Weatherization: The Return on Your Investment
Weigh financial costs, incentives and lifestyle benefits when making a remodeling decision.
Comparison shopping doesn't just apply to toasters. Considering return on investment (ROI) is critical when selecting one energy efficient measure over another. This means evaluating the initial cost of the measure (i.e., the purchase of a newer, more efficient furnace) with the monthly or annual energy savings (i.e., a more efficient furnace means lower utility bills).
A study done by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory evaluated the cost and payback of common energy efficiency measures. It's easy to see that some of the common problems in existing homes such as inefficient incandescent light bulbs, leaky ductwork and old appliances make financial sense to solve quickly. Larger ticket items cause more financial heartburn for most families.
It's also important to weigh benefits that are not financial. For example, increasing air sealing and insulation levels clearly more expensive therefore longer to payback increase occupant comfort and have the potential to improve indoor air quality (when the home is also properly ventilated). Utilizing an Energy Star clothes or dishwasher radically reduces water use, and potentially electricity use if the home is on well water.
Finally, it's important to consider financial incentives when making decisions. Many measures qualify homeowners for federal and state tax credits, utility and manufacturer rebates, or low-interest loan vehicles. Check out our articles on tax credits, rebates and loans for more information on financial incentives for home energy efficiency.
Investing in the energy performance of your home has a better return than other investments including the stock market. Weatherizing and improving the energy performance of your home is good for our families, our economy and our environment.
Family-Friendly Sonoma-Inspired Home
Designer Patty Malone created an elegant family-friendly home for a single mother by giving an outdated California home a much-needed remodel. Mediterranean influences, custom furnishings, raised ceilings and new flooring throughout helped give the home modern-day flair.
Energy Answers: Weatherization Assistance Program
Comprenhensive approach needed despite expanded access.
Budget-Friendly Blogger Style
HGTV Magazine asked some smart-spending bloggers to each decorate a space using more creativity than cash. The payoff: tons of easy dollar-stretching tricks that are right on the money.
The Essentials of a Sanctuary Garden
Tips for creating a relaxing oasis in your garden.
Stormwater Management the Natural Way
Smart builders ease overloaded water systems by letting nature take its course.
13 Steps to Prep Your Home for Vacation
Rest easy on your next vacation, knowing your house is in order - and ready for your return.
Outdated Home Brought Back to Life
Designer Paula Grace Halewski worked closely with a couple of homeowners to bring their outdated home into their present-day style. Their home is now a showstopper full of color and personality.
Starting a Landscaping Project
Here's how to create a plan, choose plants, set a budget and hire contractors.
Shovel: A Garden Must-Have
The shovel is one of the most useful, and perhaps most used, gardening tools.
10 Ways to Add Value to Homes
Increase value with budget-conscious projects that will bolster resale price.
We're serving up the latest news, gorgeous style, crafty DIY projects, clever entertaining tips and more. Consider these your design digests.