HouseMaster Urges Homeowners to Consider Energy
Efficient Renovations to Cash
in on President Obama’s Proposed “Home Star” Program
HouseMaster Identifies Energy Efficient Fixes to Qualify Homeowners for Home Retrofitting Financial Incentives
Bound Brook, N.J. (March 31, 2010) HouseMaster, the first and one of the largest home inspection organizations in North America, urges homeowners to be proactive in making energy efficient home renovations in order to receive the rebates outlined in President Obama’s new “Home Star Retrofit Rebate” program, recently introduced in Congress. If passed, the proposed $6 billion program could reduce energy costs for middle-class families by hundreds of dollars a year.
As currently constructed, the Home Star program includes a Gold Star and Silver Star level. The Gold Star level is applicable for consumers who reduce energy costs by at least 20 percent based on home audits. These consumers are eligible for a $3,000 rebate with additional rebates available for a savings of above 20 percent. The Silver Star level offers a $1,000 or $1,500 rebate for consumers for a variety of straightforward home updates including: insulation, duct sealing, water heaters, HVAC units, windows, roofing and doors. The rebate is delivered on-the-spot for 50 percent of the cost of each upgrade and limited to the most energy efficient categories of upgrades—focusing on products made primarily in the United States and installed by certified contractors.
“The Home Star program is a step in the right direction to encourage homeowners to make energy efficient upgrades that will save them hundreds of dollars a year in energy costs while improving the comfort and value of their most important investment, their homes,” said Kathleen Kuhn, President of HouseMaster.” We urge homeowners to begin planning their energy upgrades now so that they are prepared to take advantage of the Home Star program when it is enacted.”
Unless your home was recently built or remodeled with energy efficiency in mind, there are steps you can take to help make it more efficient and eco-friendly. The lack of adequate air barriers and poor insulation are the two most common culprits that allow heat and air conditioning to escape from homes.
HouseMaster is pleased to provide some easy check-ups every homeowner can do to optimize the energy efficiency of their home in its reissued home inspection guide. HouseMaster offers homeowners the following tips to minimize energy use and in many cases cash in on Home Star rebates.
- Windows and Doors
Chances are you are losing money right out of the front door of your home. The door way is just one place to look for un-insulated gaps or cracks in old caulking. These holes allow conditioned air to leak from your home and allow outdoor air to infiltrate — which can tax your heating and cooling systems and raise your energy bills. Caulk around windows and doors where there are gaps. Also caulk areas where plumbing lines or electrical wiring extend to the exterior of the home.
- Floor and Wall Insulation
If you think of your home as a box with a top, sides , and a bottom, the importance of sufficient insulation on every side of “the box” becomes apparent. Insulation acts as a barrier to heat movement and helps keep any home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter — all while using less energy. Making sure insulation is used at potential gaps such as around an attic stairway or over the attic access door is important as well.
- Shedding a Little Light on a Simple
By replacing traditional incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents, you can use up to 75 percent less energy on lighting alone! A wide assortment of CFLs is now available for almost any type fixture found in a home.
4. Appliances and HVAC Systems
Your major household appliances — the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems — can account for over 50 percent of your household
energy use, so they are a good place to focus on for ways to make your home more eco-friendly. Start by changing the filters of your HVAC systems
regularly and consider upgrading older appliances to take advantage of newer, more efficient designs.
5. Buy a Programmable
This energy-saving step can have a positive and noticeable impact right away. Programmable thermostats are fairly easy to install and once they are set up a homeowner can adjust them as the weather changes. They only take minutes to program them to automatic adjust the temperature setting at night or when the house is unoccupied. Since the average household spends somewhere between 50 and 70 percent of their energy bill on heating and cooling, it will pay for itself in no time – and continue to pay dividends for years. For every degree that a thermostat is setback, you may realize a savings between one and three percent on your heating or cooling bills.
For more information on energy efficient tips and a step-by-step guide to a greener and more energy-conscious home, visit www.housemaster.com. For more information on the Home Star program please visit: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/fact-sheet-homestar-energy-efficiency-retrofit-program.
HouseMaster is the oldest and one of the largest home inspection franchisors in North America. With more than 365 franchised areas throughout the North America, HouseMaster is the most respected name in home inspections. For 30 years, HouseMaster has built upon a foundation of solid leadership and innovation with a continued focus on delivering the highest quality service experience to their customers and providing HouseMaster franchisees the tools and support necessary to do so. Each HouseMaster franchise is an independently owned and operated business. HouseMaster is a registered trademark of DBR Franchising, LLC.
For more information please visit www.housemaster.com or call 800-526-3939.