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Home Improvement Tip: Large Appliance Maintenance & Upgrades Pay Off

homeowner-300x224Every homeowner knows that regular, professional maintenance of their heating, cooling and plumbing systems is crucial to the successful upkeep of a house. After all, the safety and efficiency of these systems can affect everything from how much money your family spends on energy bills to whether you suffer a catastrophic furnace problem on the coldest day of the year or whether your toilet overflows moments before relatives arrive for the holidays.

But, one aspect of plumbing and HVAC maintenance and improvement that’s often overlooked is how much value can be added to your home by ensuring that these systems are in great working order – or better yet, by updating them to utilize the latest, most energy-efficient technology.

Skimp a Dollar; Lose Two

Whatever maintenance has been performed over the years becomes vital when you’re ready to sell your home, since your plumbing and HVAC systems will be very carefully checked over by any home inspector as part of any sale. If any issues are uncovered during an inspection of your house, they will definitely hurt your home’s value, potentially become a contentious topic during negotiations, and in many cases will need to be addressed before you can sell your home at all. The cost of regular, professional maintenance is far less than emergency repair or replacement of most any system component, and is distributed over time, meaning you’ll be spending far less by properly maintaining your home’s systems than you will by confronting unresolved issues when you decide to sell – plus being faced with the cost of expensive renovations, repairs and new equipment purchases that take you by surprise.

Plumbing Issues

Some common plumbing issues that are easily resolved during routine maintenance but which will detract from your home’s value if found by an inspector include:

  • Signs of leakage problems like water damage, mildew and mold, and rotten wood
  • Cross-connection, which occurs when water meant for household use is contaminated by another water source like a broken city water main
  • Inadequate, broken, damaged or rusty pipes, and pipes made of banned materials such as polybutylene
  • Signs of DIY plumbing fixes that indicate you’ve been doing your repairs yourself with duct tape instead of hiring a licensed professional

Plumbing Improvements

So you’ve established a regular maintenance schedule for your plumbing, but you’d like to add to your home’s value by improving your system’s hardware. So what are the best plumbing improvements when it comes to increasing your property value? Functional improvements to plumbing, such as bringing older plumbing up to city code, increase energy efficiency or use clean energy, or just making your outdated system safer all offer great return-on-investment for homeowners. Aesthetic plumbing improvements, like updating the fixtures in your sinks, bathrooms or showers with ones made from higher-quality materials, or adding a hot tub to a bathroom, can also help make your home more desirable to buyers, but are more a matter of personal preference.

Some popular improvements homeowners are making to their plumbing to increase their home value include

  • Installing a tankless hot water heater. Tankless hot water heaters provide an unlimited supply of hot water, don’t waste energy by storing water in a tank or heating it when it isn’t needed, and have a life expectancy of over 20 years, all of which mean an excellent return on your upgrade investment
  • Adding a recirculating hot water system. A recirculating hot water system constantly recirculates hot water so any spigot in the house can have hot water available right away. You could install this as an alternative to a tankless hot water heater and see many similar benefits, since hot water recirculation means not having to waste water from a spigot while you wait for it to heat up

Heating and Cooling Issues

With your home’s heating and cooling systems, the case is much the same as with your plumbing: proper maintenance and upkeep by a licensed HVAC professional will mean that you’re already keeping an eye on the same things home inspectors will look at, like

  • The overall cleanliness and degree of dust, mold, or other contamination present in your HVAC system and any duct work that allows it to heat and cool your house
  • The state of your furnace’s heat exchanger. If you have a furnace, it’s imperative that the heat exchanger be regularly checked because if defective, it can release deadly carbon monoxide gas into your home
  • Safety concerns. Safety concerns, from defective or broken controls, inoperative emergency switches, and damage to gas and electrical supply lines that feed your heating or air conditioning system all represent huge problems in assessing home value and can leave you scrambling to get them fixed – and faced with thousands upon thousands of dollars in repair bills as you try to list or sell your home

HVAC Improvements

There are some things that an inspector won’t necessarily check your home’s heating and cooling systems for but which can definitely increase your home’s value should you choose to invest in them.

Some examples of popular value-adding HVAC upgrades include

  • Installing central air conditioning. Getting rid of those unsightly window units and adding a far more energy-efficient central air conditioning system can boost your home’s value by 10 to 20 percent
  • Adding a zoned heating system. Zoned heating systems utilize separate thermostats to split heating between several levels or even rooms of a home, allowing the system to heat smaller sections of the home more quickly and precisely, and save a lot of energy in the process.
  • Adding a geothermal heat pump. Using the heat naturally generated by the earth allows geothermal heat pumps to reach a far greater level of efficiency than standard heating systems, and they are quieter, last longer and need less maintenance than other heating systems to boot.

Maintain, Improve and Watch Your Home’s Value Increase!

Proper maintenance of your plumbing, heating and cooling systems, performed on a regular basis by licensed, trained professionals is by far the best way to preserve your investment in your home. That’s why R.S. Andrews Atlanta offers the Smiley Advantage Plan to provide you with regular planned maintenance – our technicians have estimated that 82% of repairs they’re called to make would have been reduced in severity or eliminated completely by a regular tune-up program.

If you’re interested in enrolling in the Smiley Advantage Plan or have any questions about your options for upgrading to a new, energy-efficient plumbing or HVAC appliance – give us a call today!

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