Energy-Efficient Home Improvements: Upgrading Your Heating and Cooling System

Home Improvement and heating and cooling upgrades

Home upgrading and improvements are on the rise. People are taking on home renovations and there's a good chance that renovations include an upgraded heating and cooling system.


You may be able to live with an outdated kitchen or bathroom, but imagine living with a rundown heating and cooling system. If you want home improvements to improve your quality of life, don’t overlook your inefficient heating and cooling system.


Energy Bills, Indoor Comfort, and Peace of Mind


Upgrading your heating and cooling system may help with your monthly energy bill, overall indoor comfort, and give you peace of mind.


Energy Bills


Homes that were part of the new construction boom in the late 1990s and early 2000s may have their original heating and cooling systems. These aging systems may be inefficient and/or in need of constant repairs. If this sounds like your HVAC system, you may want to consider adding a new high-efficiency heating and cooling system to your home improvement list.


Since heating and cooling costs can typically make up about 48% of your utility bill, upgrading to higher efficiency equipment may be a wise home improvement choice.1 Your licensed professional HVAC dealer should be able to tell you the energy-efficiency ratings of your current gas furnace, air conditioner and/or heat pump. This rating(s) may help you determine if you are throwing potential energy savings out the window. 


The energy savings that you get with an upgraded HVAC system may save you money on your monthly utility bill. When it comes to efficiency ratings, the higher the number, the more energy efficient the equipment was designed to be. 


The good news is that since 2006, minimum energy efficiency standards, HVAC technology, and performance features of heating and cooling equipment have improved. Collectively, this can often be a good thing for your wallet. 


For example, states that replacing a furnace with a modern high-efficiency model may be a good investment.2 And, if your air conditioner is over ten years old, you may save up to 40% of your cooling energy costs by replacing it with a newer, more energy-efficient model.3

Upgrading to a higher efficiency HVAC system now may help you cut monthly energy cost for years and years to come. That sounds like a good home improvement option!

Indoor Comfort


Home improvements and renovations should make you ‘feel’ good about the space where you live. While a particular flooring may look pretty, not much can compare to the whole-home comfort that air conditioning provides on a hot and humid summer day. You may love your beautifully renovated spa-like bathroom, but that sense of serenity is smashed if you freeze after exiting the shower. 


Some home improvements may visually improve your home. However, they may not fix your comfort level. According to Jennifer Bertrand, interior designer for Lifetime Channel’s Military Makeover television series, “The biggest trend in design is wellness. If your house is in order, your mind is in order.” A well designed and properly installed heating and cooling system may make your entire house, not just a single room, ‘feel’ comfortable.


Heating and cooling system manufacturers continue to design and incorporate technologies that may collectively improve your overall indoor comfort. HVAC systems that include variable-speed options and advanced HVAC controls provide additional benefits for homeowners who prioritize indoor comfort.


For example, HVAC equipment with variable speed fans automatically adjusts the amount of heated or cooled air blown through the vents into your indoor spaces. It gently ramps up or down according to heating or cooling demand, minimizing the uncomfortable temperature peaks and valleys often found with the ON/OFF cycle of a single-speed unit. When your interior spaces reach the pre-set temperature on the thermostat or HVAC control system, the lower speed may maintain that set temperature longer than if the system turns off. This allows for steady, consistent comfort in your home. 


Upgrading your home’s heating and cooling system may just mean an investment in the quality of your home life!

Peace of Mind


If you are like most people, your family’s indoor comfort is a priority: especially when outdoor temperatures are extreme. But in typical fashion, a heating or cooling system often stops working at the worst possible time…the weekend, holidays, or when you simply want to relax. Living with a failed HVAC system can be inconvenient and very uncomfortable!


When you have an aging, inefficient system, abrupt breakdowns and continuous repairs may start to add up - both financially and emotionally! Eventually, even with the help of a highly skilled HVAC contractor, an aging HVAC system will start to show its age. If that’s the case, it’s time to include an HVAC upgrade to your home improvement list!


To keep repair costs under control, you may want to establish a repair cost cutoff point - meaning that you will replace your heating and cooling system if repairs cost more than your set amount.  If that’s the case in your home, you may want to start researching the cost-effective options available with a new system.


When making your list of home improvement tasks, be sure you evaluate your home’s comfort system. Because no matter how beautiful the floors and cabinets are, no one wants to too hot or too cold in their home.


1,3 Department of Energy. (2018, Dec 28). Heating and Cooling. Retrieved from
2 Buying Tips. 2015.