Winter is about over and that means spring is nearly upon us. With the start of spring comes the beginning of the peak of real estate season. If you’re like one of many other homeowners in the Sarasota area, you may be considering selling your home. Part of selling your home is making appealing to buyers, and arguably the easiest way to appeal to buyers is to upgrade your old or existing systems. New appliances, including your heating and air conditioning system, are extremely attractive to buyers, and indicate that you take good care of your house.
However, while it may seem as though a new air conditioning system may be exactly what you need if you’re looking for ways to make your home more attractive and increase its value, the truth is there are some things to keep in mind before jumping in on this fairly major purchase. After all, you want your purchase to be one that helps you make money on your home, and if you can’t make the value of your new system back on the increase in your home’s purchase price, then it’s not really a good investment.
Here are a few important questions to consider before making the choice to purchase a new air conditioner.
How Old Is Your Current Air Conditioner?
The number one indicator as to the health of an air conditioning system is its age. There’s no way around it, an older system will need replaced sooner, and the more years of life a home buyer can get out of their new air conditioner, the more attractive that home will be. If your air conditioner is 10 years old or older, you may want to consider replacing it so you don’t have to deal with the possibility of significant and unattractive maintenance or repair costs.
However, if your new system is, say, three to four years old, then your system is still likely in good health and has years of life left in it. Why would you replace a system with so much time left in it? In fact, an air conditioner that’s that young is still likely an attractive feature to a prospective buyer rather than an obnoxious issue they’ll have to deal with.
Does Your Current Air Conditioner Work?
Here’s another important question: does your current system work at all? If so, how well? While it’s true that being able to slap the words “NEW AIR CONDITIONER” on your real estate listing looks really good, it’s not worth paying thousands of dollars for the ability to do so when your current system works just fine. That being said, if your current system doesn’t really keep you cool all that well anymore, and you find that you need major repairs somewhat frequently, then you should probably consider getting a replacement. After all, the condition of your air conditioner will come up in a home inspection, and a faulty air conditioner can and has killed home sales in the past.
What Kind of Refrigerant Does Your System Use?
If you own a home built in the early to mid-1990s or older, then there’s a strong chance you may have an air conditioner which uses R-22 refrigerant, or Freon as it’s more commonly known. When Freon evaporates, it becomes a greenhouse gas that is extremely damaging to the environment, and as such new systems are no longer produced to use it. If your system runs on Freon, repairs are expensive, and home buyers will likely not want to deal with it.
Upgrading to a new system avoids this. R410a is a far more common refrigerant in use now because it’s eco-friendly, harmless when it evaporates, and significantly cheaper than R-22. Upgrading your HVAC equipment to one of these new systems will no doubt make your home far more appealing.