Does Installing Central Air Increase the Value of a Home?

Installation costs figure into added home value.

Installation costs figure into added home value.

Central air conditioning may increase the chances of selling a home faster, especially during a heat wave, but you have to factor in the costs of installation when considering value. A central air system may attract potential home buyers who don't want the expense of installing one at a later date. However, an increase in value of the home also depends on competition and the need for heating or cooling in particular areas.

Installation Requirements

The cost of putting in a central air system could be high enough for homes that pose installation difficulty to exceed the difference in value. However, having a home that needs less-efficient window units could bring the price down if you want to put your house on the market. It costs less to install central air in homes that already have air ducts, for example. Installers require less labor if there is better access to the pipes. A costly alternative includes connecting the condenser with small pipes to air-handling units through rooms in the home.

Typical Costs

An efficient central air system with installation averages about $8,000, but can range from $2,500 to $15,000 as of 2012, according to Johnstone Supply in Corpus Christi, Texas. The cost depends on the condition or size of the home and how easily the system can be installed. The estimated cost for an air system in a 2,000-square-foot house is about $4,000, but prices can vary throughout the country. The need for cooling and heating also depends on geographical areas. Although heating draws concern during the winter in some locations, homeowners tend to consider central air for cooling. Many areas of the country go through sweltering summers, which reminds home buyers of the need for air conditioning.

Air System Value

Central air conditioning adds about 12 percent to the value of a home on average throughout the country, according to the National Association of Realtors. Estimating the value of a home with an installed air system also consists of the size of the home, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the age of the home and various amenities that make your home attractive. The quality of a central air system can help to sell your home quickly when you compete with other homes in the market. For example, a buyer might choose your home over an equally attractive home that doesn’t have central air.

Your Enjoyment

When considering the increased value of your home, also think about how often you use your central air system. It’s possible you won’t get the full return on your investment when you sell the home, even though it adds value to your property, depending on the installation cost. Installing an air system usually brings you pleasure and savings in the long run. If you install an efficient system to replace window units, it could be worth the energy costs you save over time -- a factor that potential home buyers also consider.


About the Author

Jerry Shaw writes for Spice Marketing and LinkBlaze Marketing. His articles have appeared in Gannett and American Media Inc. publications. He is the author of "The Complete Guide to Trust and Estate Management" from Atlantic Publishing.

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