Energy Efficiency

Some people are downsizing, in this age of extreme inflation, just to save money on utility bills and maintenance. This may not be what you need to do. There are several energy efficient modifications that can be made to your home or if you’re shopping for a new home, make sure that these features are in place. Energy companies often offer rebates for theses items to save you money. Now, if your not going to be in your home, be it existing or new, for a long period of time, the money that you spend on efficiency may not come back to you. However, if you plan to be in your home or your next home for a period of several years, the expenditures could make sense.
First consider a tankless water heater. Unlike the tank type which keeps the pilot going 24/7, the tankless only turns on when a hot water faucet or appliance is turned on. The rest of the time it uses no energy. An added benefit is that you’ll never run out of hot water. Unlike the tank which often does especially with large families. Next, consider your heating and cooling systems. There are several super efficient furnaces and a/c systems. In our area, 13 seer a/c is standard. Seer is a measurement of the amount of energy used to produce a certain amount of cooling. Many people and builders are going to 15 or 16 Seer units or even higher. It depends on how long you will live here and how much your pocketbook will stand. Consider a wi fi or smart thermostat. This way you can control your temperature form anywhere that you have cell phone service. Insulation pays a large part, as well. If you’re building a new home consider a higher “R” value in your exterior walls. In our area, R13 is standard in walls, however, many builders are moving to R19. It does require 2X6 studs though. Even if you’re not buying a new home, it may be time to re insulate the attic. Consider R 38 as opposed to the standard R30. If you live in an older home, plan on re insulating the attic every 12 years or so. It compresses over time and becomes less efficient. This does not apply to people using spray foam insulation. Make sure that all of your openings are secure. If you have an in house pull down stairway, a lot of energy can be lost if it is not sealed. If you have a door going to your attic, check your weather stripping and make sure that it is in good shape and fits well. Periodically check the lines going into your attic and outside a/c units. You may be unintentionally blowing air conditioned air into your attic. There are many other measures that can be taken, but neither time nor space allows for all of them.

ONe of our new upscale patio homes


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