New Home Checklist – What to Look For

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What to Look for Before and After Sealing the Deal

Purchasing a new home can be quite an exciting experience as it opens a new chapter in your life. Nonetheless, it can also be stressful, considering that new projects and tasks will come up. Keeping up with your daily activities can be a bit challenging, and sometimes new homeowners neglect properly inspecting their new homes or know what to even look for. 

Proper home inspections are crucial when it comes to creating a comfortable and safe environment for you and your family. But what exactly do you need to check?

We have recorded some of the most important factors that homeowners should consider, to help guide them through this often stressful time to help you create a comfortable and safe environment in your new home. 

In case you’re unfamiliar with these systems, you should consider hiring a technician to check your HVAC systems and ensure that the efficiency and functionality of these systems are intact and identify any areas that need tune-ups. It would also be helpful to get an estimate of the age of your air conditioner and furnace. This will help establish if it’s almost at the end of its lifespan so that you can account for any future breakdowns. 

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Be sure to check if both the heating and AC systems are functioning properly

Understand the type of filter to use

Learn about all the shut-off locations for water and gas. Familiarizing yourself with the locations of the shut-off valves will ensure that you can promptly respond to an emergency leak. Also, learn where the circuit breaker is for any repairs and maintenance. 

Test your thermostat

Your thermostat should also be working properly so that you can change the temperature of your home to comfortable levels. 

Get a thorough clean if you’re buying a resale

Ensure that your new home is thoroughly cleaned before moving in. This can help you catch any problems that might initially go unnoticed. Ensure that all the vents in all rooms are clear of dirt and dust and remove any obstructions. 

Test for asbestos

Testing for asbestos is critical to your family’s health. Asbestos was widely used in insulation before the 1970s. This was before people knew that it was harmful to humans. When asbestos dust is inhaled, it can accumulate in the lungs over time, which could lead to serious health problems, including cancer. It’s therefore better to be safe than sorry and get your new home checked for asbestos. 

Check for Mold and Mildew

Inspect your new home for mildew and mold, especially in the bathrooms. In case the bathroom doesn’t have a ventilation fan or window, this could become a problem in the future. 

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Inspect for pests and bugs

Check the home for ants, termites, mice, etc. While you might be able to address a small bug infestation with a spray can, you want to hire a professional service for severe cases like termites. Ensure that you seal any holes that termites, ants, mice, and other pests could enter through. This is why getting a thorough clean is super beneficial before moving in as you will be more likely to notice and fix any pest and bug problems early on. 

Check the yard grading

To prevent water damage, check to see if its grading is sloping away from the house. If it doesn’t, you might have to change the grading of your yard or install a new drainage system to prevent water damage. 

Immediately you Move In …

Test the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors

Ensure that your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 40% of home fire fatalities occur in homes that don’t have smoke alarms. It’s therefore crucial to have working detectors in your home for the safety of your family. Check that your detectors are working properly at least once a month and remember to change the batteries annually. 

Inspect the fire extinguishers

Locate the fire extinguishers in your home and ensure they are working properly, in case of an emergency. 

Check the garage for proper ventilation

It’s also important to check your garage’s framing to see if it’s adequately ventilated. This will help reduce the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Monthly…

Check and/or Replace Air Filters

Replace the air filters of your new home and change them regularly to ensure that you have a clean, healthy stream of air in your home. This will also help prevent damage to your HVAC system. 

Ventilate the Laundry Room Properly

In case the drier exhaust system is not properly maintained, it could become a serious fire hazard. The laundry room should be properly ventilated to lower the risk of fire. Plus, hire a HVAC specialist to inspect and clean the dryer vent annually as lint is a known cause of dryer fires. 

furnace air filter comparsion

Create a Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist

Summer and Spring

Spring cleaning is not just a saying – it’s a great time for home maintenance. It’s a great time to examine the exterior of your home. With the great weather of the summer months, go outside and spend some time in your garden or lawn when you’re not working on the exterior of your house. 

Clean the window air conditioners

Power-wash the patio or deck

Get the AC system ready for summer by having it serviced

Take care of any pest or insect problem you might have

Repair the patio or deck as needed

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Fall and Winter

Fall is the in-between season in which most homeowners are finishing up their summer maintenance tasks or getting their homes ready for winter. Winter puts your home through a lot; think snow, rain, wind, and ice. You, therefore, want to be sure that winter preparations are done properly. 

Winterize the AC system – if you have a central HVAC, ensure that you place a covering on the outside unit (sheeting or tarp) and secure it using bungee cords. 

Get the heating system prepped for winter. Ensure that the heating vents are open and there are no obstructions. Get your furnace inspected and serviced every year.

Check for ice dams and icicles routinely 

Clean gutters

Check for leaks in doors or windows

Check for roof damage from fall and spring

Gutters: These control the flow of rainwater to protect your siding and roofing. Ensure that you clean out your gutters two times a year and check for damage to lower the risk of water damage or a roof leak. You can clean the gutters using a ladder, but you should be careful. If you are not comfortable cleaning your gutters, consider hiring a professional. 

Leaks in doors or windows: You can easily inspect your doors and windows for leaks is standing right next to them and seeing if you feel a draft. If you do, you should use caulk or replace them entirely. If your doors and windows aren’t sealed properly, it’s a telltale sign when the energy bills start shooting up. 

Roof damage: Have a professional check for damaged or loose shingles that could cause water to enter your home. They should also check the vents for cracked or damaged mastic. 

Final Thoughts

While this might seem like a lot, it’s worth getting these tasks out of the way as early as possible, and it might even give you a chance to ask the seller to address them or lower the purchase price. It will also help you reduce the risk in your new home and save money in the long run.   

Every house will have its own set of problems, whether it’s a major renovation or just needs a minor tweak. Still, it’s important to be aware of them, so that you can budget for them properly and be ready for any future issues that could come up. 

Hopefully, this checklist will be beneficial to you and your family. We are a licensed HVAC company, and our commitment is to share effective ways to help you become an informed homeowner and avoid common pitfalls as you start this new chapter of your life. 

For all your HVAC needs, trust the pros at JD Swallow Heating & CoolingContact us today.

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