real estate

4 urgent home fixes before you retire

Replace your furnace
Next
3 of 6
Back

Cost: Anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 for an energy-efficient model.

Advantage: 85 percent to 95 percent efficient; tax rebate of up to 15 percent of the cost of the furnace if it's Energy-Star rated.

"Insulation

 pays you back every time your furnace doesn’t come on," says Barrows. "Getting a highly energy-efficient furnace pays you back every time it does come on."

A traditional furnace can lose up to half its heat through leaks in its pipes, says Spofford. The same is true for leaking air-conditioning ducts. If your furnace or AC unit is decades old, the loss likely is greater.

An energy-efficient furnace, by contrast, only loses 5 percent to 12 percent of the heat it generates. And if you insulate your house well, you can buy a smaller one, says Barrows. Have your contractor run a Manual-J assessment. It's the most widely used software program among building professionals and calculates how much heat your house will need. That, in turn, will allow you to buy a furnace just large enough for your needs.

You'll also find that an energy-efficient furnace or air-conditioning unit will pay for itself in four to seven years, says Barrows -- not bad if you plan to be there for 20.


 

 

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
advertisement
MORTGAGE & REAL ESTATE NEWSLETTER

Timely market news and advice for consumers ready to buy, sell or invest in real estate. Delivered weekly.

Blog

Judy Martel

More homeowners above water

Rising prices are driving homeowners into positive equity, but it could be a long road.  ... Read more

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us