Making the decision to put your Sarasota, Florida, home on the market can be bittersweet. You’re sad to say goodbye to a house you’ve loved, but you’re excited to move into a home that’s a better fit for your growing family, or as an empty-nester.
No matter how ready you are to move on, however, you won’t get the best return on your investment without taking care of a few essential tasks. From adding insulation to replacing an old HVAC system, find out how to prepare your Florida home to sell.
Add More Insulation
Adequate insulation is essential for every home in Sarasota’s humid subtropical climate, as this material is designed to keep hot air outside and cool air inside. Insufficient insulation can increase cooling costs and drive up utility bills, which may be a red flag to potential homebuyers.
To preserve energy efficiency, your home should have sufficient insulation from the foundation to the roof. Not sure if your home has enough insulation or need a hand finding problem areas? A home performance evaluation or energy assessment can identify areas where you need more insulation and help you devise a plan for improvement. You can do this energy assessment yourself over the course of a weekend or hire a professional to make sure you don’t miss any warning signs before putting your home on the market.
Deal With Drafts
Drafty doors and windows are more than mere nuisances. As conditioned air seeps out of the windows and warm air leaks in under the doorstop, your home’s energy efficiency can decrease, leading to utility bills that are higher than they should be.
Fortunately, home performance evaluations can also identify the air leaks that compromise energy efficiency and decrease comfort levels in your home. Once you’ve zeroed in on the most problematic cracks and leaks, add caulking and weather-stripping to your pre-sale to-do list.
Replace the Air Filter
Air filters may not look important, but they’re essential to keeping your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently. These disposable components prevent dust, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne debris from entering your heating and cooling system, where it could accumulate and cause performance issues or breakdowns.
If you can’t remember the last time you replaced the filter, add it to your to-do list and mark your calendar. Then make a point of replacing the filter every 30 days until the closing date. Changing the filter regularly will improve your HVAC system’s efficiency and help clear the air, both of which potential buyers will appreciate.
Clean Up the Outdoor Unit
Even if your family has already moved out of the home you’re planning to sell, maintaining the yard is critical. Not only do you want to keep up an inviting appearance that attracts buyers, you also want to prevent your home from taking on an abandoned look.
As you’re working on the yard, be sure to tidy up around the outdoor HVAC unit. Remove any fallen leaves, branches, or other items that have accumulated on the top of the unit. Cut grass and trim back nearby shrubs to leave a clear path for air to flow into and out of the system. Keep in mind that obstructions can impact HVAC efficiency and compromise system performance, but keeping the outdoor unit clean takes only a few minutes a couple of times a month.
Schedule HVAC System Maintenance
Rather than holding off on routine maintenance and leaving future tuneups to the next owner of your home, take the time to schedule HVAC maintenance. After all, many potential buyers will want to see a clean bill of health for your HVAC system.
If more than six months have passed since your last HVAC tuneup, now is the ideal time to schedule preventive maintenance. A routine inspection by the Aqua Plumbing & Air team gives you a chance to get your heating and cooling system ready for the season ahead, ensure that the system is running efficiently, and identify any persistent issues.
Repair and Clean Ductwork
If our team identifies ductwork issues during our maintenance visit, we may recommend that you address them before putting your home on the market. After all, leaky ducts can increase household energy consumption significantly, as the average duct system wastes up to 30 percent of conditioned air due to cracks and bad connections. Duct sealing can help address cracks and energy loss while lowering energy usage.
Over time, a surprising amount of dust and debris can accumulate in your home’s ductwork, too. In many cases, duct cleaning offers a smart solution for removing dust, biological growth, and pests before these issues appear on potential homebuyers’ radar.
Address Humidity Issues
Humidity issues aren’t unusual in Sarasota, but you also shouldn’t ignore persistent problems. Start by adjusting the humidity control on your thermostat, setting relative humidity to 50 percent or lower.
If indoor moisture levels are still too high, causing your home to feel sticky or contributing to structural issues, think about a higher-level solution. Adding a whole-home dehumidifier to your HVAC system can help keep moisture levels under control, making your home feel more comfortable to potential homebuyers. Investing in a whole-home dehumidifier can also improve your HVAC system’s performance and efficiency, giving interested buyers even more to get excited about.
Clear the Air and Improve Ventilation
Humidity isn’t the only indoor air quality issue that many Sarasota homeowners have to face. If your home tends to be a magnet for dust, pet dander, pollen, and other airborne contaminants, your HVAC filter may not be doing enough to keep the air clean. When this problem happens, our team often recommends installing a whole-house air filter that connects directly to your HVAC system. This high-tech component can remove almost all indoor pollutants, and many can capture and kill viruses and bacteria, resulting in ultra-clean air.
Energy-recovery ventilators are also smart picks, especially if your home tends to have pockets of stale air. These HVAC add-ons refresh the air constantly and improve airflow, helping your home feel and smell cleaner to your family as well as to potential buyers.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
If your HVAC system is in great shape, you can still make cost-effective upgrades that appeal to potential buyers. For example, if you still rely on a manual thermostat, consider upgrading to a smart model. This device won’t break the bank, but it can help you save energy and tend to attract eco-conscious buyers.
Opt for a Wi-Fi–enabled smart thermostat that can connect to your home’s network and allow you to log in and change settings from anywhere. You’ll appreciate the convenience that a smart thermostat offers, and you’ll love being able to turn the air conditioner up and down for open houses and last-minute realtor visits no matter where you are.
Replace an Aging Air Conditioner
When you’re getting ready to sell your house and move on to a new home, investing in a new HVAC system may be the last thing on your mind. After all, why take the time or spend the money to replace an aging air conditioner when the new owner can tackle such an important task?
While some homebuyers want a home improvement project, many are seeking a move-in ready home. In the latter case, having to make a major improvement after moving in can be a big turnoff.
Rather than risking turning away potential buyers, consider replacing your aging air conditioner, especially if it’s on its last leg or if it no longer keeps the home cool. Our team of cooling experts can recommend the latest energy-efficient models, such as the Carrier Infinity 21 central air conditioner. This Energy Star–certified model is one of the most efficient models on the market and offers advanced features such as two-stage compression for superior comfort. With so many perks and high-tech features, you may want to install one of these systems in your new home, too.
Whether you need to replace your old cooling system with a new air conditioner or you need advice on energy-efficient upgrades, we’re always here to help. Call the Aqua Plumbing & Air team today: (941) 306-3715.
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