Optimize Home Remodeling Return on Investment with HVAC Upgrades

The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard reports that Americans spend larger amounts of money on home remodeling projects every year, although the return on these investments hasn’t risen in proportion. Between 2017 and 2018, spending on residential remodels increased 7.5% nationwide for a total of $340 billion. The average return on investment (ROI) for these improvements was 56%, Remodeling Magazine reported, a decrease of 12% from the previous year.

hvac upgrades

For homeowners planning to renovate while preparing to sell their homes, it’s important to know which remodeling projects will maximize ROI and help you avoid expensive errors. A homeowner rarely loses money on an HVAC upgrade, making these repairs a safe and potentially profitable investment, yet one that’s often overlooked by the homeowner and remodeler alike.

The wrong renovation project is even riskier than no renovation at all. Homeowners spend thousands on bathroom, family room and kitchen remodels that fail to pay for themselves. Read on to learn why HVAC upgrades are a safe bet to pay off when you sell your home and may even help your home sell faster.


Kitchen and bath remodels may look nice, but your home can’t function without an HVAC system. A new HVAC system isn’t likely to catch a potential home buyer’s eye, but the same potential home buyer will definitely notice a broken or outdated one, potentially ending their interest in the home. Plenty of homes sell without the latest kitchen appliances or bathroom upgrades, but no one buys a home without adequate air conditioning or heating.

Take HVAC upgrades seriously and prioritize them higher than new flooring and a fresh coat of paint, and definitely higher than gadgets and trendy upgrades. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), HVAC upgrades yield an ROI of as much as 71%, higher than most other types of home improvement remodels.


Deciding whom you intend to sell your home to and which HVAC upgrades are most suited to the type of house you have will help you determine which upgrades will net you the highest possible ROI. Factors to consider include your region of the country and state, your home’s size and age, the budget and your property’s layout. Considering these factors, ask yourself the following:

Does your existing HVAC system still work well?

Throughout the process of selling your home, it’s virtually guaranteed that someone will ask how old your HVAC system is. An HVAC system that’s less than 10 years old may still have several years of use left ahead of it, and most potential home buyers will be satisfied with a system less than a decade old. On the other hand, most potential buyers will turn away from any HVAC older than 15 years.

Can you repair your HVAC system rather than replace it?

A simple formula for deciding whether to have repairs done to your HVAC system or to replace it entirely is to multiply the cost of the repair by the age of your unit. If the dollar amount comes up to more than $5,000, then it’s time to replace your HVAC system.