Does Central AC Increase the Value of a Home?
Central air conditioning is a feature that most homeowners desire, but there are some critical elements which determine whether it adds value to a home.
Central air conditioning (AC) is a feature that most homeowners desire. Home appraisers suggest that this may increase the value of your home. However, there are some critical elements which determine whether this is true.
An adequately equipped central heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will cost you a minimum of $3,000. Some homeowners have reported spending as much as $15,000. The cost of the purchase and installation are determined by the size of your home and, thus, by how much energy is required to cool it. Since HVAC systems remain in good condition for up to ten years, a homeowner can consider this cost as an investment adds to the value of their property.
Central AC vs. Window AC
Image via Flickr by Michael Cramer
A central air conditioner cools your home by carrying cool air from the system into the building. This air circulates through return and supply pipes. On the other hand, window air conditioners come in single units which cool only the room in which they are located. A central HVAC system is a feature which potential buyers will find attractive, much unlike window units. Therefore, it can mark up the value of your home. Despite that, if your system needs repair or reconfiguration when you put your house on the market, the value of your house will decrease — you might lose the money spent on the system.
The location of your home is an important factor when considering how much central AC adds to the value of your home. In areas with cool or moderate summers, potential buyers might perceive central air conditioning as an unnecessary luxury. It could reduce your selling power. However, in regions with hot temperatures, central AC will be a welcome addition for prospective buyers. In fact, the absence of an HVAC system in such regions would be a reason for any viewers to dismiss your home.
Pros and Cons of Central AC
Central air conditioning has its advantages and disadvantages. It is more effective than a window unit or a split unit. Sometimes, it may provide heating, making it an efficient, all-in-one solution. In addition, central AC systems contain filters which improve the quality of air in your home by removing dust pollen and other allergy-triggering particles. Because the bulk of the system is located outside the house, the central AC consumes less space. The system is also quiet and imperceptible, therefore; it does not affect the aesthetic of the home.
Central air conditioning systems are expensive to purchase and install. They are as costly to service and maintain. A poorly maintained system can develop mold and transmit disease-causing spores. Also, the passage of air through the ducts may cause energy losses and overwork the system.
The effect of central AC on the value of your home depends on many factors. Consider them all before choosing to install one in your home.