Real Estate & Mortgage Insights

Benefits of Energy Saving Home Improvements for Your Home
By Guy Cozzi

An often overlooked aspect of home ownership and renovations are the long-term benefits of energy saving improvements. Here are just a few of the benefits you get from implementing energy savings into your decisions as a homeowner.

Saving Energy Saves Money - You can save thousands of dollars every year and lower your utility bills by 50%.

Saving Energy Helps You Live More Comfortably - You will make your home more comfortable for you and your family.

Saving Energy Allows You to Be Healthier At Home - You will improve the indoor air quality of your home so it's safer and healthier for you and your family.

Saving Energy Helps The Environment - You will reduce pollution and environmental hazards by half. Saving natural resources and protecting the environment is the best gift you can give to your children and grandchildren!

Following are some of the areas throughout your home that can be made more efficient in order to save money, be more comfortable and to have be healthier in your home. In each area we provide statistics on the typical homeowner's annual energy usage based on national averages.

Annual Energy Use in a Home
44% Heating and Cooling
33% Lighting and Appliances
14% Water Heating
9% Refrigerator

Experience has shown that it only costs 10% more to build or renovate high-performance buildings. High-performance buildings and renovations cost less to construct. Additional upfront costs can be justified because the investment will reduce operating costs through the life of the home. The added cost, if any, of the investment each year is compared to the cost of fuel saved each year. Total energy costs are about 50% less than those for conventionally designed and renovated homes.

Electrical Kilowatt per Hour (kWh) Usage per Year in a Home

Are your electricity bills "zapping" your wallet? The following statistics show the typical homeowner's electrical appliance usage based on national averages.

2202 kWh - Spa (pump and heater)
1429 kWh - Pool Pump
1191 kWh - Refrigerator
893 kWh - Washing Machine
845 kWh - Clothes Dryer
833 kWh - Waterbed Heater
750 kWh - Freezer
679 kWh - Electric Cooking
595 kWh - Dishwasher
571 kWh - Aquarium/Terrarium
476 kWh - Well Water Pump
357 kWh - Dehumidifier
130 kWh - Microwave Oven
119 kWh - Television
107 kWh - Home Computer
98 kWh - Electric Blankets

Energy efficient improvements not only make your home more comfortable, they 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 will also qualify you for an energy efficiency mortgage, which allows lenders to use a higher-than-normal debt-to-income ratio to calculate mortgage loan potential. In addition, your home will have a higher resale value.

Annual Hot Water Use in a Home

So you don't think you have a lot of money going down the drain? Then look below. These statistics show the typical homeowner's hot water usage based on national averages. Statistics show the amount of money that you're paying to heat water every year which could be reduced by 50%.

37% Shower
26% Clothes Washer
14% Dishwasher
12% Bath
11% Sinks

Air Leaks in a Home

Is you're wallet tight but your home loose? Take a look at these statistics since you're paying to heat and cool the air leaking out of your home.

34% Floors, Walls and Ceilings
15% Heating and Cooling Ducts
14% Fireplace
13% Plumbing Penetrations
11% Doors
10% Windows
4% Fans and Vents
2% Electric Outlets

This data shows how air escapes houses based on national averages. Air infiltrates in-and-out of your home through every nook and cranny. If you eliminate air leaks you will dramatically lower your heating and cooling bills plus improve your indoor air quality.

If the above doesn't convince you to explore energy efficiency, below we explore the environmental impacts of traditional energy usage. Do you think you can help the environment plus increase the comfort and value of your home? The answer is a definite YES!

Air Pollution, Smog, & Global Warming

Most of the energy produced in the United States is from fossil fuels, particularly coal and oil, in processes that contribute to a number of air pollution problems, such as smog and global climate change.

Acid Rain

Heating and Cooling systems in the United States emit over a billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and about 12% of the sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emitted by the nation. These are the chief ingredients in acid rain. Reducing energy use for heating is the single most effective way to reduce your home's contribution to global environmental problems!

Ozone Depletion

Conventional Air-Conditioners use refrigerants made of chlorine compounds, suspected contributors to the depletion of the ozone layer and global warming.

Natural Resources

The amount of energy wasted just through poorly insulated windows and doors is as much energy as we get from the Alaskan pipeline each year! Electricity generated by fossil fuels for a single home puts more carbon dioxide into the air than two average cars. By using a few inexpensive energy efficient measures, you can reduce your energy bills by 50%, and at the same time help reduce air pollution.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Nearly 40% of all U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide are the result of using energy to heat, cool, and provide hot water for buildings. You can cut your fuel bills and your furnace's pollution output in half. Upgrading your furnace or boiler from 56% efficiency to 90% efficiency in an average cold-climate house will save 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year if you heat with gas, or 2.5 tons if you heat with oil!

Remember: Remember, energy efficiency is good for you and your home, but most importantly, saving natural resources and protecting the environment is the best gift you can give to your children and grandchildren!

© 2007 Guy Cozzi. Get more advice on energy saving home improvements, real estate appraisal, home inspection, and real estate investing at Nemmar Energy Saving Home Improvement.

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