According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 50 percent of an average U.S. home’s energy bill can be linked directly to cooling and heating costs, which amounts to an average of approximately $1,100 per year. The right air-conditioning and Here are 13 ways. Do your research long before you ever hire a contractor. It’s easy to find home improvement inspiration online, as well as practical information about prices and quality. Clarify about what you want, how you will fund the project and A 9 percent year-over-year increase in home sales for the first four months of 2014 has resulted in a rise of 6.8 percent in CoreLogic's Home Price Index for the same investments in the home through home improvement, according to CoreLogic Chief In fact, the CoreLogic Home Price Index (HPI) for the U.S. was up 6.8% between which can spur additional investments in their home (through home improvements) or in financial assets,” CoreLogic writes. To read the full report, click here. The most frequent emergency projects reported by homebuyers in the first year of owning a new home included blocked toilets and pipes, a clogged drain, a broken heating or cooling system and water leaks. These unexpected projects can cost homeowners .