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.
Energy Answers: Weatherization Assistance Program
Comprenhensive approach needed despite expanded access.
The Best Window for a Mixed Climate
One size does not fit all, at least when it comes to weather and windows.
Protecting Against Flood Damage
Provide built-in resistance with these suggestions from FEMA.
In Winter, Don't Spring a Leak
Learn how to weatherproof your home from ice and snow damage.
Roof Step Flashing
Protect vulnerable areas of your roof against the elements.
The walls in this home are four bricks thick, with plaster on the inside walls. The homeowner is concerned about moisture damage to the walls, where water may have soaked through after a heavy rain
Stormwater Management the Natural Way
Smart builders ease overloaded water systems by letting nature take its course.
Make Your Home Winter Ready
Follow these steps to prep your house for cold winter weather.
Storm Shutters Minimize Damage
Homeowners have a few options to protect windows during bad weather.
5 Ways to Provide Built-In Hurricane Protection
Learn how to protect your home in harsh weather with upgrades and retrofit solutions.