replace the ac or not?

pvelOctober 31, 2010

I am 2 months from completion of my new home. My existing home which i am planning to sell (in the $170 k range) has a 15 year old ac and furnace which heat and cool OK but are noisy. Should I consider replacing the ac before I put the home on the market and hopefully use the federal tax credit to reduce the purchase cost? Even after the credit I may be spending 3-4000 out of pocket. Is it likely to be a good or bad move? The housing market is fairly OK here(Arkansas) and houses are selling, but I am afraid the old ac may be a negative. Thanks, Paul

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earthworm

Why not have a HVAC professional determine the noise source.
A guess of 3 to 4 thousand dollars seems to be outrageously high. Also, I think that the units should last for more than 15 years.
Why do we have federal tax credits here??

    Bookmark   October 31, 2010 at 7:49PM
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liriodendron

Earthworm,

The Fed. Tax Credits, which expire at the end of the year, are an inducement to get people to upgrade to more energy efficient appliances, heating and HVAC equipment, etc. It's part of the Stimulus Bill intended to give the economy a boost and at the same time lower the US future energy needs. The credit is for 30% of the cost of qualifying items up to limit of $1,500. I don't recall if it is fully refundable.

Does it work? Is it a good idea? I guess that's a question worth debate. I'm pretty sure the idea, though, is to get people to make purchases they might have put off in these uncertain times. Consumer spending is a very important part of a vibrant economy, and sometimes it's effective to give it a nudge.

I know we are replacing a woodstove (our main source of heat) that might have lasted another year or two and adding some passive sun tunnels to dark interior spaces. We didn't buy a new car last year, or purchase a house or use any of the other parts of the consumer side of the Stimulus Bill, so I think this will be our little nibble of the Federal Deficit Pie.

To the OP: get a good HVAC guy there and fine tune it to hush it up as much as possible. Don't invest the extra money, but be ready to discount the price, if pushed, by the same amount. Since it's a wash either way for you financially, and it's a nice big "concession" to make while in negotiations, you might as well get bargaining credit for it. If you do it beforehand, it will be invisible at the dickering stage.

L

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 3:35AM
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chrisk327

I'm with liriodendron. Get it checked out, and adjusted. If its old and not broken, its fine.

if the buyers complain about it, it might be worth giving them a credit, or depending on the climate, the offer, etc, sticking with, its older, but works fine!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 12:18PM
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earthworm

L, excellent, informative answer, this I appreciate.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 12:44PM
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bozogardener

I would also consider after the inspection/repair to get a "bill of health" from the HVAC guy to go with your selling papers when the time comes. It would have saved us a headache when we sold our house with an old furnace.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2010 at 1:18PM
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