A New Homebuyer’s HVAC & Plumbing Checklist

Buying a home is an exciting time, but for first-time homebuyers, there are a ton of things that need to be considered before purchasing a home. When looking at houses, you can always repaint the walls or install carpet; however, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and plumbing are huge aspects of owning a home that many first-time buyers overlook. These systems are expensive to replace and not something you want to happen right after buying a home. Inspecting the home’s HVAC unit and plumbing systems for potential problems means that you can have the seller correct the issues beforehand or negotiate a lower purchasing price. 

So, to help get you started as you begin looking at homes, here is our HVAC and Plumbing Checklist for New Homebuyers:

HVAC Checklist for Homebuyers

Age & Maintenance History

One of the first things you should ask is the age of the HVAC system and its maintenance history. Typically, an HVAC system can last anywhere between 15-25 years, but that all depends on how well the homeowner took care of it. Regular maintenance is key to helping extend an HVAC’s lifespan, improve its energy efficiency, and reduce the need for repairs. 
Ask the seller for any information on when it was installed, the history, or maintenance and repairs performed. Most should have some documentation, but if they don’t, schedule a professional HVAC inspection.

Energy Efficiency

Homeownership comes with all sorts of perks but also a ton of new expenses. One of those is your energy bill. Roughly half of your home’s total energy usage comes from heating and cooling, and that’s why having an energy-efficient HVAC system is important. The more efficient, the less money you spend on energy bills every month. 

One way to check energy efficiency in the home is to ask the seller for copies of their previous energy bills to see what they regularly pay. However, you should also check the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings on the heating and cooling systems. Learn more about energy efficiency in the home here.

Check the Ducts

Ask for an inspection of the ductwork in the home. Dirt, debris, mold, and mildew can build up in the ducts and lead to poor air quality, damaged ductwork, and cause strain on your HVAC system. Not only that, but an inspection will reveal if there are any leaks in the ducts and that they are sized, designed, and installed correctly. 


While you might not realize it, the location of your HVAC system is important. If the indoor air handling unit is on an upper floor, you run the risk of water leaking and causing damage to the ceilings. While the outdoor condenser unit should be elevated and the gutters above it working properly to avoid water damage from potential flooding and water runoff. If any of these aren’t the case, you could potentially need repairs to your home down the road. 

Plumbing Checklist for Homebuyers

Get an Inspection

First things first, you should get a professional plumbing inspection done on the home. Most plumbing is hidden from view, so you never know what could be happening behind the walls or beneath the floors. An inspection by a professional will provide you with a list of problems that you can give the seller to repair or replace before purchasing. 

Water Main Shut Off Valve

Many people don’t think to ask where the main water shut-off valve is located in the home. In the case of a plumbing emergency, such as a flood, burst pipe, or severe leak, shutting off the main valve can save your home from excessive water damage and allow a professional time to fix the problem. 

Check the Water Heater

Having consistent hot water is one of the most important factors when it comes to the comfort of your home, so you want to make sure that you inspect the water heater before you purchase. Things that you will want to look out for are corrosion, build-up, or leaking. Another important thing to ask for is how old the heater is, and the last time the seller had it professionally serviced. If the unit is old and often needed repairs, new homebuyers should be concerned and ask the seller to install a new system. 

Test all the Faucets

Go through the home and run all of the faucets on the sink, shower, and bathtub. This gives you a chance to test the cold and hot water, make sure that the faucets don’t drip, and that the drains all work correctly while ensuring adequate water pressure.

Need Plumbing or HVAC Services for your Home? Supreme can help!

Whether you need help installing new plumbing or need to make a repair or replacement on your HVAC system, Supreme PHC is here to help. Learn more about our plumbing & HVAC services that we offer and contact us to get started!