One of the highest costs of home ownership is energy. Because of increasing utility costs, consumers are seeking innovative and more modern solutions in order to make their homes more energy-efficient.
There are many factors that go into creating an energy-efficient home. Among these are high quality, properly installed insulation, energy-efficient windows, properly sealed cracks or gaps in the house, and insulated wires, plumbing and piping inside the walls. Also critically important are high-efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation systems, properly sized and installed duct work, well planned water management strategies, and energy-efficient appliances and lighting. These all sound like good ideas, but why do they matter to you?
Here are five reasons why you need an energy-efficient home.
1.) Energy-efficiency saves you money
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wisconsin homes consume an average of 103 million Btu of energy, 15% more than the U.S. average. Living in an energy-efficient home saves you money by reducing your utility bills. One Wisconsin resident who recently built an energy-efficient home reported savings of approximately one thousand dollars in electrical costs last year. In addition to major improvements in your home, simple upgrades such as using compact fluorescent light bulbs, caulking, weather-stripping and installing programmable thermostats can impact your utility bill.
2.) There are tax incentives for energy-efficient alternatives
For everything from light bulbs to thermal heat pumps, there are a variety of tax incentives available. Local, state and federal government agencies, as well as utilities, offer incentives such as tax credits and rebates which are intended to encourage the use of energy-efficient products and techniques. These incentives can help offset the initial cost of the updates. It is worthwhile to research any improvements you are planning or improvements you have recently made to see if they qualify for tax help.
3.) Energy-efficiency improves the level of comfort in your home
Especially in states like Wisconsin, with its harsh winters, comfort is an important consideration. A good ventilation system is critical for maintaining clean, fresh, comfortable air in your home. If the house has radiant heat, the floors and walls are warm, which is better than living in a cold house with warm air only coming from the radiators. An efficient filtering system can benefit your health by reducing the allergens and dust in the air. In addition, a well-designed home can take advantage of the building site, climate and materials to reduce heating and cooling energy needs.
4.) Your home’s value will increase
According to recent studies, energy-efficient homes have a resale value which is about 9% higher than those without energy-saving features. One study by the National Association of Home Builders asked respondents to rank over 120 desirable elements in a home. The top ranked element was Energy Star-rated appliances. The third ranked item was an Energy Star rating for the entire home. (In case you are wondering, the second most important item was a laundry room.)
5.) You are helping the environment
You may think the environmental concerns do not directly affect you, but they do. Here’s how it works: Energy-efficient houses use less power. Therefore, less carbon goes into the air from power plants burning coal or natural gas. Carbon is contributing to climate change. According to the Department of Energy, fossil fuel supplies most of the residential energy we use. Use less fossil fuel and you are helping protect the world for yourself and your loved ones.
When choosing a builder, it is important to work with a someone who understands the benefits of energy efficiency. Here at Anderson Homes, we are a Wisconsin home building company, certified with Focus On Energy. To learn more about how we can help you have an energy efficient home, contact us.