Eli and Ruth Lumpkins sitting in their kitchenThere was something about Eli and Ruth Lumpkins’ Grand Rapids home that felt off. In the winter, it was drafty and the floors were especially cold, while summers turned their house into a sauna. The Lumpkins knew this wasn’t normal. They had heating and cooling already running in their house, but it wasn’t effective and it was costing them too much money.

Ruth had a suspicion that a built-on addition in the couple’s home was causing the problem. A simple energy audit confirmed her hunch. It turned out the addition had no insulation at all, which created the extra-hot summers and the icy-cold winters in the home. Not only was the hot-and-cold culprit found, but the audit revealed more than a house lacking in insulation. It turned out the Lumpkins had a hidden mold problem in their home as well.

Eli and Ruth took action to remedy the mold, insulate the home addition, install a new furnace and perform air sealing. These energy upgrades on the house resulted in 30 percent energy reductions and 23 percent in savings on their monthly utility costs, averaging out to $611 per year.

“It just doesn’t make sense to keep letting our money and our energy go out the window,” Ruth said about having an energy assessment done on her home. “The air conditioner doesn’t need to run all the time like it used to,” Ruth said. “It’s much cooler, and it stays cool for longer, too.”

The Lumpkins are just two of more than 10,000 customers who have taken advantage of Michigan Saves’ services. These particular services range from helping select a qualified contractor to low-interest financing for energy-efficient upgrades through the Michigan Saves Home Energy Loan Program.

“It’s so easy for energy issues in the home to go unnoticed,” said Mary Templeton, Michigan Saves executive director. “Michigan Saves helps homeowners to pinpoint their energy problems and solve them. This results in comfort, energy efficiency and — probably everyone’s favorite benefit — saving money every month.”

The Lumpkins’ story is a common one among homeowners. Within a home’s nooks and crannies, there could be an underlying issue causing the owners strife. Michigan Saves can not only get its customers an energy audit, but connect them with a contractor network and help obtain rebates for the work done. In the Lumpkins’ case, those rebates totaled $1,475.

“We’ve been telling our friends to get an energy assessment,” Ruth said. “When you make the investment, it will save you money in the long run.”