Maintaining your home’s equity should obviously be an important concern for every homeowner, and this is true whether or not you’re considering selling the house in the near future. Real estate and housing experts recommend occasionally upgrading your home to protect or increase your home equity. Nonetheless, the fact is that not all upgrades or remodel projects will have that much of an overall impact on the value of your home. With this in mind, let’s look at the potential effects of upgrading your HVAC system and the impact these upgrades will have on your home equity.
How Do HVAC Upgrades Compare to Other Home Improvements?
If you’re thinking about selling your home in the near future, it is always a good idea to make at least some minor upgrades or improvements in order to increase the value of your home and make it more appealing to prospective buyers. Still, there is really no point in undertaking a major project unless you can be fairly certain that it will increase the value of your home by at least the same amount that you will have to spend on the project.
Remodeling your bathroom or kitchen can definitely make the home more comfortable and more appealing, but most of these projects will typically end up costing more than the value they add to the house. Studies have shown that most remodel projects like this will only increase the value of the home by around 60 to 70% of the total cost of the project. This means that if you spent $20,000 on a kitchen remodel, around one-third of that cost will basically go down the drain if you sold your home soon after.
On the other hand, upgrading your HVAC equipment will almost always increase your home’s equity by at least the purchase price of the equipment. This is especially true if your furnace, AC or other HVAC equipment is more than 10 to 15 years old or doesn’t efficiently and effectively heat and cool your home for any other reason. HVAC upgrades also tend to be quite a bit less expensive than other home improvements while at the same time providing far more bang for your buck.
Upgrading to a More Efficient Furnace or AC Unit
Upgrading your old furnace or air conditioner to a new, more energy-efficient HVAC unit is by far one of the best and most cost-effective home improvements you can make. If you decide to sell your home within a few years of installing the new unit, it is likely that the majority of the purchase price of the unit will be taken into account when assessing the value of your home. It will also reduce your energy bills, which can save money for you and be attractive to new buyers.
The new equipment will also definitely make your house much more attractive to potential buyers since they will know that your HVAC system works properly and that they won’t have to spend a huge amount on heating and cooling. The fact that the equipment will still be under factory warranty is another huge selling point.
All this being said, it is still important that you carefully consider your choices when deciding which new furnace or AC to buy. Specifically, you will want to weigh the unit’s efficiency versus its total cost. In most cases, it probably won’t make sense to go with the most efficient unit available since your return is likely to be much less if you decide to invest in a much more expensive model. For AC units, you will usually get the greatest return on a lower to mid-range model. On the other hand, high-efficiency furnaces and heat pumps will also improve your efficiency.
Replacing or Repairing Your Ductwork
Another upgrade that can provide huge benefits is having your home’s ductwork repaired or replaced. If the ducts are leaking or damaged, it can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your HVAC system and lead to greatly increased heating and cooling costs. In fact, the EPA estimates that anywhere from 20 to 30% of the average home’s energy costs are directly related to these and other ductwork issues.
If your current ductwork is 15 or more years old, you should definitely think about having it replaced. Ductwork typically has a lifespan of 20 to 25 years at the very most, and it will usually start to suffer from more issues the older it gets. For this reason, replacing or upgrading your home’s ductwork is a great option for both improving the efficiency and effectiveness of your HVAC system and also improving your home’s equity.
Adding Supplemental Heating or Cooling
If you have any areas of the home that are either not connected to your HVAC system or always seem warmer or colder than other areas of the home, you might also want to consider either upgrading to a larger furnace or AC or installing supplemental heating or cooling. One great option is a ductless mini-split system. These units are relatively easy and inexpensive to install, and they can provide additional heating or cooling to any rooms that need it. This is especially true if you’re currently using window AC units or electric space heaters as a ductless mini-split will provide much more effective heating and cooling while also using far less energy.
Smart Thermostats and Other Upgrades to Consider
There are also a number of other changes or upgrades you might want to consider. Smart home technology is a huge selling point for many homebuyers, and this makes upgrading your HVAC system with a smart thermostat a fantastic choice. These units are relatively cheap and easy to install even on your own, and they have the benefit of being able to increase the efficiency of your HVAC system and lower your energy costs. Smart thermostats are also incredibly convenient as they allow you to remotely turn on or adjust your heating and cooling systems even when you’re not home.
If you have issues keeping all parts of your home at the same temperature, you might also consider an HVAC zoning system. This type of system separates the home into multiple zones each with its own thermostat. This allows you to independently control the temperature in each zone and can result in lower energy costs and much more effective heating and cooling. A zoned system is an especially good option if your home has multiple floors since it can overcome issues with the lower levels staying colder and the upper floors always being hotter.
Professional HVAC Installations and Upgrades
If you are considering making any upgrades to your HVAC system, the team at Black-Haak is ready to help. Our technicians can help guide you through the various options to determine what type of upgrades might make the most sense for your home. We can also help you decide which new furnace or AC is the best option. We carry a large selection of heating and cooling equipment from the top brands in the industry including geothermal HVAC systems. As a full-service AC company, plumbing company and electrical company serving the Appleton, Wisconsin area, we have what it takes to maintain and repair all of your home’s most important systems. We are located in Greenville and have been providing exceptional services to customers throughout the Fox Valley since 1956. To learn more about your options for upgrading your HVAC system, give the experts at Black-Haak a call today.