When you’re planning a renovation in order to sell your home, the key to avoiding expensive upgrade mistakes is knowing which upgrades will add the most value. HVAC upgrades will always be a smart investment yet, these home improvements are most commonly overlooked by homeowners.

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In today’s market, it’s riskier than ever to make the wrong renovations. You could end up spending thousands of dollars on bathroom and kitchen renovations that never pay themselves off. Below, you’ll find an explanation of why HVAC upgrades are your best bet to help you sell your home faster.



Upgrades like refinished cabinets and new countertops are nice to have, but an updated HVAC system is critical. While homebuyers won’t notice a brand-new HVAC system, they’ll definitely spot an old or broken one. A prospective buyer probably won’t automatically walk away from a home without all the newest gadgets, but they won’t even look twice at a home that lacks basic heating and cooling abilities. 


As such, you should take HVAC renovations seriously and make them a priority over flooring, paint, and other luxury upgrades. You might hesitate when you look into the costs, but The NAR reports that HVAC remodels have a higher average return on investment than most other types of remodeling projects, yielding a return of up to 71%. 

Is your current HVAC system still working well?


During the home-selling process, you can bet that people will ask you the age of your HVAC system. If it was installed less than 10 years ago, it very likely has several good years of use left in it. Anything newer isn’t likely to make a difference in home value or offers from potential buyers. If the current components are still operating optimally, there’s no use in shelling out money to fix what isn’t broken. Anything older than 15 years old, however, will be a turnoff to buyers. At this point, consider replacing the HVAC system completely.


Can you get away with an HVAC repair rather than a replacement?


If your HVAC unit is less than 10 years old but functions like it needs to be upgraded, you might be able to get away with some simple repairs rather than a complete system overhaul. To find out if you should repair or replace an HVAC system, multiply the age of your existing unit by the cost of the repair. If the total is more than $5,000, you’re better off replacing the system than repairing it. 

Is your home located in a climate that requires heating and/or cooling?


Upgrading an HVAC system in a geographical location that doesn’t necessitate HVAC will not add value to your home. For example, it would be a waste of money to upgrade a heating system in a place like Southern California. Where temperatures are consistently warm and the heater would not be used. 


On the other hand, if your property is located somewhere with a harsher climate. Experts say that upgrading your HVAC system will help you sell your house faster. For example, upgrading to a solar heating system would be a smart move if your home is located somewhere sunny. A heat pump would be an appealing feature for a home located in a desert climate.


Do you currently have energy-efficient HVAC units?


Efficiency-labeled homes are increasing in preference and popularity among new homebuyers. Who doesn’t want to save on their utility bills? When it comes to increasing the resale value of your home. Upgrading to energy-efficient HVAC appliances is one of the smartest moves you can make in today’s competitive market.


As reported by energy.gov and the US Green Building Council, homes that have energy-efficient HVAC systems see a 5% to 8% higher selling value. If your unit is too small, or too old for your house, consider making the upgrade to attract buyers. Some states even offer tax breaks for homeowners with energy-efficient HVAC systems. You can find out which incentives your state currently offers by clicking here.