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Recently I was chatting on CBC Radio about the increased desire for air conditioned homes. If you have lived in Edmonton for long time, you will probably remember a time when you were not concerned about cooling your home, but now, that is no longer the case. We have some of the best summers in Edmonton, where the weather on nice days is delightful, but it seems to be that we are getting more and more days where we experience heat wave and extreme heat warnings.

During these days it is nice to go inside where you can get a break from the hot outdoors. However if your home does not have air conditioning or another method to stay cool, it will be a toss up as to which place is more comfortable, outside or indoors. This becomes more noticeable when you are selling a home. The spring and summer months are when we sell the most homes in Edmonton, so if your home get stuff and hot, this may deter some buyers from putting an offer on your home.

What is the Real Estate Trend to Note?

I am noticing that the desire for air conditioners has increased over the last 5 years and it seems to be increasing  just before the pandemic.
Certainly, it seems like the heat waves and heat warnings are increasing from year to year and becoming more frequent and last longer.  In the past maybe we have a week where the temperatures are unbearable for most people but now we are experiencing multiple weeks of this hot weather.
Even when showing homes, when you walk into a home and it’s nice and cool and comfortable on the inside, buyers notice this.

In the past, it wasn’t seen as a necessity and if the home had a/c it wasn’t very important, but I am observing that when a property already has central air, it would go higher on the buyer’s shortlist.  Not only as a great feature but also as one less upgrade they would need to consider if they were to purchase the home.

Why is having air conditioning in a home so important ?

Our lifestyles have changed post pandemic, and as a result, we are spending more time at home.   Many people have adopted a hybrid work schedule or are now working full-time at home.  So instead of being at an air conditioned office during the hotest part of the day, they may be in their home office.  Also another consideration is the air-quality that we are experiencing in Edmonton.  Because of the wildfires, many are choosing to limit their time outdoors because of the poor air quality.  

Other factors are the rise in food delivery services and even streaming services, we  are spending way more time in our homes, the pandemic has taught us this lesson in a big way.

Isn't having Air Conditioning In Edmonton Just A Luxury?

As technology improves and becomes accepted and more affordable by the masses, buyers are starting to look out for such items like Air Conditioning being included.  Think about cars for instance, I remember when a/c in a vehicle was a luxury and you would rarely see them in a car, but now, it comes standard in most new vehicles.  The same can be said with homes,  as many builder are including air conditioner s in their new homes.

How Common Is It To Find Homes With Air Conditioning On The Market?

You would be surprised as to the number of homes for sale with air conditioning.  Realtors can create a list of homes that only include homes with Air conditioning. In newer communities, this feature might be more prevalent.  However, you shouldn’t limit your search to only see homes that have a/c because this feature can be really easy to add, especially if there is a forced air heating system in the home. Below you can view some homes for sale in Edmonton that come equipped with air conditioning.

What If You Can't Afford An Air Conditioner?

Depending on the size of the space that you want to cool, Home Depot is currently selling units between $4,000 – $6,000.  Some heating and cooling companies offer a payment plan for units, so you can get it now and stretch those payments out over time.  iF you concerned about the environmental toll there are manufacturers that are exploring using solar energy to power air conditioners.  Part of being more mindful of the environment is maintaining, and caring for a unit so that it can last longer.  I have once sold a home where the air conditioner unit was 40 years old, and it was still running well.

Portable window air conditioners are also an affordable way to cool your home and they can be purchased at places like Canadian Tire, or London Drugs.  Some of the can also dehumidify the home.

Being able to get a cross breeze established in a home can also help to cool it down.  I am often surprised when I show a home and I see that the windows are not able to open because they are painted shut.

Alternatively, the basement is typically the coolest part of the home, so spending your time in a basement may be the perfect was to stay cool during the hotter months of summer.

Are There Other Trends In Cooling Technology?

Other trends that I am seeing in more homes is the move to smart technology and using it to efficiently keep your home comfortable.  This could be programming the thermostat to adjust it’s cooling and heating demand when there is no one in the home.

Also the Blatchford community has introduced geo-thermal system that sustainably cools and heats your home.  See below to view homes for sale in the Blatchford Community.