It's not only about lower utility bills says Bankrate.com. Although, those savings rank among the highest in benefits. In total, there are four main reasons to make your home more energy efficient today.
- Save money. Not surprisingly, lower electric and gas bills are the biggest benefit of making your home more energy efficient. Given that the typical U.S. household spends $2,200 per year for home utility bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, it could add up to hundreds of dollars of savings a year.
You may also be eligible for tax credits and product rebates if you upgrade your home or make use of renewable energy.
- Make your home more comfortable. Blocking airflow with weather stripping, caulking and insulation is not only the most cost–effective way to make a home more energy efficient but it also goes a long way in making it more comfortable.
- Possibly raise your home's resale value. Several studies suggest a home's energy efficiency matters to prospective homebuyers. For example, a top–ranked item considered "essential" or "desirable" by 94% of the 3,682 respondents in a 2013 study "What Home Buyers Really Want" by the National Association of Home Builders, was ENERGY STAR®–rated appliances. The 3rd–ranked item, considered "essential" or "desirable" by 91% of the respondents, was an ENERGY STAR rating for the entire home.
- Help the environment. A more energy–efficient home is not only good for your wallet and comfort, it also reduces your carbon footprint. The U.S. Department of Energy says most energy supplied to residences comes from burning fossil fuels, which releases pollutants into the atmosphere. Severe weather is already hurting property owners across the country and climate change can also damage public infrastructure, causing inconvenience and higher property taxes to make repairs.
Small changes can add up to big benefits and can be done at any time. But, if you prefer to make bigger energy improvements, you have options. For example:
- If you're in the market to purchase a home, you can use a mortgage to help finance energy efficient improvements. And with Freddie Mac's Home Possible Advantage® mortgage, you can do that with as little down as 3% down.
- If you already own your home and have sufficient equity, you may also consider refinancing at today's low mortgage interest rates and "cash out" some of your equity to fund energy improvements.
Talk with your lender today about loan programs which are designed to help finance your energy conservation home improvements.
Follow this series to learn more about energy efficiency in your home and the importance of being green.
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