Home equity is defined as the amount of money that your home is worth minus the amount of debt you owe. Over time, as you pay down your mortgage, you will owe less. However, homes can decrease in value if you don’t maintain them. Making upgrades to your property is a smart way to increase your home equity, with some caveats.
Some homeowners automatically turn to kitchen renovations or bathroom redos to drive up the value of their houses. Instead, though, you might want to consider the benefits of improving your home’s heating and cooling system. HVAC upgrades may encourage potential buyers to offer top dollar for your home.
Replacing Old Appliances
How old are your HVAC units? If they’ve been serving you for many years, you should replace them before listing your house.
In general, furnaces are good for 15 to 30 years. Heat pumps may keep going for up to 20 years. Air conditioners may need to be replaced by 15 years of use, and water heaters often go out after a decade or so.
If your appliances are approaching those numbers, replacing them may drive up your equity. Homebuyers who spot a creaky air conditioner or an ancient furnace may be turned off from your property. They know that they’ll be facing the need for replacement not too far in the future.
If you’ve already taken care of that job, they won’t have to worry about it. While a shiny new heat pump may not be the first thing they notice on a tour of the house, it may, in the end, help convince a skittish buyer to purchase your home.
Installing a New System
If your house doesn’t have central air or a newer heating system, now may be the time to add it. Those sorts of additions may get new eyes on your house.
On a hot summer’s day, central air feels amazing. If your house is still depending on window AC units, some home shoppers may immediately cross your property off their lists. They’re more likely to consider homes that include central air.
Have you been making it through Southern California winters without a heating system? While that may work for you, the next owners may be more concerned about year-round comfort. Installing a furnace or a heat pump could draw those buyers to your property. Heat pumps draw significantly less energy to use and can be used for both heating and cooling, so they are especially attractive to home buyers.
Even if your furnace and air conditioner are only a few years old, it’s still smart to give them regular attention. Frequent maintenance helps to keep your system in tip-top shape. By treating your system well, you can rest assured that your house is always market-ready. In some cases, keeping a regular maintenance schedule may mean that you can pass on your warranty to a new homeowner.
It’s smart to have your heating system inspected early in the fall and your cooling system serviced in the spring. A heating and cooling professional will clean and prepare your units for the upcoming season. Annual tune-ups also provide the opportunity to catch small repair needs before they turn into major problems.
If you’re getting ready to list your home, you may want to schedule an extra maintenance visit, just in case. That way, you can ensure that your units are in great shape so that you won’t be caught by unexpected discoveries during the home inspection process.
While you’re at it, consider requesting professional duct cleaning, too. It’s a smart way to make sure that your house is spic and span from top to bottom.
Zoning the HVAC
Zoned heating and cooling can be quite attractive to people shopping for new homes. Zoning helps you maintain even temperatures throughout your house instead of having some rooms that run hot and others that are perpetually chilly.
Adding zoning to your house can be a big job, but it’s a top priority for some buyers. For that reason, it’s a project that may pay off at sale time. It can be particularly valuable for multistory houses, especially those with basements or finished attics.
Zoning can be achieved through various methods. Some homeowners choose to install manual or automatic dampers so that they can adjust the airflow to different rooms. Another attractive approach is to use ductless mini-splits, which can both warm and cool SoCal homes.
Adding zoning can improve the energy efficiency of your home. Future buyers may be willing to pay more upfront thanks to the promise of lower energy bills for years to come. While zoned systems may not directly add equity, they will reduce the costs of operating your system.
Improving Air Quality
Once your heating and air conditioning systems are ready to go, you may want to think about other ways that HVAC improvements could add to your home equity. Air quality is a key category that homebuyers are sure to appreciate.
Standard filters only trap about 10% of dust, pollen, germs and other air contaminants. The other 90% stays in the air you breathe or gums up your system.
Upgraded filtration units may remove up to 99.9% of particles in the air. They may even include UV lights for sanitizing the air.
Such high-quality filtration can be good for your family’s health. It can also prolong the lifespan of your HVAC units.
Those benefits can be attractive to people shopping for houses. They’ll appreciate the idea of buying a healthy home in which they can breathe easily, reduce illnesses and keep their appliances running smoothly.
Another way to improve indoor air quality is by regulating the humidity level. That can be done with humidifiers or dehumidifiers.
If the humidity level in your house is too high, it could trigger allergy issues. Dust mites and mildew thrive in overly humid environments. High humidity can also lead to mold growth, food spoilage and property damage. In addition, humid houses often feel overly warm and sticky on hot days. As a result, homeowners usually crank the AC, which results in higher energy bills.
Excessively low humidity can be a problem, too. It can cause dry and itchy skin, irritated eyes, scratchy throats, and sore nasal passages. Plus, all of the mildew and other allergens that developed during more humid weather may take to the air once the humidity drops.
Finding the just-right humidity level for your home is a delicate balance. It may take a whole-home system that carefully regulates the proper amount of moisture at all times. Fortunately, a built-in unit could move your house to the top of many homebuyers’ lists, especially those with allergy issues. In places with humidity, moisture control can maintain the value of your home by preventing mold and water damage from condensation.
While you’re making other HVAC upgrades to your home, don’t forget to add a smart thermostat. That’s an easy switch that could easily pay off at sale time. Today’s homebuyers want the convenience of smart gadgets that they can control from their phones or with voice activation.
In many houses, the thermostat is located in a prominent spot on the main floor. A smart thermostat may quickly catch a potential buyer’s eye. It may send the message that your house is modern and up to date. Smart systems can add a premium to the price of your home in a flooded market.
We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air in Murrieta is your partner in building home equity. Whether you need heating, cooling, air quality or plumbing services, we’ll be there for you. With our professionals on your side, you’ll have a top-of-the-line HVAC system that serves you well and appeals to future homebuyers. Contact We Care Plumbing, Heating and Air today to learn more about our services.