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There will be a time, not so far away, when houses without central air-conditioning and high-efficiency heating systems will linger on the market longer than those with them. I’d advise prospective home buyers to ask for the last year’s heating and cooling bills, to see whether they can afford the monthly costs of owning a home.

First question last: Speaking solely from my own experience, the answer is yes. I can only imagine what my winter bill would be without my high-efficiency, high-AFUE gas furnace.

But these are questions you should be posing to contractors you interview.

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