When HOA Affects Your HVAC Requirements

Even though homeowner associations are beneficial, they can complicate HVAC requirements for property owners.

  • The purpose of homeowner associations is to protect the interests of their members.

The appearance and upkeep of the public and many private areas are governed by strict rules and regulations. A heating system is required in every dwelling unit, but air conditioning is not required. In many HOAs, especially in newer developments, window-mounted air conditioners are not allowed. Depending on your community’s restrictions, ductless mini-split air conditioners and heat pumps may be a viable solution to meet your HVAC needs. Air conditioners and heat pumps like these are among the most energy-efficient and versatile HVAC systems available. Three-bedroom homes can be conditioned with a large ductless system. Outdoor condensers can be mounted on the exterior wall or placed on the ground. The condensers associated with central air conditioning are smaller and quieter. They have decibel ratings as low as 58, which is the noise level of a suburban street or a restaurant conversation. Attached homes with decentralized HVAC systems are another HOA concern. There are some large projects that use commercial-style HVAC systems that use ductwork to distribute conditioned air. The financial responsibility for ductwork maintenance and repairs might not always be clear. In this case, it would be best to ask the HOA board to clarify ownership. Review the community’s budget for reserves before you buy. Funds are set aside for community repairs, maintenance, and improvements. As a general rule, HOAs should estimate the cost of repairs and replacements over the lifetime of the equipment and divide the amount by the expected system lifespan.

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