Two Important Items Usually Overlooked
Two very important items to look at when purchasing a new home is the heating/air conditioning equipment and hot water heater. Some builders put the least expensive, least efficient heating/air conditioning equipment and hot water heaters available in homes costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to build. They believe that the prospective homebuyer will only look at the quality of the appliances, counter tops, construction, and general appearance of the house, while over looking the heating/air conditioning and hot water systems. This is very unfortunate because the heating/air conditioning and hot water systems use approximately 75% of all energy in the home. According to the EPA, by investing in high efficiency equipment, homeowners can realize as much as 15% to 40% in annual return in the form of lower utility bills which is a higher rate of return then those offered by most CDs, bonds, or mutual funds.
Usually inefficient low cost Air conditioning Units are very noisy. Many times People will move into a very expensive home only to find out when the Air-conditioning Unit comes on they have to move the volume up several notches to hear the TV and it may be even difficult to sleep at night because of the noise.
Click here for air conditioning sound level information.
We would highly recommend that if your heating and air conditioning systems do not at least meet the Energy Star guidelines, which is 12 SEER for condensing units and heat pumps and 90% efficient for furnaces, that you have the builder upgrade those items before you purchase the home.
Also, if the builder is supplying an electric hot water heater we highly recommend, if possible, to change to gas. In most areas of the country gas hot water heating costs half as much as electric hot water heating.
Use operating cost calculator to calculate your actual utility costs.