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Buying a Home? 5 HVAC and Plumbing Questions to Ask Before Signing

When we find our dream home, we are ready to sign off on it immediately. However, before signing into a large investment, it’s important to first ask questions about the home’s HVAC and plumbing systems. Make sure to discuss these issues with your real estate agent before committing to a new home.


How old is the water heater?

 Water heaters have a life span of about ten years (except for gas water heaters, which may only last between six and eight years). An old water heater can result in rusted water, noises, leaks, and a failure to heat water. If a home is older and appears to have an old water heater, ask your real estate agent about the heater’s paperwork! This lays out previous issues and can warrant potential replacements, allowing you to be more prepared than surprised.


What type of pipes are installed, and are they winterized?

 It’s worth having a conversation with your real estate agent about the type of piping installed in the house. Look out for kitec, lead, galvanized steel, and polyethylene pipes–these pipes are either dangerous, recalled, or prone to failure. Generally, plastic, brass, and copper pipes are more reliable with longer periods of longevity. Your real estate agent may help provide information about the insulation of the pipes. Non-winterized pipes will be more at risk of freezing during the colder months.


Has the sewer line been inspected recently?

 Sewer lines require professional inspection and should be cleaned at least every two years, depending on the size of a family and home. In the instance of larger families in larger homes, it’s recommended to clean sewer lines every two years. Sometimes, sewer lines have to be replaced if they surpass their life span. PVC pipes can generally last up to 100 years, where clay pipes last between 50 to 60 years.

An old sewer line can cause issues such as foul smells, draining difficulties, and even water damage. Be sure to check with your real estate agent about the condition of the home’s sewer line. Especially if you’re planning on moving into an older home, this will help you avoid nasty surprises.


What type of HVAC system does the home have?

 It’s crucial to know what type of HVAC system a home operates on to make sure it’s the most effective system for the home and to determine what maintenance it will require. For instance, heating and cooling split systems are best suited for larger homes and might require less costly. While mini split systems are great for heating and cooling individual rooms but may require costly maintenance.


In Texas, we have unpredictable weather. It’s important to equip your home with the right HVAC system to ensure efficiency all year long.


When was the HVAC system installed?

 The age of an HVAC system is something any home buyer should consider. If your real estate agent tells you that the HVAC system was installed more than ten years ago, it’s probably about time to replace it. Agents typically have access to all the home’s files and should be able to provide a timeline of the home’s current HVAC system, as well as information about the costs associated with a new installation.

 If an HVAC system was installed before January 2010, there’s a good chance that system uses R-22 freon, which has now been discontinued and is costly to find or refill.

 Make Sure Your HVAC System is Perfect For Your New Home

Here at Quarter Moon Plumbing & HVAC, we take pride in our relationships with customers and are here to help your family feel comfortable in a new home. If you have any doubts about your new home’s plumbing and HVAC, give us a call at (210) 651-5899 or schedule an appointment with us!