Now is an opportune time to consider upgrading your HVAC system if you want to enhance your property’s value compared to others. Whether you’re planning to sell your home or you’re a new homeowner, prioritizing your HVAC system as a renovation project can yield significant benefits. While adding wallpaper may sound more appealing, upgrading your HVAC system is the most effective way to boost both your property’s value and the overall comfort and air quality of your home.
When was the last time you sought HVAC assistance? Is investing in a new HVAC unit worth the cost? Read on to discover more about purchasing an HVAC system and its potential to increase your home’s value.
Is a New HVAC System Worth It?
According to a market report, 34% of homeowners rely on electric heat systems. Using a low-efficiency system can lead to higher monthly bills for you and future buyers. So, is investing in a new system worth it? You certainly don’t want to spend money on a new system just before moving. However, if upgrading your HVAC system can expedite a sale, it will ultimately be worth the investment.
Take into account the efficiency and cost of your current system. You should aim for an HVAC system with an efficiency rate of over 80%. If your current model operates at a low efficiency level, replacing it with a new unit will reduce your monthly costs. Homeowners with a new HVAC unit can potentially reduce their electric bills by 20%, significantly increasing their home’s market value.
If you’re contemplating installing a new HVAC system, here are some crucial factors to consider before making a decision.
What’s Your Local Climate Like?
If you reside in an area where air conditioning is not essential, investing in an HVAC upgrade may not provide substantial value in the long run. Consider the seasonal temperatures in your region to determine if the cost of a new AC unit or furnace justifies the benefits over time.
Does Your Ductwork Require Replacement?
Ducts are essential components of HVAC systems that deliver and remove air. If your ductwork is in poor condition, simply replacing your heating and cooling units won’t suffice. If your HVAC unit is more than 15 years old, you may face significant expenses to replace faulty ductwork. This can increase the risks and duration of the renovation project. In such cases, if your HVAC system is old but still in good condition, opting for minor repairs may be a wiser choice compared to a complete replacement.
What Is the Condition of Your Current HVAC System?
Heating and cooling units experience wear and tear over the years. Accumulated dust and grime can affect the machinery and pipes, and minor damages may require repair. At the very least, HVAC systems should be serviced annually. If you have regularly scheduled maintenance, such as at the start of each year or season, chances are your system is in good shape.
You can hire a professional to assess the state of your current HVAC system, which can help you decide the necessary updates. If your system requires frequent repairs or shows significant damage, replacing it may be a more viable option.
When Should You Replace Your HVAC System?
HVAC systems generally last between 10 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Most homeowners opt to replace their systems around the 10 to 15-year mark to upgrade to a more efficient model. Over time, HVAC systems wear down due to the constant heating, cooling, ventilation, and air filtration they provide. If you’re unsure whether it’s time for a replacement, there are clear indicators to look out for.
Frequent repairs are a significant sign that your HVAC unit is nearing the end of its lifespan. Once a system reaches a certain level of wear and tear, spending additional money on repairs becomes futile in the long run. If any of your units have critical issues, it’s definitely time for a replacement. Units with major problems can compromise the safety of your family. For example, a malfunctioning furnace can leak carbon monoxide into the air, posing serious health risks.
Another notable sign is soaring electricity bills. Older units have to work harder and consume more energy to perform their tasks, resulting in higher costs. Potential buyers seek homes that are safe and energy-efficient. If they discover that your home has an outdated HVAC system, they may offer a lower price or look for alternative options.
How Much of Your Unit Should You Replace?
If you’re working with a limited budget, replacing your entire HVAC system may not be feasible. Cutting corners by attempting to install central air conditioning yourself or purchasing a smaller unit can lead to more problems. Instead, consider hiring an HVAC company to retrofit your system. Retrofitting involves upgrading specific parts of your unit, enhancing its efficiency and saving you money. This option is ideal for homeowners who want to extend the lifespan of their current system without a complete replacement.
Keep in mind that retrofitting is only beneficial if your heating and cooling units are still in decent condition. If your units are outdated or severely damaged, a complete replacement is the best choice. To determine whether retrofitting or replacing the entire unit is the optimal solution, use the $5,000 rule. Multiply the age of your unit by the cost of repairs. If the resulting amount exceeds $5,000, a full upgrade is recommended.
How Much Does an HVAC System Cost?
The cost of a new HVAC system may seem daunting, but prices can vary significantly. Location plays a significant role, as areas with limited competition may have higher prices for both the system and installation. The quality and advanced features of the unit also affect the cost. Generally, a new HVAC system can range from a few thousand dollars to well over ten thousand.
Opting for low-end, basic models may save you money in the short term, with prices typically falling between $2,000 and $5,000. However, these units may lack longevity and cost you more in the long run due to potential repairs and the need for early replacement. Premium brands offer models at higher price points, typically ranging from $10,000 to $20,000. These advanced units provide superior energy efficiency, advanced filtration, and quieter operation.
While a new HVAC system is a significant investment, it offers various financial rewards. Apart from improving the living environment, a new HVAC system can help you save on energy bills. Heating and cooling expenses account for nearly half of the average annual energy bill for a family home, which amounts to approximately $2,060. A new HVAC system, particularly a high-end model like Carrier’s Infinity series, can significantly reduce electricity usage and lower your energy costs.
Does a New HVAC System Increase Home Value?
In simple terms, the answer is yes – a new HVAC system can increase the value of your home. However, certain factors need to be considered. First, your location plays a crucial role. Regions with hot and humid summers tend to have a greater demand for effective HVAC systems, thus exerting a more significant impact on a home’s value. Second, the age and quality of your current HVAC system matter. While it may not be the first aspect buyers look for, a malfunctioning or absent HVAC system can devalue your property.
Therefore, a new HVAC system adds the most value when your current system is in a state of disrepair, or if you reside in a warm climate. An advanced system is likely to impress potential buyers and could be a differentiating factor in their decision to choose your home over others.
Tips on Choosing an HVAC System That Boosts Your Home’s Value
If you’ve determined that replacing your entire HVAC system is the best course of action, consider the following tips to ensure you select an HVAC system that maximizes your home’s value:
- Opt for High Energy-Efficiency Ratings: Buyers prefer energy-efficient homes, as they reduce utility costs and enhance overall comfort. When shopping for a new HVAC unit, familiarize yourself with the FTC’s Energy Guide labels for home appliances. Installing a highly efficient system will increase your home’s market value.
- Choose the Right Size: Avoid cost-cutting measures by purchasing a system that matches your home’s size. Undersized units will strain to reach the desired temperature, while oversized units will needlessly increase expenses. Consult an HVAC professional to determine the appropriate size based on your home’s square footage, ensuring cost-effective operation.
- Consider Your Location: The climate of your region is a crucial factor in choosing the best HVAC system. If you reside in colder climates, the US Department of Energy recommends investing in high-efficiency units. Additionally, consider the setup of your home. For example, if you’re considering a gas boiler and prefer natural gas over propane, ensure you have access to a natural gas source. If you’re considering a split system, ensure you have adequate space outside your home for a second unit installation.
- Evaluate the Addition of a Heat Pump: Heat pumps are valuable components of split cooling or heating systems that enhance efficiency. They provide both heating and cooling, replacing traditional furnace and AC units. Including a heat pump in your system can increase its value.
Upgrading your HVAC system can indeed increase your home’s value. By considering factors such as system efficiency, local climate, ductwork condition, and the age of your current system, you can make informed decisions about retrofitting or replacing your HVAC unit. Selecting an HVAC system with high energy-efficiency ratings, the appropriate size, and additional features like a heat pump can further boost your home’s value.