to help.