Will Putting in Central Air Increase the Value of My Home?

We’ve logged our first 80 degree day of the year and we’ve already started getting calls with questions about Air Conditioner units. It’s hard to believe how quickly we shift from heating season to cooling season, but with the standardization of forced air systems in the last 40 years, we’ve moved to a year-round controlled environment in most homes. The technology has been moving fast to increase the indoor climate comfort in our homes including smart home intelligent thermostats, but the intelligent systems are built on the foundation of a solid furnace and air conditioning units.

In spite of the recent advancements for new homes, there are still a significant number of homes without air conditioners. One of the most common questions we get asked by people considering selling their home and those considering adding a central air system to their home is, “Does adding an central air conditioning system to my home add enough value to make it worth it?”

Homeowners have a lot of projects to consider, but an air conditioner can add a lot of value to a home in the right circumstance. Let’s look at how an upgrade might affect your home.

Endless Project List

Each home has a different set of needs and an older home – a home built before 1980 – might be beyond simple replacement and require an upgrade in many areas. Kitchen and bathroom upgrades are popular because they traditionally add value to a home and add “pop” to a home soon to be listed for sale. However, a high-end kitchen in a two-bedroom mid-century ranch might seem so out of place that, in the end, it returns practically none of its original investment. A popular upgrade right now is adding a first floor laundry room and as long as there is space for it, this can add a lot of value to a home. There are exterior projects that affect curb appeal and interior trimwork upgrades to consider. When thinking about adding air conditioning, it doesn’t have the same “wow” factor, but it can add an incredible amount of value to a home based on the neighborhood and desires of the homeowner. Air conditioning and heating doesn’t typically involve taste or aesthetics and therefore has fairly universal value when installed. The real value added can depend a lot on the existing home.


A homes existing heating system and the age of the home can affect the cost of adding an air conditioning system. Some questions we like to ask and address are:

  • Is the existing heating system forced air?
  • Is there proper ductwork to route the air through?
  • Is there room to add ducts?
  • Is there space to add an air conditioner to the home?
  • Does it make sense to add a forced air furnace too?

Bottom Line

In the end, circumstances really help drive the determination if a new system makes sense or not. If a homeowner might recoup less than half the expense of installing central air, it might not be the right decision for them. We help walk you through the options and evaluate your existing conditions to make a recommendation of what we would be likely to do in a similar situation. It’s part of how we do business. There is no doubt that forced air AC units are popular and have become a standard option in the last 20 years. We really can be comfortable throughout year-round by taking appropriate steps to upgrade existing homes with cutting-edge mechanical systems. We’d be happy to help you explore the option of adding an AC unit to your home.


About the Authors:

Clint Pharo is a local HVAC Contractor in Madison, WI. He and his team of HVAC professionals at Pharo Heating & Cooling cover a broad range of services in commercial buildings, new home construction, and residential homes and locally represent Bryant Heating and Cooling Products. He regularly posts on his company’s blog at www.PharoHeating.com.

Ben Lindberg is partner in a marketing and design house in Madison, WI called Lion Tree Group. He regularly blogs at the Bark and Roar blog at www.LionTreeGroup.com.