As we head into the second quarter of 2020, now more than ever, your home is your sanctuary. Precious fossil fuels and water increase in cost over time and add up to a significant part of your overall budget.
Plus, greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) generated by burning fossil fuels for home appliances and HVAC equipment pollute the air and contribute to climate change. With extreme weather events becoming more commonplace, keeping your home efficient is a double win for saving energy costs and helping the planet.
It is possible to implement cost-savings and efficiency measures at every budget level. Small improvements like insulating doorways and attic spaces can save a lot of money over time. For homeowners with a larger budget, installing energy savings appliances and incorporating renewable energy sources like solar thermal can not only impact your budget but also increase your home’s value.
Start with insulation
One simple upgrade that can save you nearly 20% per year on energy costs is to make your home more resistant to drafts and cooling and heating leakage. Simply through caulking, sealing and weather-stripping, you can realize immediate savings on your energy bill. If your attic is not insulated, having a contractor add insulation will provide additional comfort in hot and cold months, along with driving even more energy savings.
Solar hot water systems
Through a closed-loop system comprised of roof-mounted solar panels, a storage tank and piping for distribution, solar hot water heaters provide homeowners with savings, typically several hundred dollars per year, along with reducing carbon emissions. Using a solar hot water system drastically reduces the reliance (and cost) for natural gas that is typically used to heat conventional hot water heaters.
Although the initial cost for a solar hot water heater is approximately $3,000 to $3,800, finance programs such as Energy Upgrade California identify rebates and options for homeowners to mitigate the initial system cost.
Products that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designates as Energy Star save energy and money and help the environment. Over time, the EPA has complied an extensive list of products in a wide range of categories that are for residential and commercial applications.
To put the potential for energy use in perspective, the EPA notes that if all the clothes dryers in the U.S. were Energy Star-certified, the aggregate energy savings would total approximately $1.5 billion gas engine cars.
Water rates have spiked in many parts of the country. With water rates poised to double within five years in some parts of the country, retrofitting faucets to water-savings units is a smart strategy. Water is typically charged in one hundred cubic foot units. In high cost parts of the country like Los Angeles, single family households are paying approximately $100/month for water and larger families potentially a lot more.
Water-saving bathroom faucets and showerheads, along with low-flow toilets are options that are readily available for you as home upgrades.
At First Centennial Mortgage, we are dedicated to our customers to provide a variety of mortgage finance options for all home buying and refinancing needs. Keeping your home energy effiecient benefits you and the planet.