Picture of a Hawaiian mom and two daughters standing in front of their home with a for sale sign

Should I Replace My Air Conditioner Before I Sell My House?

Picture of a Hawaiian mom and two daughters standing in front of their home with a for sale sign

With an air conditioner system costing up to $7500 or more in some cases, making the decision to replace it is never easy. However, if you’re selling your house, this is the kind of thing you’ll have to consider.

Your real estate agent educates you about what potential buyers are looking for and whether or not a new AC unit will be a featured selling point. If you do replace your AC before listing your home, the cost can be factored into your selling price.

If you don’t replace your air conditioner even though it’s almost time, the value of your house could be negatively impacted, and you may end up losing out on proceeds from the sale.

If you’re asking yourself, “Should I replace my air conditioner before I sell my house?” then these are the things you need to consider.

Should You Replace Your AC?

1) Can You Afford It?

You first need to ask yourself if you can afford to pay for a brand new air conditioner. Call a few HVAC contractors and get some quotes to find roughly how much you’ll owe. See if you can afford to pay that cost upfront or over a set period of time. Also, as about their financing plans. 

Make sure the contractors that you’re asking have:

  • Good reviews
  • Insurance and a license
  • Lots of experience
  • A reasonable quote with payment options

If you can afford it, now’s the time to consider whether this is your best option.

2) How Old Is Your AC Unit?

If you have an older AC unit it’s generally a good idea to replace it before selling your home. Age is a considerable factor in whether or not an air conditioner will decrease or increase your home value.

Generally, if your HVAC system is more than ten years old, it’s time to look at replacing it. If it’s nowhere near that old, you might want to look at some HVAC system updates but may not need an entirely new unit—have a professional look and advise you what’s best and most efficient in terms of the cost.

Energy efficiency is likely not ideal if your AC unit is over 20 years old. Replacing the old AC with an energy-efficient model is a key selling point for potential buyers.

3) Are There Any Concerning Issues?

Another thing you need to consider when asking yourself, “Is it time to replace my AC unit?” is if there are any issues with it. If you have to perform constant maintenance and repairs on the unit, that’s a big clue. But there are other more minor symptoms that your AC unit is ready for replacement.

It’s best not to leave issues untreated, especially in Hawaii where the heat and humidity can get extreme. While an AC unit eventually breaking down for a few days may be no urgent issue in a milder state, most parts of Hawaii are too hot to go without AC. Homebuyers in this state typically don’t want to take that risk!

Blowing Hot Air

Your air conditioning unit is your best defense against the summer heat. Besides making it more comfortable to be in your home or office, a well-functioning AC unit helps reduce the strain on your power bill and lessens the risk of overheating.

If your AC unit is blowing hot air (even intermittently), it’s time for an inspection. This symptom points to a significant issue, so frequently check that your unit is blowing cool air.

Reasons for an AC blowing hot air include:

  • Something is restricting airflow—hair, pets, a large plant, etc.
  • Filters are dirty and need to be cleaned
  • Temperature sensor is dirty and needs to be cleaned or replaced
  • Thermostat may not be working properly
  • An electrical problem—a switch, fuse, or wire is loose

Strange Noises

While some noise coming from the AC unit is normal, if there are excessive or unusual noises, it may be a sign that it needs repair at the very least. Your AC unit shouldn’t be loud enough to disturb daily activities.

If your unit is not cooling your room effectively, it may be broken, and you need to contact a professional for HVAC service. If the fan is blowing loudly and you’re still feeling warm, that may also be a sign of an issue with the unit.

Struggle to Hit the Right Temperature

There are a few things to consider when deciding whether or not your AC unit is working efficiently. One of the most common issues is that it’s not reaching the temperature you’d like it to.

The unit may not work efficiently if your rooms aren’t reaching the temperature you want with the AC. However, ensure you’re giving it a fair chance by closing windows and doors while it works.

Foul Smells

It’s not normal for offensive smells to be coming from your AC. While the heating system may cause a burning smell when it turns on—mainly if you haven’t used it in a while—you shouldn’t smell anything when the AC kicks on.

If you do, check your filter to make sure it’s still clean and that there are no leaks. You may also have a water drip or leak somewhere in the system, which causes mold to grow and create a bad smell. If troubleshooting bad smells coming from your AC unit is something you’d rather delegate to a professional, feel free to give us a call.

When Are You Moving?

Another thing to consider is when you plan on moving vs. the age of your unit. If it’s already seven years old and you don’t plan on moving for a year or two, then it might be best to replace it now as it may almost be at the end of its lifespan by the time you do actually move.

Moving can be stressful and takes up a lot of time. If you’re going to replace your AC unit, it’s best to do so before you get into the thick of the move.

If You Decide Not To Replace Your AC...

There are many reasons why you may decide against replacing the unit, such as:

  • It’s not very old
  • It doesn’t have any apparent issues
  • You don’t have the money to replace it, and the situation isn’t dire

If you decide against replacement, it’s a good idea to at least have it serviced. If there are any significant issues with the unit, the home inspector will catch them.

Having it serviced beforehand can prevent delays in the selling process—and even prevent a buyer from backing out altogether. House deals often fall through when there are issues with the house that the buyer isn’t willing to (or can’t afford to) fix. 

Should I Replace My AC Before Listing My House? It Depends.

The truth is, there’s no one answer to, “Should I replace my air conditioner before I sell my house?” because multiple factors influence this decision. Considerations range from whether you can afford it, to the age of your AC unit, to whether there are any notable problems with it.

If you need to replace your unit in Hawaii or even just want to service it, contact us today at Island Comfort Air Conditioning for a free estimate from trusted specialists.

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