The value of a home isn’t all about its exterior.

An older home can still carry a competitive price tag, especially if owners are conscientious about updating all the systems that buyers don’t necessarily see from the curb. Sure, roofs and gutters and sidings make an impression, but it’s the plumbing and HVAC systems that really make a home livable.

We reached out to local HVAC and plumbing experts to see what upgrades pack the most punch in terms of boosting a homeowner’s equity.

The professionals at Longmont-based SAC Mechanical, which began in 1984 as a commercial HVAC provider have seen plenty in the way of upgrades and advancements when it comes to energy efficiency systems, smart temperature and climate control and the best ways to ensure that air quality in a home remains as pure as possible. Precision Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric in Boulder have also seen plenty in the way of innovations since launching 40 years ago, including the advent of tankless water heaters, energy-efficient faucets and other dynamics.

In 2023, a good place to start ramping up equity through your home’s HVAC system is at its control center. Programmable thermostats have come leaps and bounds in terms of ease of use and efficiency. Paired with a smartphone, the right smart thermostat can control all features of a home’s climate, air quality and humidity, features that can make a very real impact on the health, safety and happiness of residents.

According to the SAC Mechanical website, the right thermostat “doesn’t just control temperature. It has an impact on the air that you breathe, on moisture and mold growth, the amount of energy that you use and money that you spend, and most importantly, on you and your family’s health,” according to the SAC Mechanical website. “Don’t ignore your heating and cooling system. Your HVAC system is a great big mechanical system, just like your automobile.”

SAM Mechanical specializes in smart thermostats manufactured by respected brands like Trane and Carrier, equipment that allows users to control the elements in the home from a smart device. A smart thermostat that controls a modern, energy-efficient HVAC system could be an investment – the average cost of a new system averages about $10,000. However, that upgrade could add thousands of dollars to the resale value of a home.
For example, installing a ductless split system, which allows precise control of temperature and humidity on a room-by-room basis, could boost the value of a home by up to 10 percent. What’s more, opting for extended media filters, electronic filters or ultraviolet filters to regulate the air purity in a home can make a measurable difference in the quality of life inside the home. In a state where forest fire season has become more and more predictable, such upgrades in an HVAC system can not only serve as a health boon for residents but can also be a strong selling point for a home.

Plumbing upgrades can pack a punch in terms of home equity, as well. They can also yield savings in terms of energy costs on an annual basis, according to experts with the Boulder-based Precision Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric. Specifically, tankless hot water systems eliminate limits on the hot water in a home and cut down on space requirements as well.

According to Department of Energy estimates, a tankless system could save a home up to 30 percent in energy on an annual basis, compared to a traditional electric system. Precision specializes in customizing a tankless system to the specific size and metrics of a given property, and they’re dedicated to ensuring that it “meets your daily requirements.”

More than yearly savings in the monthly utility bill, a tankless system could pay off dividends in terms of home value. Combined with general upgrades to faucets, bathroom systems and other plumbing fixtures, a system sans a tank could boost the overall value of a home by up to five percent.

By Adam Goldstein, AH Luxury