Did you know that the average U.S. family spends close to $1300 a year on their home's utility bills? Unfortunately, a large portion of that energy is wasted. The amount of energy wasted just through poorly insulated windows and doors is about as much energy as we get from the Alaskan pipeline each year.
And electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than the average car. By using a few inexpensive energy-efficient measures, you can reduce your energy bills by 10% to 50% and, at the same time, help reduce air pollution.
The key to achieving these savings is a whole-house energy efficiency plan. To take a whole-house approach, view your home as an energy system with interdependent parts. For example, your heating system is not just a furnace – it's a heat-delivery system that starts at the furnace and delivers heat throughout your home using a network of ducts.
You may have a top-of-the-line, energy-efficient furnace, but if the ducts leak and are uninsulated, and your walls, attic, windows, and doors are uninsulated, your energy bills will remain high. Taking a whole-house approach to saving energy ensures that dollars you invest in energy efficiency are wisely spent.
Energy-efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they can yield long-term financial rewards. Reduced operating costs more than make up for the higher price of energy-efficient appliances and improvements over their lifetimes.
Improvements may also qualify you for an energy efficiency mortgage, which allows lenders to use a higher-than-normal debt-to-income ratio to calculate loan potential. In addition, your home will likely have a higher resale value.