Whether you’re buying a home in a neighborhood with a HOA (homeowner’s association), or live in one already, there may be HVAC requirements that could affect your home’s heating and cooling system. While the heating system is normally contained within each residential unit, issues do come up.
Shared Heating and Cooling Components
Sometimes larger condo/townhome projects use a centralized heating and air conditioning plant, similar to the types that large commercial buildings do. It could be a boiler system, or forced air. In either case, unit owners may have some individual responsibility for the ductwork or plumbing that services their units.
Familiarize yourself with the type of HVAC system the property uses and how the HOA divides the responsibilities for energy usage, maintenance and repair. Your HOA should have provisions in the covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CCRs) that specify its provisions.
Repair and replacement are larger issues and should be covered in the budget documents. Look for the reserves section that details the money set aside for repairs and maintenance. If the reserves for the HVAC system are inadequate, owners could be saddled with higher association fees.
Adding or upgrading a cooling system often involves installing a separate air conditioning system. The outdoor condenser could be the subject of HVAC requirements in the CCRs because of:
- The noise. Condensers make noise. Look for maximum decibel values in the CCRs. Noise levels do vary by manufacturer and type. Ductless mini splits, for example, are much quieter than central cooling systems.
The location. Condensers may need to be hidden from view, a challenge with larger units. Rooftop installation will likely be prohibited, which leaves a hidden corner of your patio or yard for condenser placement.
Mini-split placement is more flexible, since the condensers can hang on a wall and use much less room than a central system’s condenser.
Not only are the HVAC requirements important to the HOA, they’re also critical for your ongoing comfort. To learn more about these issues, contact Arpi’s Industries, proudly providing HVAC services for Calgary-area homeowners.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC requirements and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide.