While updating the bathroom is fun, there are more serious decisions to make about fundamental maintenance. Our home is over 20 years old and while we built the best we could afford at the time, as our furnace, windows, and water heater age, it's time to take advantage of the Greener Homes evaluation to include energy savings. Because heat pumps don't really work in our area, any upgrades other than windows won't earn rebates so we'll have to make do with saving on utilities.
One focus is the windows. While we went double-paned we didn't go high-end; with this being a rebate we do qualify for, we went for the best possible windows. We also replaced only the glass so we saved a lot on the total cost. For instance - we got a new bathroom window w/casing for $2K+ while a similar-sized window cost under $900 to replace just the sealed units. In the end, we got the triple-paned units that will reduce heat transfer and windows now have a much longer warranty. There should be no drafts and little condensation in winter. Cool.
Water heaters are an ongoing maintenance issue. A lot of times they are run until failure which means dealing with a leaky heater. We don't do that but our water heater is well over a decade old so we're on the edge. We didn't go heat pump or tankless but did source an energy efficiency ng unit and our priority here was water waste. In Alberta, you are charged /m^3 for water and we find we waste a lot of water waiting for hot water to get to the kitchen so we're getting a hot water recirc. pump installed.
The system update we're most excited for is our furnace. We have a mid-efficiency furnace and this is our opportunity to update to a high-efficiency unit and add a heat recovery ventilation unit. We've been having problems with humidity in the basement so it will be great to have better air circulation. Furnaces have been resized and fan sizes optimized to run quietly so it will be on most of the time without (in theory) using more energy. The HRV will seal the house better and replace all the exhaust fans. One cool thing we're getting is a UV light (replaced every 2 years) that will sanitize air as it passes through - great for allergens and microbes.
It's been a fascinating process and I'm happy to be able to support local businesses. I've used companies that did jobs for me when I was working or who've come recommended by others. Prices have been within our vague budget and wait time is pretty reasonable.
When we built our home, maintenance was a fuzzy dream. Life passes quickly and owning a home for 20 years is no different than purchasing an older home - there has to be a maintenance budget. Luckily a lot of equipment has improved in efficiency without costing as much of a premium as it would have been when we first built.