I have looked at a number of homes this winter to find energy savings. The increase in heating oil has motivated some to seek relief, while others were told by friends who had energy audits and were happy to get problems resolved and save money. Most of the homes in southeast Pennsylvania are more than 20 years old and were have minimal insulation and were built with intentional air leaks!
In most of the homes problems were found that could be easily fixed and cut energy usage. Most homes were found to be either lacking insulation or having insulation in the wrong places, so it was the same as not having insulation at all. When these problems are fixed the reduction in energy loss is HUGE. In many homes the combination of insulation, air sealing and heating equipment cut the energy usage by 50%
So what does this have to do with mortgage payments? Look at your total annual energy costs and compare it with your mortgage payment. For most families, the cost of energy (electric, gas, oil, wood) is equal to two or thee months mortgage payments. Roughly $2000-$4000 per year. Cut this in half and you get the energy savings of $1000-$2000 per year. What is your mortgage payment?