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HVAC Basics: Questions to Ask Your Home Builder

While moving into an existing home comes with its own laundry list of items to check before purchasing, having a new one built gives you a lot more control over its construction. Also, new homes can take advantage of newer technology and construction materials, which also includes the HVAC system and even the types of windows you use.

All of these items have a hand in maintaining a healthy indoor environment while also reducing energy costs. Choosing subpar materials to save money can prove more costly over the long-term, and some climates are not favorable for certain building materials.

Before making potentially regrettable decisions, it’s important to communicate with your home builder to ensure that you are making an informed decision.

“We would like to install a fireplace. Which would be best: wood-burning, gas, or electric?”

Ultimately, this mostly comes down to personal preference and how much effort you can put into maintaining it. Wood-burning fireplaces, while picturesque and cozy, can also facilitate excessive creosote buildup which can reduce the life of your chimney components as well as introducing carbon monoxide into your home environment.

Where wood-burning fireplaces require more regular maintenance on the part of the homeowner  to retain functionality and safety, gas and electric fireplaces are generally easier to clean and maintain. The rub with the latter is that a failure in one of the components must be addressed by a professional to prevent injury. In short, determine how much time you are willing to spend on maintenance should you want to add a fireplace.

“Are there any special considerations regarding weather?”

If you’re moving to a completely different area, it’s important to understand the typical weather patterns that occur throughout the year. If heavy snowfall and frigid temperatures are a consideration, it would be wise to have ventilation options that allow fresh air to circulate while also preventing snow and rain from entering your HVAC ducts.

Rain, snow, or sleet,  an experienced home builder would be able to provide you with tips on which building components and materials would work best to ensure that your home doesn’t become a haven for ice/water damage or mold and mildew.

“Which parts are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty?”

If a component of your new home’s HVAC system happens to fail through no fault of your own, it may be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. Your home builder will be able to tell you more information about the components of your home, including the manufacturer and any warranties that may be included.

Checking the warranty of your HVAC system should be your first step in replacing faulty parts and is significantly less expensive than buying a replacement outright. 

How FAMCO Can Help

FAMCO is one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of HVAC parts and accessories in the Pacific Northwest. We have a wide selection of stylish and functional HVAC components to choose from, such as chimney caps, dampers, and vents. If you would like to hear more about how FAMCO can help make your new home safe, inviting, and efficient, give us a call or shoot us an email. We will be more than happy to help.

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