9 Ways to Make Your San Diego Home More Energy Efficient
The most effective stratedy for improving household energy efficiency is to first target your home's envelope—walls, attic, windows and doors.
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Here are some of the best high-value energy-efficient upgrades for your San Diego home.
If your house has no wall insulation, and it has more-or-less continuous wall cavities, it can improve enough energy to be very cost effective. Today, there are also green options such as cellulose and recycled denim options that are even more efficient than traditional options by as much as 11-15 percent according to Energy Star.
If your windows are leaky, it may be time to replace them with energy-efficient models with weatherstripping and storm windows. Simply making the change from single-pained windows to dual-panes with a low-E coating can save homeowners up to $465 annually according to the US Department of Energy.
Tress Around Your San Diego House
If your house is older with relatively poor insulation and windows, good landscaping can save energy, especially if planted on the house's west side. Having a good bit of shade will create a cooler indoor environment during hot summer months.
High-Efficiency Heating and Cooling Systems
For houses with boilers and hot water heat distribution (radiators, baseboard), the savings from a modern condensing boiler with outdoor reset can be worthwhile. Installing a smart thermostat gives owners greater control over the system that can further lower energy costs. Those with a traditional HVAC system might consider having an energy-efficient system installed.
Hot Water System
First, turn down the temperature of your water heater to the warm setting at about 120 degrees. Second, insulate your hot water lines so they don't cool off as quickly between uses. The addition of a tankless hot water heater allows users to get instant water, which reduces the need to store water at all, which will reduced energy costs.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) can save 3 quarters of the electricity used by incandescents. Electricity to run a light bulb costs much more than the bulb itself. CFLs utilize less energy than a traditional bulb, reducing energy cost. As an added benefit, less greenhouse gas emissions are expelled as well as mercury exposure.
Avoid the Temptation of Backup Appliances
Avoid the temptation to use the old fridge as a backup for party supples and liquid refreshments. The extra storage space can cost as much as $150 annually. Another consideration to make your San Diego home more efficient is to avoid installing dual ovens, deep freezers, and by investing in Energy Star rated appliances.
Federal Tax Incentives
Federal tax incentives are available for energy efficiency upgrades to existing homes. Improvements may include building-envelope improvements. Tax incentives are also offered for making the change to renewable energy such as geothermal heat pumps, fuel cells, solar panels and small wind turbines. As an additional perk, these installations can massively lower energy costs.
Energy Audit for Your San Diego Home
Energy auditors and raters use specialized tools and skills to evaluate you home and recommend the most cost-effective measures. These experts can help owners determine excessive energy-consuming issues:
- Leaky windows
- Attic compromises
- Heating and cooling
- Basement leaks
Getting an energy audit is a great start and can help you decide which areas of your San Diego home can benefit most from these energy-efficient suggestions.