Use a Low-Interest Home Loan to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient

For years, the government has been urging homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. Not only do these changes help reduce dependency on oil, propane, and other heating fuels, but they also reduce your electricity bills, heating costs, and carbon footprint. A low-interest home loan makes it easy to undergo a home energy audit and come up with a plan to make your home energy efficient. With the savings in fuel and electricity and current government tax breaks, you'll be able to pay off the home loan quickly.

What is a Home Energy Audit?

With a home energy audit, a professional inspects every corner of your home looking for places where air leaks from windows or doors, making sure your appliances are efficient model, inspecting ducts on your furnace and hot water heater, and checking insulation levels.

Replace Doors and Windows

According to, new windows and doors can save you anywhere from 5 to 30% per year. When choosing the type of windows and doors to install, the most expensive products are not always the best. Look for the energy star rating of different doors and windows. Where you live is very important. In the north, you need windows and doors designed to keep the cold out, but in the south, it's important to have windows and doors that keep the heat of the sun from warming your house too much in the hottest parts of summer. Pay close attention to the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC). You want a U-factor of less than 0.3 in the north and less than 0.6 in the south. SHGC is less important in northern climates, but in the south it must be less than 0.27.

Upgrade Furnaces and Water Heaters

If your home's furnace and/or water heater is older than 15 years, replacing them with more efficient models will help you save plenty of money. You may also need to upgrade your ducts to have insulation R-values of six or better.

Install New Lighting Fixtures or Bulbs

One of the easiest, least expensive changes you can make is to replace lighting fixtures or light bulbs with LED or CFL. LED fixtures are safe and cost-effective, but they are a little more expensive. CFL is cheaper and required by law in many places now, but the risk of mercury exposure if a bulb breaks may not be ideal if you have young children in your home. Switching the types of light bulbs you use can save you 10% in monthly electricity usage.

Increase Insulation

Older homes are not going to be well insulated. This may be a job you can do yourself if you have an attic or crawl space you can easily reach. In some homes, this may not be an option. If your home lacks any attic or crawl space, you will need to hire a professional to blow insulation in through ventilation ducts on the side of your home. Insulation will keep heat from escaping in the winter.

When taking out a low-interest home loan to make these energy-efficient upgrades. Get quotes from several companies and then compare interest rates and loan packages before agreeing to any offer. You'll find you can usually work out a payment plan that comes very close to the money you will save by making these important upgrades.