Installing a new air conditioning or heating system in your home might not be at the top of your renovations list, but it should be. Chances are, if your heating and air conditioning system is still keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, you might not have even considered an upgrade.
Keeping your old system installed could be costing you each month due to poor efficiency, and you run the risk of it breaking unexpectedly — and having to spend a day or two (or more) without an HVAC to warm or cool your home. Thanks to an increased interest in sustainable and energy-efficient homes, you can find an abundance of short- and long-term savings to make your heating or cooling investment more affordable.
Off-season savings: One of the easiest ways to find some short-term savings on your HVAC replacement is to buy when demand is low. Consider installing a new heating system during spring or summer and an AC system during autumn or winter. While you might not get much immediate use out of your new equipment, you can save on equipment and be prepared for the next season. You might even be able to get an off-season discount when contractors are in less demand.
Utility rebates: Many local utility companies offer rebates for high-efficiency AC systems — typically those with a SEER rating of 15 or higher. Contact your local energy provider to find out what rebates on new AC units are available in your area. You can also use the Department of Energy’s rebate finder tool to discover other similar rebate programs.
Federal incentives: There are plenty of government incentives for energy-efficient home improvements, including short-term savings on new HVAC systems. Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) to search for energy-efficient incentives in your state.
Repair savings: An old or damaged HVAC system isn’t getting any better with time. A unit that’s near or past 10 years old might require repairs at least once during its heavy-use season. These repairs can add up over time and result in spending more on upkeep than investing in a new unit.
Energy consumption: If your AC or heating unit is 10 years old, you can save 20 percent on utility costs by replacing it with a newer, more efficient model. The result is the long-term savings of hundreds of dollars (or more) each year.
Appeal to buyers: A buyer might not be as excited about a new HVAC system as they are about a pool or renovated kitchen, but it’s an expectation referred to as an “invisible upgrade.” For example, 60 percent of buyers say central air is “very important” in their purchasing decision. Buyers want the peace of mind in knowing the HVAC system in a home they are looking to buy won’t become a source of headaches in the immediate future. While it may not attract a potential buyer, having a damaged or non-functioning HVAC system will certainly deter them.
Invest in comfort: Oftentimes, we get so caught up in nickels and dimes, we forget about the most important part of owning a house — having a comfortable place to call your home. A working HVAC system isn’t a design luxury, it’s vital to the comfort of your home. Investing in a new HVAC system will ensure your home is the most comfortable at all times, and help you avoid the stress of an unexpected breakdown. Replacing your old or damaged HVAC system will the best home renovation that you never think about.
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