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Buying a House with An Old Furnace, What to Expect?

January 27th, 2022

old furnace home buy

Good news: you’ve found the home of your dreams! Bad news: its furnace is ancient.

This scenario is a reality for thousands of Canadian homebuyers each year. While an older furnace is far from a dealbreaker if the rest of the property meets your needs, you will need to take some extra steps to protect yourself from this potential liability. The following four tips will help you navigate this situation and ensure that you aren’t put at a disadvantage for purchasing a 30- to 40-year-old furnace.

1. You’ll Need a Home Inspection

A home inspection is always a good idea, but when an older furnace is involved, it’s a necessity.

Your home inspector can tell you what condition your furnace is in and whether it needs any major maintenance in the near future. This information gives you some context about what you’re getting into. If your inspector thinks the furnace is on its last legs right now, you’ll have no choice but to replace it as soon as possible. If they think it probably has a little more life left in it, you might be able to get away with putting off that expense for a while.

2. Remember to Ask About Maintenance and Monthly Costs

The person who knows an old furnace best is its current owner, so be sure to ask them some questions while you have the chance.

Has the unit been maintained properly during the last few years? If so, you may not need to replace it as quickly as you’d expect.  What is the home’s typical winter utility bill like? The cost of heating with an inefficient furnace can be surprisingly high. This question will give you a ballpark figure you can use to work that expense into your monthly budget. It will also help you estimate how much you could save with a furnace upgrade.

3. Consider Getting an Estimate for Replacement Costs

A furnace that is several decades old is unquestionably near the end of its life, so if you’re going to take one on, you should immediately start planning for its replacement. Ask a reputable HVAC company what it would cost to put in a new system before you commit to anything. Even if the price too high to fit into your budget, you can use this information to out our fourth tip (the one just below this) into action.

4. You Can Use the HVAC System to Negotiate with the Sellers

Your home’s furnace is an integral part of the property. If the home you’re buying is in dire need of a new furnace, it’s fair to ask for a small discount on the cost of the home to account for the money you’ll have to put in for a replacement. Doing this could save you a few thousand dollars on the cost of your home, especially if you have a quote from a reputable HVAC professional to back up your request.

When In Doubt, Call Your Furnace Experts

If you’re buying a home with an older furnace, don’t go in blind. Syles Mechanical can evaluate the condition of your new home’s furnace, give it any maintenance it needs to keep going a little while longer, or help you find the right replacement system to fit your needs and budget. Contact us online or at 519-979-2090 today and let us help you make sure your new home has a reliable furnace your family can depend on.

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