Tips for Selling Your Home: Get HVAC Ready

By Angie's List

Getting your HVAC system ready

Getting your house's heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system in order is vital to preparing your home for sale. Heating and cooling costs are very important, as they make up about 56 percent of a home's energy costs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

The important of a home inspection

A home inspection checks some of your abode's major systems, including electrical, the foundation, HVAC, plumbing, roof and walls. A sales contract is often contingent on good inspection results.

Because new heating and cooling units cost thousands, if yours comes up short, buyers can back out of the deal, negotiate repairs or seek a new selling price. And the same poor results can put you in a weaker negotiating position.

Top 5 HVAC tips

To get your HVAC in stellar condition, here are five tips about what to do before putting your house on the market.

1. Change your air filters monthly
When furnace filters aren't swapped out, extra dirt and debris force your system to work harder. This can lead to increased energy costs and your system needing repairs sooner than if filters were changed regularly. This basic maintenance can cut your energy bill (and that of a new homebuyer) by 15 percent.

Pleated filters are typically the best because they have an electromagnetic charge and can attract the tiniest of particles.

2. Get a programmable thermostat
These thermostats are big money-savers because you set them to adjust temperatures at specific times.

When everyone's out of the house, you can set the thermostat to a lower winter temperature or higher summer ones. You can set a more comfortable temperature when everyone is home and temperatures can be adjusted when everyone is snug in bed.

3. Clean the area around your unit periodically
Keeping leaves and debris from clogging the area around your heating or cooling unit will help it pull in air.

4. Help your HVAC do its job
Seal any drafts around doors or windows with rubber weatherstripping to keep cold air outside during winter and hot air out of the house in summer.

5. Have an expert inspect and tuneup your HVAC
A professional HVAC contractor can take a unit apart, detect any problems and clean it. She or he also can clear the drain, if needed. A clogged drain, like a dirty air filter, can increase energy costs and force the unit to work harder. Finally, a contractor can ensure there aren't any lurking fire or carbon monoxide hazards.

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