Sparkling granite countertops, trendy light fixtures, and the latest kitchen appliances often lure homeowners to plunk down thousands of dollars on remodeling projects, and there’s research that proves it. According to Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, American homeowners are spending more and more on pricey upgrades. Here’s the bad news: They’re getting less and less in return.

If you’re considering committing some serious capital for home improvements, you’d be wise to keep an eye on the ROI (return on investment) each project will provide in terms of your home’s value. If you don’t recoup your expenses when you sell your house, the money will have been wasted. However, investing in a new HVAC unit is a different story.


According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost VS Value Report, a midrange major kitchen remodel—with an average price tag of $68,490— netted home sellers only 58.6% of their costs when they sold their home. That’s a staggering loss of $28,363!

When it comes to making investments, you may want to avoid that risk and go with an upgrade that’s more likely to get you the results you want. In this case, prioritize HVAC repairs and replacements over riskier luxury upgrades in terms of building home equity.

Need proof? The National Association of Realtors says HVAC remodels return a higher ROI than most other types of home improvements with a return of up to 71%.

Before deciding on an HVAC upgrade, talk to an HVAC professional about the layout and size of the house you own. Also, consider what type of buyer may someday purchase the home from you. In this blog, Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning provides five questions to ask yourself before allocating your home improvement dollars.

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Five Questions to Ask Before Updating Your HVAC System

1. Is the furnace functioning well? If not, can it be repaired?

All HVAC units will eventually need to be serviced with new parts. A good rule of thumb is this: To determine whether or not to replace your HVAC system or make a necessary repair, multiply your unit’s age by the cost of the improvement. If the total is more than $5,000, you may save more money long-term by purchasing a new system rather than repairing the old one.

Air Conditioning

2. How old is the unit?

According to ThisOldHouse.com, HVAC systems typically last 15 to 20 years. If your heating and cooling system is older than this, you may consider investing in a new unit rather than spending money repairing an old system.

3. How energy-efficient is the unit?

A case study by Energy.gov found that houses in California with updates such as energy-efficient heating and cooling sold for an average of 9% more compared to homes without the improvements. Some states offer tax incentives for consumers who purchase energy-efficient HVAC systems. You can click here to learn more about your state’s tax breaks.

According to Energy Star, programmable thermostats can save homeowners $180 per year in heating and cooling costs.

Pro tip: Use the vacation setting while you’re away to minimize energy costs.

4. How well am I maintaining my HVAC unit?

Your HVAC unit should be inspected, cleaned, or serviced at least yearly. For peak performance, have it checked each season.

You also need to change your filters regularly to get the most out of your HVAC unit. Clogged filters force heating and cooling systems to work harder and lessen the lifespan of the unit.

When you sell your house, the buyer’s home inspector will examine the HVAC unit and determine whether it functions correctly. Ensuring regular professional maintenance of your heating and cooling systems will help you avoid an unpleasant surprise during the inspection process.

5. How easy will it be to sell my house?

While you may not get back every dollar you invest in a new HVAC unit, it may make it easier to sell your home. Realtor.com says homeowners who plan to sell their residence within the next few years should consider replacing an old HVAC system. This way, the house listing will state that it is less than five years old and will be less apt to scare off potential buyers.

Want to Learn More about HVAC Options For Your Home?

Whether you’re getting ready to sell your house or are planning to stay put, Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help you with all your heating and cooling needs. We install, repair, and maintain both residential and commercial HVAC systems in the greater Pittsburgh area and Southwest Pennsylvania. Our highly trained staff can guide you in finding an affordable, effective, and low-maintenance solution for your home or business.

If you’d like to know more about how a new energy-efficient HVAC system can reduce your heating and air conditioning costs, or how to maintain the unit you have, Hoffner Heating and Air Conditioning is here to help. We provide full system installation, ductwork, and maintenance to keep you comfortable in every season. Visit our contact page or call us at 412-376-9080.