New HVAC or Upgraded Windows?

Here’s our guide for making the right choice for your home.

Windows or HVAC? When you’re looking to make energy improvements for your Denver-area home, these may be two things that come to mind. But what will provide you the most bang for your buck? Here’s a comparison of potential costs, facts on energy efficiency and homeowner satisfaction to help guide your decision:

Windows

Happiness Factor

According to the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of REALTORS®:

  • 42% of people replace their windows to improve energy efficiency while 42% are looking for better functionality and livability.
  • 83% of homeowners want to stay home more after completing the project.
  • 77% feel a major sense of accomplishment following installation.

Energy Efficiency

  • When it comes to energy efficiency, it’s important to know when your windows were manufactured. Windows manufactured before 1975 lack the energy efficiency of modern windows. The benefit of replacing for energy efficiency can be great when newer windows are installed in your home.
  • Windows represent a major source of heat loss in your home. Newer windows feature multiple panes, vinyl frames and low e-glass that help minimize heat loss, condensation, and air leakage, which means your home will be more comfortable even on super warm or super cold days.

Cost for New Windows

  • All-new vinyl windows for an average home (2,450 square feet) runs more upwards of $15,000 according to the Remodeling Impact Report. However, you can recoup almost 80% of the cost in added home value.
  • You’ll also see savings on your energy bill—up to 15% per year, according to the Efficient Windows Collaborative.

HVAC Systems

Happiness Factor

According to the 2017 Remodeling Impact Report:

  • 56% of people replace their windows to improve energy efficiency while 42% are looking for better functionality and livability.
  • 77% of homeowners want to stay home more after completing the project.
  • 55% feel a major sense of accomplishment following installation.

Energy Efficiency

  • HVAC systems can last more than 20 years. But those that have been in operation for that long are generally less energy efficient than newer models. That’s important because heating and cooling your home accounts for more than 40% of your home’s energy bills.
  • Newer furnaces allow for better energy efficiency in your home by distributing air more evenly, cycling less frequently, and operating more reliably.
  • Older furnaces may also have holes or cracks that could cause carbon monoxide gas to enter your home.
  • Replacing your HVAC system may need to be paired with other home-improvement projects, such as adding insulation and a programmable thermostat and sealing leaks in your ductwork, to maximize energy efficiency.

Cost for New HVAC System

  • A new HVAC system for an average-sized home will cost around $10,000, according to the Remodeling Impact Report. However, you can recoup almost 67% of the cost in added home value.
  • You’ll also see savings on your energy bill—as much as 20% when you increase the energy efficiency of your furnace.

Our Recommendation:

If you can afford only one home improvement project in 2018, we recommend replacing your furnace, or installing a new heating system, especially if yours is more than 10 years old. You will pay less for the up-front replacement cost, recoup more than 65% of that if you sell your home, and save as much as 20% on your monthly bills.

Be sure to consult with a HVAC installer to determine the best furnace for your home. A professional can help determine the right-size unit, comparable ductwork, and the best fuel source for your home.

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