How Much Value Does Central Air Conditioning Add to a Home's Resale?

by Leyla Norman ; Updated July 27, 2017
Central air conditioning unit

Don’t get too excited thinking that if you put central air conditioning in your house you will then recover the thousands it cost when you sell it. Air conditioning is also not built into every newly constructed house, but it is not so rare that home buyers are willing to pay much extra to get it.

Air Conditioning and Value

As of 2011, a home with air conditioning added to it can add an extra $2,500 to $5,000 to the selling price of a home, according to Colorado Springs real estate agent Jeremy Isaac. Plus, a 2013 article at the USA Today website says that nearly 7 in 10 homeowners would also be willing to pay up to an extra $2,520 for central air conditioning.

Expected Return on Investment

The same USA Today article found that central air conditioning was also the most preferred home feature for home buyers. While homeowners generally would be willing to spend up to $2,520 to install a central air condition system, the cost of doing so is actually higher. As a result, the average $3,500 to $4,000 a homeowner spends adding air conditioning to a 2,000 square foot, forced air heated home may not be recovered when it's time to sell.

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Energy Efficiency Tax Credits

The U.S. government routinely offers a variety of energy efficiency tax credits to homeowners. So even if you don’t recover the costs of installing an air conditioning system in your home when you sell, you may be able to receive a tax credit. As of July 2011, the homeowner tax credit for energy efficient heating and air conditioning units amount was $300.

Comfort and Convenience Returns

If having air conditioning is important to you consider adding central air conditioning to your home. Another home air conditioning option is to put window units in the few rooms you typically occupy during the course of the day. You may also put in split ductless air conditioning, which can cool several rooms at once without installing duct work, if your home does not have it. At the time of publication, split ductless air conditioning costs between $1,000 and $1,200 to install.

About the Author

Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.

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