Should I replace my furnace before selling my house? Will the exterior need to be renovated for higher curb appeal? There are a lot of questions you may ask yourself when you’re in the process of selling your home. With these investments, higher expenses are to be expected. Painting, cleaning and staging can eat away at a portion of your profits. Along with real estate agent commissions, the transfer tax, and costs for closing and your home warranty, your out-of-pocket expenses quickly add up.
Many homeowners will understandably try to cut other costs where they can. You may be tempted to shut down all utilities, including your HVAC system. After all, what’s the point of heating and cooling an empty home?
But you may be surprised to learn that this can backfire. Saving a few dollars on energy costs now may end up costing you thousands in future repairs. By sharing this advice, the HVAC pros at Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning hope to help you navigate the process of selling your home more affordably. Continue reading below for why you should leave your HVAC system on.
1. Prevent Property Damage
Property damage can throw a wrench into your plans for selling your home. Locking doors and windows may prevent vandalism, but not the damage caused by unregulated temperature and humidity. Without an HVAC system regulating conditions indoors, many features of your home could be at risk. This is particularly true for wooden features like flooring, trim, railing, shelves and more.
Excessive heat pulls moisture from the wood, potentially causing cracks. And if you’re selling your home in winter, the cold can warp or produce rot. Large shifts in temperature can also affect many other parts of your home. Pipes may burst and doorframes could shift, resulting in structural damage. And finally, high humidity can encourage lots of mold growth.
Repairing these issues could cost you thousands. If you want to avoid these expenses, keep your HVAC system on and adjust the thermostat according to the season. Setting the thermostat at 85 in the summer and no lower than 50 in the winter will reduce energy costs while protecting the interior of your home.
2. Keep Potential Buyers More Comfortable
You want potential buyers to feel comfortable the moment they step inside your home. The better they feel, the more easily they can see themselves living there. Similar to staging, proper climate control is about ensuring home your home feels inviting and like a worthwhile investment.
When you shut down your HVAC system, you’re leaving buyer comfort up to Mother Nature. Even pleasant weather can feel stuffy indoors, putting off many buyers from the moment they step inside. By keeping your HVAC system running, you’ll ensure visitors feel that rush of comfort as they leave the current weather outside where it belongs.
Since preferences can vary wildly, it’s best to keep indoor temperatures between 69 and 72 degrees. Particularly hot or cold weather may encourage further adjustment, but most potential buyers will be comfortable within this range.
3. Help Appraisers and Inspectors
Most homes include a due diligence clause. Buyers will make sure a home meets their expectations by hiring a general inspector as well as specialized professionals like plumbers or HVAC technicians. They’ll create a comprehensive report on the home’s overall condition, and poor results could dissuade many of them from buying.
Over the course of a general inspection, inspectors check the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems. They won’t be able to do so if you’ve already shut these utilities off. If the market is active, even the few days it takes for utilities to come back online can be enough to make potential buyers look elsewhere. To ensure a timely final closing date, keep your utilities on during the selling process.
4. Ask a Trusted Technician for Advice About Extended Vacancies
Sometimes the selling process takes longer than you’d like. If you think your home will remain vacant for more than six months, it’s a good idea to find a trusted HVAC company. They’ll keep your HVAC system in good condition with timely inspections, maintenance and repairs. In fact, only licensed professionals are legally allowed to bring a disused HVAC system back up and running.