Buying a Home with Old HVAC? Here’s What to Know


Purchasing a home can be an overwhelming process, and unexpectedly, having to replace an outdated HVAC system can be a huge financial strain. At Chancey & Reynolds, we believe in making the HVAC replacement process as seamless as possible, even in older homes. Here’s what you need to know when it comes to purchasing a new-to-you home and inheriting an old HVAC system along with it. Hopefully, these signs and signals can help you anticipate what you might be facing when it comes to HVAC replacement or maintenance costs.

Outdoor HVAC condenser unit

Top Items to Inspect on Your HVAC System

As you do your initial inspection of the HVAC system in your new home, make note of any cracks, dents, rust, and signs of water leakage or damage. Turn on the furnace and air conditioner and take special notice of odd noises like hissing, banging, crashing, or clanging. 

The typical life cycle of an HVAC system is around 10-15 years. However, if pristinely maintained, an HVAC system can last much longer. Check into your system’s maintenance records so that, if needed, you are able to anticipate looming HVAC replacement costs. Notice any temperature or moisture changes from room to room as you walk through the home. Uneven temperatures can be a sign of poor or clogged ductwork, clogged vents, or an aging HVAC system on its way out.

Check your ductwork for gaps, tears, dust, debris buildup, or mold growth. Mold is especially important to look for, as this can indicate a moisture buildup that is a tell-tale sign of system failure. 

Inspect the insulation and ask your realtor or even the seller directly about the home’s insulation installation dates prior to purchase. Inadequate insulation means a lack of energy efficiency and higher energy bill costs in the long term, and it can mean costly wear and tear on your system, eventually resulting in a need for HVAC replacement.

Refrigerant is next on the checklist. Find out what type the HVAC system uses, as older units typically use R-22–a type of refrigerant that is no longer used in new air conditioning systems, making it extremely hard to find and even costlier.

Ask About Warranties, Manuals, & Service Plans

Ask your realtor about any existing and active warranties or service plans on the home’s HVAC system. You will need to know whether any existing plans can be transferred to you as the new owner. If not, you will want to find out if you can attain a home warranty in the event that you have to engage in HVAC replacement or the replacement of other home appliances. 

Also, be certain to ask for and safely store any manuals for your newly purchased home’s HVAC system. If your realtor or seller is unsure of the whereabouts of such manuals, jot down serial numbers and locate the manual online in PDF format. This is extremely useful to you and your trusted HVAC technician when it comes to complicated repairs.

Residential HVAC Replacement Process

Should you face a system breakdown even after taking precautions or engaging in the checklist inspection process, do not fret! Chancey & Reynolds has a team of experienced HVAC replacement technicians who will ease your mind during the entire process, from preparatory installation to future maintenance.

HVAC Installation 

HVAC replacement can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Chancey & Reynolds technicians will inspect the HVAC system’s key components, such as the electrical breakers and wiring, refrigerant, ductwork, and condenser pad. Next, the technician will connect the ductwork and ensure that the drain system, electric, and refrigerant lines are properly and safely attached. Finally, a startup assessment will be conducted, making sure refrigerant levels, airflow, and air temperature are where they should be. Finally, your HVAC replacement is finished! 

HVAC Replacement Cost 

HVAC replacement services are not cheap, but at Chancey & Reynolds, we are committed to making comfort accessible to all. We provide many financing options to keep you on budget, including financing options through Synchrony. We also recommend reaching out to your bank, credit union, or lender of choice, as some offer specialized financing options and low-interest loans just for HVAC purposes.

When you need HVAC replacement, rely on the team at Chancey & Reynolds. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you!

Knoxville Office • (865) 525-5076

Lenoir City Office • (865) 986-3883