Home remodeling companies will tell you that the best investments you can make in your home will be in the kitchen and the bathroom. You might just want to add the basement to that list. If you’re selling a home in Boston, residential heating and cooling equipment may turn out to be more important than other features prospective homebuyers may have valued in the past. That’s because buyers are entering the market only cautiously, and homes that are ready to lower the owner’s total cost of living are becoming significantly more attractive to potential homebuyers.
How can you improve the chances of selling your home? Take a good look at your heating and cooling equipment. If your home currently has an oil-fired heating plant, consider converting it to natural gas. The lower cost of operating natural gas furnaces and boilers is overwhelmingly attractive right now. But buyers are looking at more than out-of-pocket costs to operate the equipment.
Natural gas and heating oil are about equal from an operational perspective, but oil-fired heating equipment carries an inherent risk of spilling. The seemingly ever-increasing cost of heating oil, onsite storage and the cost of extra insurance for oil-spill related accidents could be a showstopper for potential buyers. If you have the cash available, convert. You’ll also get extra points for being able to say your home has a brand new furnace or boiler.
Old air conditioning or no air conditioning provide two more reasons for buyers to look past your home. New, high-efficiency air conditioners can be very economical to operate and can also be more environmentally friendly than older models. Older model air conditioners use older refrigerants, which – depending upon what you need – could be in short supply. Buyers who are looking ahead may see high replacement costs in their future.
One economical alternative for old systems or homes that have no air conditioning may be a mini-split AC system. These systems are highly cost-effective, provide zone cooling and install quickly. They can also solve other problems like those posed by ductwork – or lack of it! Some homes – especially those with hot-water or steam heat – may not have ductwork to begin with. Other homes may have ductwork that’s been compromised by asbestos or other hazards. The mini-split alternative provides excellent cooling with none of the retrofit hassle of a whole-house air conditioning system.
If you’re thinking about selling your home and you’d like an assessment of your home’s heating and cooling equipment, please give us a call at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911. We’ll be happy to evaluate your current heating and cooling equipment or consult with you on an oil-to-gas conversion.